Working from home consistently is new to many of our employees, as it is for people across the globe this month. Lucky for us, some of our remote employees gave us a great rundown on what they feel allows them to be most productive and successful in a work from home environment.
Build in Your Own “Commute Time” to Prepare for the Day
It can be nice to hang out in pajamas when you’re working from home for a day or two, but if this is going to be your new normal, it can be a pattern you might not want to fall into. Wake up, make your bed, shower, and get dressed for the day. Make your breakfast and have a coffee. Read the newspaper or listen to a podcast. Do something to wake up your brain before hopping into your workday; it can make a huge difference.
Have a Functional and Dedicated Workspace
Just as you might in the office, try to have a dedicated space in your home for working. While this may be difficult currently, with many people working from home with others in the house, having a dedicated workspace will help keep you focused and draw a boundary for your work-life balance. Waking up and doing work in your bed or on the couch may seem appealing, but those spaces should be a work-free zone, reserved for down-time.
Use a Home “To Do” List to Help Break Up Your Schedule
Working from home with no distractions can be a wonderful thing for productivity, but you also may find yourself working straight through the day with minimal breaks taken. Build in time you would normally make a coffee and socialize in the office to be productive around your home. Have your work-related to do list and a home to do list. Do a couple hours of work then clean the kitchen. Another hour or so then exercise at lunch. Mid-afternoon, walk your dog. Taking these mental breaks will allow you to do better work while you are focused and allow you to relax after work since your home-related chores will be taken care of throughout the day.
Overcommunicate and Connect Often
Working remotely can feel isolating, especially when you’re used to working in an office and connecting with so many others on a daily basis. “Pick up the phone” was the number one response we received from our remote employees, which may seem obvious but can be difficult to do consistently. You may feel that the call is unnecessary, that it could be accomplished by email, that it will take time out of your day or someone else’s. While these may be true, the connection made through a quick phone or video call is crucial to help keep remote employees engaged and to building relationships between remote employees. Our employees utilize video to connect during their team and individual meetings, they call to talk through simple emails, and will even video conference afternoon coffee breaks, just to catch up.
While these tips may be straightforward and simple, we found them to be extremely helpful and we hope you do too. Do you have any others to share with us? We’d love to hear them!