As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, CIAP wants to be there to support our community and take extra steps to ensure our clients and employees are safe. With a global pandemic (COVID-19), many lucky individuals are working from home — stuck with several questions about the virus (COVID-19), how to move forward, what's going to happen — and that's normal. In times of hardship and uncertainty, it is a testament to our nation on how we can come together and support one another in times of need.
We want to help our community how we can, and we wanted to start by giving you tips on how to work from home, provide you links to reputable health-related information sources, and critical precautions to take daily. *We will frequently update this blog. When we do, we will re-share our blog on our social channels, with an updated time and date.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a novel virus that has never been previously identified by humans, and it is not the same as other coronaviruses that are commonly spread among humans – like the common cold. Symptoms can be mild, but some mimic flu and other respiratory infection symptoms. The virus spreads from person-to-person, through close contact and respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
Take the time to educate yourself on the virus to ensure you don't consume any misinformation. These websites provide daily updates, symptoms and treatment, and how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
For local information:
Learn more details at the Ontario Ministry of Health website:
Public Health Ontario
For Canada-wide information:
For Global information:
Helpful Tips for Working from Home
Working from home can have its pros and cons. Technology has opened up a workspace that enables individuals to complete tasks and meetings remotely — from the comfort of their own home. Depending on your specific work style, this may be challenging or rewarding for you.
Let's dive into some tips to help you properly transition to remote working:
An early start is a better start: Wake up with a project or task on your mind that you can focus on as soon as you get out of bed. Getting an early start can help curb the temptation of staying in bed and can make you more productive. Treat each day like you're going into the office. Another option is to have an early, hearty breakfast and coffee to increase focus and wear away the morning sluggishness.
Schedule your day the night before: Use online calendars or to-do lists to properly organize what each day will entail and set a goal for what you would like to complete. Set reminders to let yourself know when it is time to move onto a different task throughout the day.
Work in an area away from distractions: Set up your office space in a room or a dedicated work area that is comfortable and tidy. This helps you get into a productive frame of mind. Stay away from busy areas in your house to minimize distractions and try to find a place with natural light to help prevent you from getting drowsy.
Maintain strong communication with your team: Focus on communication efforts with your team, stakeholders, and your clients/customers as this will help everyone stay on the same page. Utilize collaboration hubs like Slack, Flowdock or Trello to share information and files, and chat all in one place with different departments and individuals.
Give yourself a break: Don't assume because you are at home means you have to work 24 hours. Take time away from your computer and go for a walk, call your friend or make some food. Come back to your desk, feeling recharged.
Get your sleep cycle right: It's easy to fall into habits of staying up late, binge-watching Netflix (or choose the platform — the options are vast), and waking up tired the next day. Get your 8 hours every night!
Choose a definitive start and end to your day: How you start your day is as important as how you end it. Working from home can have you lose track of time and leave you working well-past the time you intended. Set an alarm to signify the end of the workday and ensure you take time for yourself in the evening. It's essential to have a distinction between your workday and home life, especially when it's in the same place. And, if you’re like us, workaholics.
During self-isolation, keep your mind healthy too: Mental health can be negatively affected by a lack of social contact, as our relationships and networks are a vital aspect of being human.
Tips during self-isolation:
Check-in with yourself: How are you feeling? How are you handling isolation? It's important to be aware of how you are feeling mentally and emotionally during times like this. Call a loved one or someone in your support system to help alleviate feelings of isolation.
Virtual check-ins: There are members in our community with limited support networks, family and/or friends. Try to help out people in our community by scheduling virtual check-ins (i.e. phone, skype, text); this way, the more vulnerable members of society can maintain regular socializing.
Take breaks: Staying indoors for an extended period of time, can make you go a bit stir crazy. It's vital to take breaks from work, even when working from home. Challenge yourself to at-home workouts, yoga on the balcony, or an obstacle course in the back yard.
Hangout with your friends [VIRTUALLY]: Instead of heading to someone's house, or a public space, try hosting regular virtual hangouts for your friends to combat negative feelings from isolation.
COVID-19 Prevention Methods:
Wash your hands.
Practice social distancing.
If you're sick, stay home.
Clean and disinfect your home and office regularly.
Stay home except for non-essential trips out.
For more protective measures visit the World Health Organization's advice for the public: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
From CIAP to our Community
With the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, CIAP would like to share our continued support to our community, women leaders, and small-medium businesses through these troubling and uncertain times. We understand that with the rise of COVID-19 cases, travel bans on non-essential travel, and our country's precautions, that companies are navigating in uncharted waters.
We would like you to rest assured that we will be continuing our operations virtually and will continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem — and the community at large. As we are all learning together how to navigate these new challenges best, CIAP urges you to reach out to us with other and new areas you may require support in as many businesses are focused on their continued operations.