Smoothing the stop-start-stop of the COVID-19 workplace
Ah, summer. The sun is beating down and the flies are abuzz but your workspace is returning to some semblance of basic functionality … until you learn one of your colleagues has tested positive for COVID-19. This is not good news, whichever way you look at it, but there are ways you can make the testing process, and your (hopefully) temporary exit and isolation, less disruptive.
Smooth the transition between office and home… and back again
The demand for testing and the speed at which tests can be processed is as unpredictable as the test result itself. You might receive a negative test result within 12 hours but a more likely scenario is that you will be spending at least one or two days working from home.
It is tempting to imagine that a portable hard drive with your current and pending work will suffice for the duration. If at all possible, however, consider taking as much of your workspace set-up with you as you can – in my case, this means a laptop, a screen, a mouse, a keyboard and a diary as well as a powerpack, cables, notebooks, pens and a set of noise-cancelling headphones. The half hour of dismantling, transportation and re-assembly at either end is a worthwhile investment. There are few things more frustrating than trying to navigate even the slightest of differences in user interfaces, email access and shared drives while trying to maintain a steady workflow.
There is nothing normal about ‘COVID normal’: frequent testing and periods of isolation will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future. Be prepared, as the Boy Scouts say, and make your transition between the main roads and detours of working throughout a pandemic less bumpy.