IBM’s “Work From Home COVID Pledge”

Apr 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: Archery Wire editor Michelle Scheuermann keeps coming up with interesting insights into this crazy time and how we can help each other get through it. Today, we’re sharing the insight she had in this week’s Archery Wire for her readers. If you’re not getting The Archery Wire, you should click the subscribe button on today’s edition and check out the Archery Wire -and our other services. Enrollment’s as simple as checking the wires you want to receive and filling in your information. 

This week’s editorial was passed along to me by a good friend who has connections to IBM. It seems IBM developed a “Work From Home Pledge” and received such good feedback on it, they decided to open it to the public for anyone to adopt and use. After reading, I had to share this. How many of us are feeling the “prevent video fatigue” pledge? #TheStruggleisReal

Perhaps your business could use this as grounds to create your own pledge? And if you are seeing positive practices employed at a business you know (maybe yours?!), feel free to share with me and let’s learn best practices together. Email me michelle (at) bulletproofcomm (dot) comm. – Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire

IBM’s Work from Home COVID Pledge:

I Pledge to be Family Sensitive

I Pledge to Support Flexibility for Personal Needs

I Pledge to Support “Not Camera Ready” Times

I Pledge to Be Kind

I Pledge to Set Boundaries and Prevent Video Fatigue

I Pledge to Take Care of Myself

I Pledge to Frequently Check-in on People

I Pledge to Be Connected

I Pledge to be Family Sensitive
 - I want everyone on a video call with me to know that if they have to put a call on hold to handle a household issue, it is 100 percent okay. No one wants a loved one getting hurt, falling, or breaking something because you were on video. 
 I Pledge to Support Flexibility for Personal Needs
 - I acknowledge we are all balancing our work and personal lives in new circumstances. 
 I encourage those homeschooling, providing care to others, or addressing other personal needs to block time on their calendar during the day to be able to focus on those activities, as needed. And, I pledge to respect those boundaries when scheduling meetings.
 I Pledge to Support “Not Camera Ready” Times
 - I will not ask people to turn their cameras on while on video calls. While I encourage the use of video during meetings so we can feel more connected, there will naturally be times when it’s just not feasible given home circumstances. During these times, I want everyone to feel comfortable that they can simply turn the video off as needed. Again, it’s 100 percent okay.

 I pledge to Be Kind
 - I will keep in mind that I am “showing up” in others’ homes for the first time and want to be a good guest.  

-  I will not make people feel bad about interruptions or make someone feel self-conscious about their surroundings.  

-  As I meet members of my extended work family, I’ll roll with it with empathy.  It is totally fine if children make noise or jump on camera, or pets make an appearance or say hello – they’re family too!

- I will show personal interest in a positive way, i.e. if I notice something interesting, I’ll ask about its personal significance.

- I will not comment on someone’s video quality, lighting, background, wall décor (or lack thereof), workspace size, etc. 
 I pledge to Set Boundaries and Prevent Video Fatigue 
- I will use new time limit boundaries for meetings, recognizing video fatigue is real and a new phenomenon for all of us.

- I will shift to 20 and 45-minute meetings to replace our normal 30 minute and 1-hour calls as much as possible.

- I will avoid setting up any full day or half day meetings.

I Pledge to Take Care of Myself
- I will make it a priority to take care of my physical and mental health.  

- I will stand up frequently, stay hydrated and try to get the sleep I need.

- I will block out time on my calendar to have lunch and dinner AWAY from my workspace.

- Where possible I will get outside each day. I’ll look for opportunities to change my routine while ensuring social distancing.

I Pledge to Frequently Check-in on People
- I will frequently check in on the physical and mental health of my co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors, while respecting people's privacy.

- I will create space for connection by asking people about their and their loved ones’ health & safety in 1:1 settings.

- I will send simple text/slack message to just say, “Hi, just checking in to see if you and your family are ok,” and I’ll offer to help if needed (in a genuine way).

I Pledge to Be Connected 
- I pledge to create social interactions virtually, with my co-workers.  Whether it is a coffee break, happy hour, game night or karaoke party, or something else, I will find ways to stay connected.