Although working from home has become increasingly popular over the last few years, with the current state of the world, most nonessential businesses have had to shift their business processes to a working-from-home structure. For many of us, that may be difficult because we haven’t done it, and are used to traveling to the office to work.
Not only do companies have to prepare their workers, but they must properly set their employees up for success using remote and virtual communication technologies. These include remote access software like LogMeIn or TeamViewer, and virtual communication technologies like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack. Nowadays, especially working in digital marketing and advertising as we do, most of the work we do can be done just as effectively, if not more effectively, at home.
Working from home must be a steady balance of breaks, work, and a little bit of personal strategy. Do you have the right strategy for success?
Follow Your Morning Routine: Now more than ever, you need to follow your normal morning routine. By getting ready every morning and maybe even doing a workout, you prepare yourself to be productive. As much as staying in your pajamas all day may seem enticing, not only will it keep you groggy longer but may not work well when a last-minute video meeting is set up.
Only Work Regular Hours: Working from home is just that, working at home. Make sure that during your day you only spend your allotted hours for work, working. As much as you may want to, don’t start too early or work too late. You may normally be a workaholic, but right now is not the time to make that a daily occurrence. Remember to only work the hours that you would be spending in the office.
Pick a Designated Work Area: Picking a designated work area is vital to your working from home strategy. By doing this, when you’re done working for the day you can leave work in that area. Additionally, it can make starting your day much easier. This is because your body and mind will get used to the “once I’m in this location, it’s time to work and be productive” routine. Don’t do your work laying down on the couch or in your bed, pick a desk or table so you can properly focus. Sitting upright with your feet on the floor will add to keeping you productive.
Overcommunicate: Working in an office, you never realize just how much you communicate with your colleagues around the office. Make sure that throughout your working-from-home day you stay connected via email, instant chat, over the phone, and via videoconferencing to make sure that everyone is on the same page. At the agency, we have daily (sometimes twice daily) team check-ins, weekly leadership meetings and our biweekly all-agency meetings too.
Train, Train, Train: Working from home, you may have a little more downtime. Instead of hopping on your phone or playing a game, take that extra time to learn and expand your knowledge on topics related to your job. Especially now, with the extensive number of webinars offered by publishers and companies, it’s easy to learn something new. AdAge and Search Engine Journal are two publishers who’ve been offering great webinars recently. Not only will it make you better at your job, but it will make you more well-rounded as a professional in your industry.
Take Breaks: Don’t feel guilty about taking a break. If your company offers a 15-minute break, take it. If you get a lunch break, take it. Punishing yourself and not allowing yourself to take your breaks will only make you less productive. Maybe even go outside in your backyard, or for a walk around your block, make sure to stay six feet from others, though!
Right now is a scary time, but we will make it through this. Think of it as the opportunity to complete the task you’ve put off because you “didn’t have enough time” or to expand your professional or personal horizons. If we work together productively while apart, we’ll continue to succeed for however long this period may be.