In the midst of this difficult time, we in the business world must quickly adapt, and do our best to continue to operate with a sense of normalcy. Engaging in social distancing and working from home is new to many of us, however, there’s some tried and true advice to help us adjust to this new work life.
We’ve created a list of Icreon’s 5 tips to help you remain productive while working from home:
1. Make Use Of Video Conferencing
These days, video conferencing is so ubiquitous, we tend to forget just how amazing this technology is. There’s many different video conferencing platforms for businesses such as Zoom and Skype that can help create that sense of face-to-face communication that we take for granted while working in an office environment. Don’t forget, all you have to do is hit a button and you can instantly create a more personal connection with your colleagues. Leveraging video conferencing while working from home is a great way to create a collaborative and creative environment. Video conferences help maintain the nuance and emotion of face-to-face communication that can be lost in emails, phone calls and text messages.
2. Have A Set Meeting Time Once A Day
This might seem obvious, but maintaining some structure – particularly meeting structure – is often overlooked while working remote.
It’s important that a consistent set and agreed upon time to meet is carried over during this time. Keeping a standard meeting time helps keep everyone on the same page while working from home. If you typically have a set day and time for meetings while working out of an office, we recommend using those same meeting times while working remote to try to bring about a sense of normalcy and continuity to your business..
3. Articulate Messages In Email & Group Chats.
This is another tip that initially might seem obvious but the reality is that as great as text message and email message communication can be, often nuance and context are not carried over when reading something.
We tend to write text messages and email messages using “our own voice“, and therefore, we expect people to interpret our texts and emails correctly. We often don’t realize how what we are writing in an email or text message can easily be misinterpreted.
Therefore while working remote it’s even more critical that you take an extra minute to re-read and review the text messages and emails that you are sending to your coworkers. Articulating in the most exact terms possible and expanding on the things that you are trying to say in order to avoid confusion is an important and necessary practice. Simply adding an extra sentence or creating examples to clarify what you mean in an email or text message is all you need to avoid creating confusion.
4. Have A Centralized Task List
When every team member is working remote, it’s easy to lose track of who’s doing what. When you’re working out of an office it’s easy to simply walk over to someone and make sure that whatever they are working on is not in conflict with what you’re working on. But when working remote, it’s not difficult to lose track of who is doing what. This could lead to tasks slipping through the cracks. It could create unnecessary duplicate work, and overall confusion in general. By creating a centralized task list that everyone has access to is the best way to avoid confusion and create a clear and concise workflow. Being able to visually see who is working on what at all times and what their responsibilities are is essential for maintaining a smooth running business while we’re working from home.
5. Breathe! Take A Break!
Last but not least, remember to take a break while working from home.
When we’re working out of an office, we take coffee breaks and lunch breaks. We leave the office and give our minds some time to relax and escape. Working from home we tend to overlook just how important this is to our mental health and our productivity. In addition, we recommend maintaining the same break schedule you had when working in a office. If you take a lunch break at a certain time in your office, use that same time to take a lunch break at home. Walk away from your computer. Leave your phone at your desk. It’s easy to lose track of time when working from home. By keeping a strict schedule of breaks, you can keep your productivity & creativity up throughout the day while avoiding burnout and fatigue.