If you have an Autoimmune Disease and are working from home because of the current quarantine, you are probably feeling the effects of being healthier and more productive. Do you want this situation to continue when the world goes back to normal? If you are telecommuting during the quarantine, you need to start documenting. I’m sharing 5 best practices for you to document and implement. Starting now.
This is your time to take advantage of the situation of telecommuting during the quarantine. I don’t mean that in a negative or adversarial way. What I mean is that your “weird” world of avoiding germs that you’ve been living with for years is all of a sudden everyone’s new normal paranoia. Millions of people have been forced to work from home. Your world of having an Autoimmune Disease, being at-risk, and being immunocompromised is now a part of the daily lexicon. Your bubble of living with an invisible illness now has some common denominators with literally everyone in the world.
The understanding and the empathy factor will never be more than what it is now.
When life goes back to normal, do you want to continue working from home, on a full-time, part-time, or as-needed basis? Telecommuting can be provided as a reasonable accommodation for those with Autoimmune Disease, but you still have to convince the boss.
At some point, companies will open back up and life will go back to normal. Or at least whatever that new normal looks like. Some companies and managers will have seen the benefits and embrace more telework, while some will go back to their old ways and want everyone working back at the mother ship.
Now is the time to start documenting your case to continue working from home.
Before we get into the action items, I want to be perfectly clear about something. This is about your organization. It’s not about you.
I’m not being harsh, I’m being real when I say that your organization exists to make a profit, and not to give you a paycheck. Yes, working from home is a great reasonable accommodation for someone with an Autoimmune Disease. And yes, you are covered as a legal disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But you need to document. And you need to present your case to showcase how your telework is benefiting your organization. This isn’t about your work-life balance. This is about your organization’s profit and productivity.
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We’re going to use the information below to create tangible documentation and evidence that you can present to your manager along with your reasonable accommodation request to continue working from home (in whatever capacity that means).
Here’s what you need to do to get started.
5 Things to Document While Telecommuting During Quarantine
You don’t need to make this more complicated than it is, and you can document in whatever format works best for you. It can be via notebook, Word document, or xls spreadsheet. The goal is to document every single day. And if there is anything that is quantitative, make a daily and weekly total. Use this time that you are telecommuting during the quarantine to your advantage and do what you can to make it part of your daily life going forward.
1. How you are following your telework policy.
If your organization sent everyone home to work, they probably instituted a telework policy for everyone to follow. Make a list of these items and document how you are following proper protocol each and every day.
2. Check-in daily via phone, email, teleconference, etc.
Back to #1 above, there is probably a policy on when and how often you should check-in. Be sure to document when you checked in with the boss or your co-workers, along with how often, what method, and what was discussed.
3. Your daily tasks, activities, outputs, and deliverables.
You want to make this list both quantitative and qualitative. How many emails did you send? How many phone calls did you make? How many documents did you create? Managers are very numbers-driven, so the more you can quantify this, the better. And then break this down into a summary of what you accomplished each and every day. Be as thorough as you can. Your goal here is to showcase your productivity while working from home.
4. The hours/schedule that works best for you.
For those of us with Autoimmune Disease, flare-ups are a part of daily life. So is pain and fatigue. Sometimes it’s unpredictable, but many of you know your bodies and there are always certain times of day that are more productive than others. Document the hours that are the most productive for you, and what you accomplished during that time.
5. Your workspace.
This one may sound a bit odd. But it’s a good one to have in your back pocket if needed. Describe in detail your home office set up and how you can work from home free from distraction. It’s not necessary to have a dedicated home office with a closed door. It is necessary to have a dedicated workspace that you can be productive and free from distractions. Again, this is about showcasing your superstar productivity while you are working from home!
The end-goal is to showcase that you are just as productive, if not even more by working from home. You’ve got this!
Are you Inspired?
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