Some Tips for Procurement Professionals on Working Remotely During the Coronavirus Crisis

As a procurement professional who has worked remotely for years, I will share some tips on how to stay engaged and productive during the Coronavirus crisis.

About half of our team works from home at least one day a week and we often chat about the challenges that this type of freedom brings.

The current crisis is unprecedented on a global scale outside of war.

On a personal level most of us have had to weather significant challenges and I will start by asking you to think how you handled them. 

Write down how you coped. Not only will it be a good place to start but it will be mentally cleansing.

Staying positive will be difficult, but it is vital.

Now I will share my experience on the day-to-day challenges and benefits of working from home.

A disciplined approach is best.

What You Can Do:

  • Get up at the same time you normally do.
  • Take a shower and get dressed.
  • Fix your kid’s breakfast or do whatever else is part of your morning routine. 
  • If you like to go to the gym and it is closed, work out at home. Consider using the time you normally spend on commuting to start a new routine – exercise, meditation, planning a new recipe for dinner, walk the dog etc.
  • Start each day with your plan, just like you always do.
  • If possible, work in a home office or room that is separate from the rest of the family or other things that might become a distraction – if you live in a temperate climate, work part of the day outside.
  • Take your normal coffee, tea and lunch breaks.
  • If you chat with someone in person at 10 AM every day, call them or set up a Zoom or GoTo meeting instead at the same time.
  • If you walk around your office campus during breaks, walk around your neighborhood a couple of times a day.
  • If you have fixed activities built into your weekly schedule, do them at the same time.
  • Work your regular schedule. Start at the same time and end at the same time. This was the toughest lesson for me to learn. It can be easy to keep rolling on a project. Instead, set an alarm for say 60 or 90 minutes as your revised quitting time that day.
  • Consider using a part of the time it takes to commute home to do those things on your list that you don’t like doing. Accomplishing some of those will feel great.
  • Expect to feel blue. When you do, reach out and talk to someone.
  • If your spouse and/or kids are home during the crisis, allocate a part of the day to hang out with them – lunch is a great time or perhaps they can join you on your walks.

I love the freedom of working remotely.

I also recognize the risks. I can assure you that I have worked harder on the days that the NCAA basketball tournament was on so I could quit early and enjoy it. I didn’t just take the time off, I planned better and worked more efficiently.

It is easy to get distracted especially because of the constant updates. I set time aside to catch up, this is the same way I treat email. I don’t look at it constantly.

I will end with a quick story about a good friend who routinely traveled 3 weeks straight each month, including weekends. He told me that he keeps to a routine on the road like what I have shared. At nights and on the weekends, he had a similar routine. Movies, reading, exercise and he stayed out of bars or clubs. He would call home every night and speak to his wife and girls.

His marriage and relationship with his girls stayed strong. When he retired, he prepared a list of all the things he had always wanted to do but had put off because of this travel. He hasn’t missed a beat.

I hope this helps.

If you have extra time, because you aren’t travelling or meetings have been cancelled and you want to review outstanding procurement challenges, I can always make time.

Action Step: Finding the right tools for your needs can be a challenging process but it doesn’t have to be. If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want. If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672. 

If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©

Commit to taking the next step.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries