“Hello, are you there?”, your eyes lift from your phone screen, Tik Tok continues playing in the background. You throw your phone across your desk as you realize your boss is asking YOU a question during the weekly meeting.
Ever since 2020, the transition to virtual work has been an adjustment for all. Office etiquette and responsibility should be transferred to the virtual platform even if you are in the comfort of your own home. With these 5 tips, you can move towards becoming more productive in the virtual office.
While working or on a zoom call, try drinking cold water or turning down your a/c. Dr. Craig Canapari gives this tip to his narcoleptic patients. Cold water produces adrenaline in the body, which increases one’s alertness and energy levels. So, the next time you feel yourself drifting off, add a couple of ice cubes to your water.
Get out of bed. Try sitting on a stool, at a desk, or even standing while listening to a call. Behavior scientists have said that being in an uncomfortable state helps people open themselves to new information. Being too comfortable causes the temptation to close your eyes and lose sight of your priorities. Training yourself to sit uncomfortably also increases frustration tolerance and increases the ability to accept things the way they are.
Unplug from the virtual world. We all know how tempting it is to check notifications or respond to a quick text. Carry the classroom and meeting etiquette over- put away your phone! Self-control can be hard when you see a notification pop up or an alert ringing in the background. Put your phone on do not disturb mode or even remove it from the room entirely. I’ve had times when my motivation has been low and I’ve had to give my roommate my phone, so I wouldn’t have the temptation to check.
I know it sounds tacky but try using a fidget toy. Fidget cubes, rings, stress balls, and spinners there are so many options on the market currently. By giving your hands something to actively do, it allows your brain to focus. When using fidget toys, your levels of dopamine and norepinephrine are increased. You may wonder what these are and why they matter, an increase in these chemicals replicates the actions of ADHD medicine. Allowing your focus and attention to be improved just by fidgeting.
You can’t fall asleep if you are actively in the conversation going on. Including yourself in the conversation early on allows you to get that first uncomfortable word out and be more willing to participate throughout. If on zoom you can also comment with questions or inputs in the chat section. Taking notes forces you to pay attention. You don’t need to be taking a lengthy number of notes, maybe just a couple of bullet points to summarize the topics covered. I know most meetings require cameras on, but for those that don’t, I would recommend keeping your camera on. This restricts you from going on your phone or completing other tasks.
The Only Z’s should be at the begging of Zoom
It is important to apply yourself in these situations. You might think the easier route is to zone out, go on social media, and mute the meeting. You could be missing crucial information or an opportunity to give input. We must adapt to jobs that choose a virtual or hybrid method and make the best of all situations. None of the tips above are major life-changing things and it’s worth a shot to test which tips work best for you. It’s been a difficult transition, as most of us have been dealing with a virtual office since 2020. Things can get repetitive and boring, keep yourself fresh.