Have a routine. Get up and get going. Take that shower, do your workout, and get dressed for work! It’s so tempting to stay in your sweat pants and just roll out of bed to your laptop. Trust me when I say you’ll feel better, be more productive, and have more energy if you stick with a routine. It helps to get into a groove and be in “work mode” at the same time, every day.
Designate your own workspace. It’s hard, I know! But do try to find a small corner of your home to designate as your own, for your work only. I have a friend that uses her closet! She claims it helps with acoustics and noise while on calls, and her family will leave her alone. Everyone needs to be able to walk away from their work as it’s easy to start the bad habit of work and home blending into one. Designate your space and keep to that space for work only.
Have the right tools in place. Depending on your type of business, different software and tools can help you to stay organized and efficient. Zoom is a hit for connecting with co-workers; if you’re not Zooming, you aren’t connecting! CRM systems and ERP software are essential in keeping organized with sales and prospects, especially while working remotely. If your business is manufacturing, Caddis offers the best system for remote machine monitoring with real-time alerts.
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Establish a start and stop times. Some of us have this automatically built into our day. For example, if you are in support services you will log in to your phones and system at 8:00 AM and log off at 5:00 PM. Done. But for others, like my friend who is a college recruiter, start and stop times are not always set in stone. It’s crucial you define your working hours, especially if you have a family in quarantine with you. Establishing your designated work hours will help you from working more than you should, and help you set good, healthy boundaries.
Handle interruptions before they start. Working from home you would think your interruptions would be less. Not true during quarantine! Especially if your spouse and kids are in lockdown with you. The kids are hungry, the dogs need to go outside, and your spouse wants your attention to watch another YouTube clip, all before 8:45 AM. You need a plan in place for handling interruptions, otherwise, you won’t get your work done! Set clear expectations for who and when your family can interrupt your work. It will help you all manage the day so much better.
Everyone has the same struggles when it comes to working at home during quarantine and “shelter in place” orders. We are all trying to find ways to manage our work-life balance in this unprecedented time. The tips above revolve around routine, productivity, and communication. Do your best each day to manage expectations, and don’t be afraid to invest in tools that will help you be successful while working remotely.