As we shared last week, one of the important steps many business owners are taking to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is to move team members (and themselves) out of the office to work from home. In that post, we talked about the practical aspects of policy, hardware, software, and data speed. Today we take a look at some strategies to make working at home easier for everybody.
How can you stay focused and get the work done? How do you balance family time with work time when you are all under the same roof? A longtime friend of The Alexander Group, Amanda Aschinger of Solstice Productions, recently published a great video that provides some useful tips to make the experience as smooth and efficient as possible.
Some tips from Solstice Productions on how to effectively work from home during the COVID-19 crisis
If you are watching this from home and don’t want the sound on, you can read the transcript here:
So your company just told you you’re going to be working from home for the next couple of weeks. It could be longer. You’ve been dreaming about this day for years, minus the COVID-19, of course. You’re going to work in your pajamas. You’ll get some stuff done around the house. It’s going to be great. Wrong. The number one mistake that most remote employees make is thinking of working from home as having a home office as opposed to an office “office”.
At Solstice Productions, we’ve worked with remote talent for the last 20 years. We found out what works and definitely what doesn’t work. So what does work? Keep your normal routine. Wake up at the time you usually do and take a shower. Get dressed the way you would for any normal day of work. It sounds great to roll out of bed late and work in your pajamas, but if you do that, chances are you’re going to end up sitting on the couch drinking coffee, watching TV for at least the first hour.
That’s bad form. Set up a real workstation. If you have a home office or a spare bedroom that has a desk, that’s ideal. If you try to work somewhere that has consistent distraction, it’s just going to slow you down. It’s going to make for a longer day than you need. You actually have to go to work. Once you’re there, put away all distractions including that cell phone. So close the door to your family. Sit down and make yourself be productive. One trick that we’ve learned over the years for that is to check email in the morning and then close it until you get the real work done. You can check it again once your other tasks are finished.
Make sure that you’re setting all these expectations with your family up front. This is new to them too. You have to be kind but be firm and finally, let’s make the best out of this situation. I mean, remember, you don’t have to commute now so you don’t have that long drive to and from work. Sit down, be productive, get the hard work done and then close the door and make the office the office. Step away from it. Spend some time with your family. So from our family to yours, let’s pull together and make the best out of this.
If you’re looking for guidance as you try to avoid pitfalls and work toward growth, you’ve already taken an important first step. The Alexander Group’s small business coaching can help with identifying what that vision is, and how best to transform the business to support it — get in touch, let’s start this important conversation.