Whether it is nature or business that forces you to organize your work at home, working remote can be challenging. Kids running around your kitchen table, the cat on your lap or the laundry that’s calling you. If you’re new to this work-from-home lifestyle, we have some top tricks & tips. Home offices newbies, it’s time to change your habits and set routines.
1. Keep work and private life separated
Good agreements make good friends. Make sure you set clear rules for both yourself and your family. Home office does not equal having extra time for the dishes, baking bread or crafting with the kids. It’s also not very efficient when you are asked questions every 5 minutes. Let family members know when you can not be disturbed and when you have remote meetings (and when kids have time to play on their own or finish their homework😉). Stick to the rules you have set yourself, just like in your actual office. Make sure you get the most out of the hours that you are most productive. And keep those chores for later...
2. Plan, structure and decide on routines
Make a strict but realistic planning, so you’re not tempted to do other things during your working hours. One of the main advantages of home officing is exactly that flexibility you have to organize the work and day as it suits you best. Start early or finish late with a meeting in another colleague’s time zone, you decide... Don’t forget to take breaks. Do chores together with the kids and maximize those moments (an extra cuddle will boost your productivity too!). Go outside, take a walk with the dog, make yourself a decent cup of coffee. Active breaks and fresh air only increase your own efficiency afterwards.
Having routines is a good way to tackle this. Start every day with a yoga session to clear your head or get dressed properly. And simply close the workday when you sign off your business messaging app and shut down your laptop. Having consistent routines to mark the beginning and end of your working day really helps.
3. Create a nice and inspiring workplace
Work in a clean, relaxing space that’s actually intended only for working. No distractions, no clutter or toys lying around. Just a desk, a comfortable chair, good lighting and storage space that help you focus on the job. Avoid crowded kitchen tables or loud living rooms. And when you’ve finished working, you can actually shut the door of your office!
Do you have all the necessary tech at home? A laptop (that extra monitor and keyboard are very practical!), decent wifi, the software you need to connect to your work environment, apps and platforms, the UC&C tool that helps you stay connected with colleagues? Your IT department will guide you in your search for secure and efficient tools.
And what about ergonomics?
Sitting at your desk in the same posture all day, that’s no good! Stay active, move, eat healthy snacks. Get up every once and a while, have your phone calls while walking around, work standing at a higher desk if possible and if you’re really in the mood: do some desk stretch exercises. Move those muscles!
4. Reach out to colleagues, communicate, meet!
With the current technology available, there’s no need for isolation or loneliness behind your home office desk. Chat, messaging apps, remote and interactive videocalls, you name it. Socialize on a virtual coffee breaks, have your board meetings remote with ClickShare Conference or organize a daily stand-up via Teams or Zoom. Stay connected, time to change that company culture and make it global, remote and futureproof.
Show up at your virtual meetings and actively take part in (video) conferencing discussions. Brainstorm, take online trainings, have face-to-face catch ups, the possibilities are endless nowadays.
Test the features and capabilities of your tech solutions. Do you know screen sharing, recording options, chat, whiteboarding, raising your hand... Use them well and improve the flow of your meeting. Even remote participants are active participants! And do switch on that video, talking is so much more natural when you have eye contact and can interpret the body language of your co-workers.
5. Don’t forget. Be positive!
Always look on the bright side of life. You’re no longer stuck in traffic. You can focus better, have the flexibility to do the job when you’re at your best. You recharge your batteries and have renewed energy thanks to efficient breaks. Stay productive and connected to your colleagues!