5 tips to make work from home work for you
Working from home has suddenly become a reality for thousands of people around the world, as more and more companies are rolling out mandatory remote work. Actonic is no exception and we have been working from our home offices for a week now. While we have team members who telework on a permanent basis, many of us are still WFH newbies and have yet to adapt to the new circumstances. This is what we have learnt so far:
1. Organise your workspace
Have a designated spot for work. Whether it’s a spare room or just a desk and a chair – use it only when you’re working and avoid the spot outside your working hours. It will help you get into the right mood and stay focused throughout the day. Set some boundaries with your family or flatmates and make sure you respect each other’s space.
Now, it may be challenging when you have kids around, but with proper preparation nothing is impossible. Colouring books, a new lego set, a couple of board games and even quality screen time – all these may keep your kids busy while you are in your important meeting or working on an urgent task. And even if they do interrupt sometimes, embrace these interruptions as you would embrace water cooler chats with your office colleagues.
2. Schedule your working hours and breaks
What is the first thing that enters your head when you hear about remote work? If, like most people, you imagine someone in their pyjamas working in bed with their feet up, think again. Despite this common misconception, remote employees can actually find work spilling over into what would normally have been time for their family, hobbies, etc. So take our advice – work out a schedule and stick to it.
Decide on a time when your workday will start and end and when you’ll have breaks for lunch and coffee. And make it a point to devote some time to yourself, your family or your hobbies – maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital now.
3. Get your technology ready
It is technology that has enabled us to work remotely, so make it your friend and not a source of frustration. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and check that your Internet connection is robust enough. You might also want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I installed all the necessary software and apps?
- Can I access these apps from my wifi or do I need a secure line?
- Should I invest in a noise-cancelling headset?
These and many other questions should be discussed with your IT specialists before you start working from home.
No, overcommunicate! Working from home can feel lonely and isolating. If you are used to working in close proximity with your teammates, you may find yourself struggling to get accustomed to the new home office environment. Regular check-ins with your boss and colleagues are crucial and will help you stay in the loop. The key to effective communication is using the right tools, and here are our top 5:
- Jira is the perfect tool to keep track of the project and tasks and provides visibility and flexibility, which is extremely important for remote teams.
- Confluence enhances teamwork and allows you to collaborate on documents or reports and store or share knowledge.
- Slack or Microsoft Teams are great for messaging and discussing everyday activities.
- Zoom is indispensable for video conferencing.
- Click & Run is a unique and powerful tool when you have to provide a remote demo.
5. Maintain a positive attitude
Make no mistake, we are all feeling stressed right now, but let’s try to keep the spirits up. Face-to-face interaction online via video calls will help beat the loneliness and isolation you might be experiencing. Try translating your regular office activities online – celebrate each other’s birthdays, play board games or schedule a meeting with no agenda – just for coffee and cookies. Remember, the crisis is bound to end, so let’s use this time to take collaboration and team spirit to the next level.
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