The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyone’s routine. With lockdowns in place and social distancing an important precaution, you may have to work from home. Whether you manage your own business or work for a company, working from home can pose a huge challenge.
Here at Accentuate Web Design & Marketing, our entire business has been in the cloud even before the word was coined. As a remote team working from our homes, we have some proven tips that could make working from home a breeze.
Create the Right Environment
Start by defining your workspace. Your private and work life must be clearly defined when you’re working from home – spatially and mentally.
A closed door can help block out noise from other members of the house. If you’re living in a smaller home or a studio apartment, designate an area as your office space.
When you are working from home, it’s extremely important to work with clear deadlines and to-do lists. Each morning, create a to-do list of all the things you want to get done that day.
At the same time, it’s important to realise that on some days, you might not be able to finish everything you want to accomplish. It is important to not be too hard on yourself, especially when you are working remotely for the first time.
Wear whatever you are comfortable in – even if it is a T-shirt and shorts. Unless, of course, you are video conferencing and need to dress in business casual.
And if you find yourself spending a lot of time talking on the phone for work, get a hands-free headset. This will not only be more comfortable compared to holding a handset to your ear all day, but it will also come in handy if you like multitasking, like typing on your computer while talking over the phone.
Manage Your Team
As a leader, remotely managing a team could be a completely new experience. However, it does not have to be a problematic one.
Track your staff and check to ensure they have all the necessary tools and infrastructure to carry out their tasks.
Schedule virtual meetings with your employees to make sure they don’t feel disconnected. Be sure to encourage collaborations to drive the team’s performance.
Work in Short Bursts
At the workplace, your day is usually broken up by things like meetings, lunch breaks, toilet breaks and water-cooler chats. However, when you’re working from home all on your own with no interaction planned for the day, you may end up working long hours without any breaks.
This unstructured format can affect productivity.
You can boost productivity by bringing in a structure. Say, for instance, working in 40- to 60-minute blocks of uninterrupted work followed by a 10-minute break.
This can break up your day and help maintain your concentration levels.
Maintain a Work Connection
Distance from the office could translate into distance from the company culture and a sense of community. When you are not in an office environment, it’s very easy to become isolated and feel like you are alone in your work.
Stay tuned with the work community by making calls instead of sending emails, and keep in touch with the members of your team/department via videoconferencing.
If you are employed by an organisation that lets you work from home, request all the equipment you will need as soon as you begin working from home.
You must set the precedent early on that you will request everything you will need to get your work done comfortably, including the right software, network connection, printer and so on.
Use a Separate Work Phone
Set up an exclusive phone number that you can use only for your business. It could be a landline number, a second mobile or even an additional SIM card.
Whether you are an employee or a business owner, having a separate work phone number will allow you to maintain the right work-life balance.
Working from home could be a challenge initially. However, these tips can help make the transition quick and effortless. Here at Accentuate Web Design & Marketing, we have been doing this successfully since our inception and going strong. If we can do it, you can do it too!