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Keeping well in a remote environment

As we are committed to supporting the well-being of our colleagues as we work from home (WFH), the finance leadership team listened to two dozen colleagues globally, who generously shared candid feedback!

Here are the key insights and practical suggestions from our finance team that you too can use to continue keeping well as you work from home:

  • Having a supportive manager means everything. Do not underestimate the positive impact of showing empathy to your team and your colleagues by really listening, allowing flexibility in work schedules, and sometimes just letting stuff go. Managers can’t solve all the problems of the world – but being human matters now more than ever.
  • Everyone is finding it hard to truly disconnect. We need to get better at respecting boundaries and prioritizing.  We are a bunch of type A personalities that default to treating everything as urgent. We feel guilty taking time for ourselves because our professional and caretaker responsibilities never end.

During the listening sessions, our colleagues offered practical suggestions to ease some of our day-to-day stresses, which we’ve summarized below. If we all try to make just a few small changes, we can make a difference. Try implementing these tips in your WFH routine:

Recognize that everyone’s boundaries are different.  We need to respect that.

  • Don’t expect someone to answer your emails at 8 pm, just because you need to work at that hour.  Equally, don’t feel that you need to respond just because you receive an email at that hour.
  • Use chat to ask if it’s ok to call before you call.  Don’t call spontaneously.  Our colleagues may need quiet time to help a child with a virtual lesson, get some work done, assist an elderly parent, or put a little one down for a nap.
  • Communicate your boundaries. Let your team know if you have “blackout times.”  Use the Teams custom feature to let people know your status.
  • Reduce the stress of back-to-back calls.  If you lead a call, intentionally end it 5 or 10 minutes early. You can even try scheduling it for less than the standard 30 or 60 minutes, as long as the empty space doesn’t get filled too!

Actively prioritize

  • Provide the context for the request.  Maybe we can come up with a simpler way of getting the answer.
  • Test the value of effort vs. payoff. If you knew it would take me two days, rather than 15 minutes, would you still really want that analysis?
  • Negotiate your deliverables.  If too many new things arrive – we may have to defer something else.
  • Feel empowered to say no to the “nice to have” invitations (engagement/development/etc). No one will think less of you.  These are not normal circumstances.
  • If the request is urgent, say so. If the request is not urgent, provide a timetable for when it’s needed, so we don’t have to guess.

Stay connected

  • All kinds of things work! Schedule individual and team calls similar to social interactions you have at the office where no one talks about work.
  • Ask colleagues how their day is going.  This is no longer a cliché question! 
  • Many of the same activities you enjoyed as a team have pivoted to be offered virtually! You can play virtual games, volunteer, and have social hours as a team to keep connected.

Make yourself a priority

  • We have both permission and a mandate to take care of ourselves.
  • Fact: Work and caretaking responsibilities will never end.  Consequence:  If you leave yourself to the bottom of the list, you will never take care of yourself.
  • We are no good to anyone if we aren’t good to ourselves.
  • Put your phone and computer in another room.  Shut the door and do something that feeds your spirit.  Leave any guilt you have about this activity in the room with your phone and computer. 
  • If you’ve never done it, start small and increase your efforts daily.  Think of it like lifting weights.

The finance leadership team is committed to practicing these behaviors. We encourage our employees within (and outside!) of Thomson Reuters to make these changes to maintain good health and well-being!

How do you and your teams practice healthy WFH habits? Let us know on social using #WorkingAtTR! Interested in a new career opportunity with our finance team? Explore open roles on our career website.  

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