For many organizations and professionals, working from home was increasing because of the distributed nature of domestic or international teams, to attract a larger talent pool, servicing clients who work across time zones, and now a necessity due to an emergency, like a global pandemic. The reasons are many, but they are driving us to develop and succeed in a new work environment across the globe. Here are some tips that we have compiled to help you stay productive while you work from home.
Begin by setting up your workspace:
- Create a dedicated workspace with a desk or worktable and a supportive chair.
- The space should allow you to control noise and distraction—a room with a door is highly desirable.
- Declutter and clean the area to give you space, especially the area behind you that will be in the camera field of view.
- You may need to increase the light brightness in the room to improve the visibility of your image on camera.
- Install necessary work from home apps; calling, conference chat, email and forward your work phone to your remote virtual phone or mobile phone.
- If printing or faxing is an important part of your job, discuss with your manager how to get around the limitation by proactively addressing your concerns and test it thoroughly when not on a deadline.
- If you are new to working from home, communicate expectations with your family members so they can support you while you take on your important work tasks.
Make sure your work-from-home technology works for you:
- Test your conference equipment thoroughly with internal colleagues before using with customers and prospects.
- Check your internet connection to make sure your virtual devices can work smoothly without a lag, if necessary, consider upgrading your internet speed.
- Add a still photo of your face to your profile on your teleconference system. This looks better if you need to turn off the video camera and step away for your computer.
- If you have a blank wall behind your desk, you can try using a computer virtual background, which will look more professional and help maintain your privacy.
- Most video applications, such as Zoom, provide free virtual backgrounds; look into the help section of your preferred video communication tool to get instructions on how to utilize.
Etiquette and making the most of your time and productivity:
- To stay on track, commit to getting things done, use checklists and organizers to make the most of your productivity.
- Organize yourself by using your calendar and add all your internal team meetings, client meetings and 1-1 catchups so that you don’t miss anything important.
- Be ready 2-5 mins before a scheduled call to dial-up and test equipment
- Minimize distractions and do your best to not be distracted by pets or children during calls, however if you need to attend to kids and pets in the middle of a discussion, turn off your camera, mute your audio, resolve it, and return.
- Take short breaks and stay hydrated and drink water as you work on computer screens.
- Stay alert of any incoming messages while you take breaks and keep an eye on your messages.
- Look the part: dress professionally while speaking to clients or doing video communication.
- Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can be distracting if it starts to hinder with your professional work, keep a check the amount of time you spend on social media channels.
- As a team, invest more time on discussing and aligning on objectives and strategy. Each day make a list of priority deliverables and produce them between meetings.
- Turn on your video for meetings. It improves your attention to the meeting and the communication with the other people.
Working from home can be a great opportunity to increase your output. If you have any additional ideas about staying productive while you work from home feel free to send us your stories at [email protected], we would be happy to hear from you.