With much of the world heeding advice from the World Health Organisation to begin working from home, many small business owners and employees are looking to learn more about how to work from home productively.
1. Create a dedicated workspace
Making a dedicated workspace in your home, be it a spot on your dining table or a home office, helps you get yourself into a zone where your entire focus is on work. Try not to let yourself bring other personal items or personal calls into this space, to help you mentally establish it as a workspace.
2. Check in with your team and coworkers
A daily WIP each morning, whether over Slack or your intranet, can help you prioritise your own day and keep on top of any gaps that may be happening in your team’s workload.
It also helps you check in more socially, keeping a finger on the pulse of morale and any issues that may be arising. Especially in high-stress times, having regular contact gives opportunities to discuss mental health, roadblocks, and easily seek clarification from your coworkers if you have questions.
Make sure you also pick up the phone to get the right answers/feedback quickly – sometimes miscommunications can occur with written text that are easily solved by a 2 minute phone call.
3. Use the right tools
In a world where there are millions of people thriving with remote work arrangements and flexible jobs, the best tools for your home office are no longer physical – although a standing desk can be a positive addition!
Trello is one of the best project management tools around – with the ability to collaborate on all the moving parts of projects with teammates and use labels, comments, and boards to communicate comprehensively.
There has never been a more connected time than we live in now – chat applications like Slack allow you to communicate quickly and easily with your team, and the numerous plugins and partnerships mean you can optimise your workflow by creating Trello cards directly from your Slack conversations.
Video chats are the best alternative to being in person – take the extra time to chat complex ideas or situations over a video channel like Zoom or Google Hangouts and benefit from complete attention, visible physical expressions and cues, and verbal tones.
This is the time to take a break from desktop programs – by working in Google Docs you can protect yourself from dreaded crashes and lost documents. It has the added bonus of easily distributing and collaborating on documents with your teammates and being able to access all your files from other devices.
4. Take regular breaks
Most people know the phenomenon of sitting down at your desk and not noticing the day has disappeared until the sun is gone. Whether you set a timer or have a calendar break set, make sure you get up and try to get active at least once an hour.
This is a great opportunity to stay active with some light stretches, cardio, or loungeroom yoga – or even just to make a cup of tea.
5. Stick to your regular schedule
Working from home can lead to a listless feeling if you don’t have structure. One of the top tips from experts is to continue your day as usual, just sans commute to your office. This includes getting dressed and continuing the small rituals that you’ve conditioned yourself to associate with a day at work over the years.
By continuing to block out your day as you would in an office, your mind will still push you to work efficiently, and you keep the same goals of timelines and completion dates.