Working from home is becoming the norm for many cancer registrars. Some work from home 100% of the time and in many cases work for facilities in another state. Other registrars find themselves working from home on certain days and on other days going in to the office for certain activities such as cancer conference, tumor boards or other meetings. But even with these activities, the world of virtual and on line meetings have made some of these tasks much easier.
Some people find they are more productive at home, while others long for the human interaction one finds in the office. When working from home a routine is the key for success! Depending on the job performed and company regulations, some remote workers find a morning routine works best. Others feel that they can get more done in the evening after children have homework completed, dinner completed and bed time is near. Others depend on the schedules of spouses or babysitting schedules. Whatever your situation, find your own niche.
As a remote worker for over 20 years, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that may help find that niche.
Set a schedule and regular working hours and stick to them as best you can. Work when you are most productive and when it suites your family life and responsibilities.
Choose a dedicated work space that is quiet and comfortable. Your desk space should be ergonomic.
Set boundaries with family and friends during working hours.
Take frequent breaks. Take a walk, do stretches, do some laundry. Anything to move a little. Set a timer to remind you to get up and move.
Remove distractions like personal social media, phone calls or having the TV on. However many people like to work with some kind of background noise such as music. If you are one of these people, by all means listen!
Make “to do” lists to keep you focused. However it is important to prioritize and be flexible.
Make time for human interaction. Schedule calls with coworkers or meet a friend for lunch.
Use technology to your advantage.
Consider using web conferencing tools such as Go to Meeting, WebEx, Zoom and other tools for virtual meetings with staff, cancer committee, and other departments within the cancer program. Audio and/or video components can be utilized.
Utilize a file sharing service such as Google Drive or Microsoft 365. These applications allow for team collaboration by sharing files such as spreadsheets, slides and documents.
Use email as a means to communicate with your registry team. When we are in an office setting it is easy to walk to a co-workers desk to ask a question or have a quick team conversation. When working remotely, email communication can be extremely effective and actually streamline conversations.
Stay in touch with colleagues using social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Working from home can feel isolated at times. Social media allows you to connect with other CTR’s to ask questions and get ideas and feedback on registry issues. NCRA’s Facebook page is very active and can be a great resource.
And finally, utilize your vendor resources. Use the ERS helpdesk to submit support tickets. Our extremely knowledge staff of CTR’s and technical support specialists are happy to help with all support needs. Take advantage of the Resource page on the helpdesk to access CRStar Insights, Newsletters, upgrade information, training videos and archived webinars.