Many of us are adjusting to a new work environment, while COVID-19 makes its way in and out of our lives. Working from home can be freeing and challenging, all at the same time.
The freedom to stay in your pajamas all day is not only comfortable but also convenient. However, the constant distractions are difficult to endure. From cats climbing up and down the wall to dogs barking and kids screaming, there is always something going on around you.
Our Eternity crew is remote until further notice, and we are quickly learning how to stay connected with both our team members and our clients. It has been a lesson in and of itself.
For those of you who are also adjusting to your new work from home lifestyle, here are 20 tips and tricks that are worth considering.
1. Set Up a Workspace that Works for you
Whether it is in your bed or at a desk, find a workspace at home that is productive for you. Ensure that there will be limited distractions wherever you choose to work.
2. Communicate Effectively
Utilize tools such as Slack in order to stay in touch with both your team and your clients. Slack allows you to instant message, video call, and share your screen when necessary.
3. Establish Healthy Boundaries
Maintaining a routine and a boundary during this time is essential. Without the normal workday signals, it will be hard to “clock out” or take a break. In addition, staying hydrating and continuing to do things for yourself, such as working out, will be difficult to maintain. Establish a routine and a boundary that works for you and your desired schedule.
4. Embrace Online Meetings
We know it is different and a little bit uncomfortable, but you must fully embrace online meetings and be fully engaged in order to get the most out of them. This involves meetings with your team and meetings with your clients. Come prepared, and be ready to tackle everything on your to-do list.
5. Record your Meetings
Certain programs such as Zoom will allow you to record your meetings and look back on them in case of an emergency. Protect yourself and your business by recording your meetings, specifically your meetings with clients.
6. Clarify Expectations for the Team
Before you and your team go fully remote, clarify expectations and ensure that your team knows how to behave while working remotely. For example, let them know what their hours should be, how they should be communicating with one another, how they should be communicating with clients, and when they are allowed to take breaks for lunch, etc.
7. Take Scheduled Breaks
Establishing scheduled breaks throughout the day is critical for mental health. Throughout your work day, perhaps you take an hour for lunch or get up to walk around every hour. Continue this same routine while at home, even if it is a simple walk around the yard with your dog.
8. Pay Attention to Ergonomics
While you are working from home, you must continue to consider ergonomics. Is your chair the right height? Are you slouching too much? All of these things will affect your posture, whether working from home or in the office.
9. Bring the Team Together
Play a game, discuss the peak and pit of your week, and continue to develop positive relationships with your team members during your time away from each other.
10. Utilize a White Noise Machine for Distractions
Distractions are bound to happen, even with a locked door. The kids yelling, the dog barking, whatever it may be, will distract you from the work at hand. Take advantage of a white noise machine, podcast or music in order to keep you on track throughout the day.
11. Stay On Track of Project Progress
Using tools such as Trello will allow you and your team to stay on track, and meet project deadlines. Although you are remote at this point in time, there is still work that needs to be done.
12. Create a System for Sharing Documents
Whether your team prefers Google or Dropbox, it is critical that you and your team have a system in place for sharing documents between each other and with clients.
13. Stay Aligned with Company Culture
Whether you continue to have your weekly meetings via video conferencing or phone calls, it is important to maintain a healthy and happy company culture. During your meeting, continue to discuss your weekly schedules but also add in a game or two to keep things lighthearted and fun.
14. Continue to Dress and Groom Professionally
Although it is not necessary to wear a suit and tie, we highly recommend getting up in the morning and continuing to shower, get dressed and prepare for the day. This will motivate you to perform well and have a productive day.
15. Use Video, Even if it’s Uncomfortable
We all know that video chat is awkward and uncomfortable. However, we do not know how long we will be forced to work remotely, and it is important to have face-to-face interaction with your co-workers and clients.
16. Keep Up with Casual Communication Habits
While you are at work, casual conversation is constant. Continue this communication while working from home by utilizing tools such as Slack, and reaching out to your work friend to check in and see how they are doing.
17. Respond Promptly to Clients and Employees
We know that with the immense amount of distractions, it will be difficult to stay on task. However, it is extremely important to respond on time to both your clients and your employees. Show that you are still engaged, whether remote or in the office.
18. Resolve Issues with a Phone Call or Video Chat
Issues will arrive, no matter what. Working from home may even create more problems, which is why it is critical to utilize phone calls and video conferencing to resolve any issues that arise.
19. Cut Yourself Some Slack
This is a big transition for many of us, and you might feel a combination of emotions, including lonely, stressed, frustrated, anxious and unmotivated. On the other hand, there might be some days where you feel relaxed, energized and productive. It is what it is. Play it by ear and take the time you need to adjust to your new work from home lifestyle.
20. Ask for Feedback on your Remote Work
Last but not least, if you are new to working remote and looking for feedback, simply ask for it. Ask your boss or your colleagues, and determine what is easier and what is more difficult when working remotely. Make improvements where you can, and continue to communicate as much as possible as you move forward.