April 21, 2020 / Gouhar Nayeem

Five Ways to Stay Productive During a Pandemic

Within the span of a few weeks, we have had to drastically adapt our lives and routines to the COVID-19 crisis. As IH/OEHS professionals, many of you are on the front lines, protecting the health and safety of workers on the job or at home, in addition to your own families. Now more than ever it’s crucial for you to be able to share information, discuss, question, debate, and pool resources with other industry experts and peers in efforts to protect people from the disease. As your daily life has been forced online, AIHA strives to provide you with as many resources and tools as you need to be able to do your job safely and effectively while still socially distancing yourself from others.

Here are five useful ways to be productive during a pandemic:

Combat Misinformation and Stay Current

    The more knowledge and information you have, the better equipped you are to combat misinformation regarding COVID-19 and other IH/OEHS-related topics. As an AIHA member, you have access to digital issues of JOEHS and The Synergist, including all archived issues, to read day or night, whenever you have time. With so much unknown, having up-to-date information and the latest research at your fingertips keeps you connected to what’s happening in the industry no matter what uncertainties you face. Also, IH/OEHS-focused research, articles, and blogs are useful to enhance professional development and subject matter knowledge. The current situation with COVID-19 has workplaces and homes relying, now more than ever, on the expertise of IH/OEHS professionals to provide accurate guidance on the safest means of protecting workers’ health and safety, so it’s important to stay current.

    Are you interested in contributing an article to The Synergist? Contact the editors for more information. For articles in The Synergist specifically related to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 News Center for ongoing coverage of the pandemic. You can also subscribe and contribute to the SynergistNOW blog, which is created and delivered by AIHA to offer ideas, insights, and perspectives on important topics affecting industrial and occupational hygiene professionals.

    Improve Your Professional Development

      With many of us at home, now is potentially an opportunity to focus on professional development. Why not use the extra time you may have now without a commute to earn CM credits, or learn something new from an online course or webinar at AIHA University? You can also access entire publications or full chapters via our responsive e-library subscription site, which includes online access to 50 of our top publications and newly released titles, on your desktop, tablet, or mobile device, to read at your convenience. These are difficult times, but you can still make the most of it by building new skills, developing professionally, earning CM credits, and increasing your knowledge.

      Network and Stay Connected

        Social distancing has reduced our ability to interact in person with family, friends, and colleagues. Collaborative apps and software have become vital to maintaining our connections with others. Catalyst is AIHA’s digital portal which provides members a forum to interact with other IH/OEHS peers and industry experts. Circulating knowledge is crucial in tackling any unknown; the more we know and share, the better we can overcome it. If you haven’t joined Catalyst yet, you are missing out on information exchange, announcements, discussions, questions and answers, and collaborative opportunities with your peers and colleagues. It has been an invaluable tool for our members to connect with one another and provide each other with resources in the fight against COVID-19.

        Research Job Opportunities

          If job security or opportunity is a concern, head to AIHA’s job board and conduct a search. Have your resume reviewed, learn interview techniques, or read about career advancement to better position yourself for when you’re ready to apply. Proactively utilizing all the resources at your disposal is the best way to position yourself for moving forward professionally. If you are an employer recruiting IH/OEHS professionals, you can post open positions and review applicants’ resumes in our database. Try to make the unknown a little more certain by focusing on job security and progress.

          Contribute to a Committee
          The contributions of our committee members are essential for communicating information to the public, so contact your committees to ask if they’re accepting contributions. AIHA’s IEQ Committee, for example, recently released new guidance, Recovering from COVID-19 Building Closures Guidance Document, which is available for free download on the COVID-19 Resource Center page. The ergonomics committee also released “An Ergonomics Guide to Computer Workstations,” a new infographic regarding the hazards of teleworking. Both documents are accessible to the public as resources to combat COVID-19.

            With so much uncertain at this time, AIHA wants our members to know that we are here for you. We are working tirelessly to provide you with all the resources you need to do your job, be productive, and disseminate and acquire information. Visit our COVID-19 resource page and the Catalyst open forum for all the up-to-date information on the situation.

            Gouhar Nayeem

            Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.


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