Several months after the COVID-19 crisis required many professionals to work from home, many workers are still seeking advice on how to adjust their lifestyles to be more productive and achieve success while feeling comfortable and mentally well.
Wendy Mayer, Vice President of the Colleague Experience team at Pfizer, is tasked with making sure everyone at the company is provided with the tools and resources they need to make their career at Pfizer one that is full of opportunity and enables them to do their best work.
Mayer has been at the company for 23 years and has focused on ways to develop and drive standards for consistent colleague experiences across their career journey. As a part of this experience, she’s learned a thing or two about both leading teams while remote and achieving your best personal work product. Keep reading for her best advice on both fronts, from as told by Pfizer employee, Paige Danehy.
Wendy’s top three priorities for creating a positive, productive remote experience for your colleagues and direct reports:
1. Make sure colleagues still feel connected to the organization.
As a current intern for Wendy and the Colleague Experience team this summer, Wendy used our relationship as an example of how she has been working to create a positive colleague experience. Wendy and I have not had a chance to meet in person yet; however, she has made it a priority to meet with me once a day and check in on how I am doing. Personally, having this point of check in has helped me feel connected to Wendy, the team and the Pfizer community.
2. Provide mental health and support to her team.
This whole situation has been very difficult for everyone in different ways. Some people are struggling to properly care for their kids while working from home, other people have had family members directly impacted by COVID-19, and some people have been struggling with learning how to adapt to working remotely. The support needed is varied; thus, for Wendy a priority for her has been to constantly check in with members of her team to see how they are doing. Wendy does this so her team knows that she and Pfizer are there to support them. We are all going through this together; therefore, Wendy’s weekly and daily check-ins with her team members are set to remind them that they are not alone.
3. Maintain focus on the work we are doing.
With so many unprecedented and unpredictable things going on in the world right now, sometimes it may feel that some of the projects we are working on may not be as valued as they had been before the COVID pandemic. However, Wendy wants everyone at Pfizer to remember that the work we are doing is indeed valuable and important. Wendy says to always put things into perspective and prioritize the things that are important for the organization and ourselves as colleagues. Doing this will help focus and organize the work we do.
Wendy’s top six tips for staying productive at home:
1. Stay to a schedule.
2. Make a to-do list. Identify some objectives at the beginning of the week, then keep track and focus on the things you want to accomplish that week.
3. Look at objectives and tasks in small increments. This helps one avoid getting overwhelmed by the broader challenge of remote working.
4. Embrace technology. Improve digital savviness and embrace new tools and technologies such as Microsoft Teams.
5. Stay balanced. Try to make sure you maintain a healthy balance, take vacation and make sure you are able to support your family in the way they need you. Setting these boundaries will help you get less overwhelmed and will help you schedule your time.
6. Stay positive! No one knows when this is all going to end, how it is going to end, or how the future is going to look. This uncertainty may cause you to become stressed, but it’s important to stay positive and focus on the things you can control.
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