These are stressful times for many entrepreneurs and business owners. Companies around the globe have rolled out work from home policies amid the spread of Covid-19.
We can’t tell how long the work from home reality will last. For some businesses and employees, this is their first experience, so figuring out how to stay productive in an environment that may not lend itself to productivity is a new challenge.
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It’s the job of managers and leaders to “keep the spirits up”. It’s easy to be stressed out or depressed as a business owner these days. However, in as much as you acknowledge there are stress and difficulty, you are responsible for providing clear communication to your team. You have to keep morale up. Being a cheerleader of your team and ensuring work gets done is your job as a leader.
We will discuss work from home tips that will help entrepreneurs and team members to get work done and be productive while they work from home.
Work From Home Tips
The key to working from home (Coronavirus or not) is clear communication. What’s expected from each member of the team should be clearly communicated.
Most people spend their days in close proximity to their boss, meaning that communication is easy and effortless. With remote work, that’s out of the window, especially if your team is not used to working from home.
Also, some managers or bosses may not be used to managing people remotely. It’s time to learn the tools that you need to manage your team.
Communication can also help deal with the feeling of loneliness and isolation that is associated with remote work. Loneliness can make people feel less motivated and less productive.
When bosses and teams communicate regularly and clearly, it helps, especially if it’s through a richer medium of communication; face-to-face and instant.
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As an employee, it will be nice to have a discussion with your employer about what can actually be accomplished from home and timelines. Also, you also have to take into account the tools you need to accomplish the task required of you.
Basically, know what the priorities are and discuss how tasks will get done. If you are working on a project, how will teams track projects they’re working together on? How will the completed task be delivered? Will there be a standing meeting at a particular time to get everyone coordinated? There should be an ongoing conversation at every point to ensure everyone is on the same page.
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When you work from an office, you will wake early, because you need to commute to work. But, at home, there’s the temptation to still sleep some more and often, the transition from your bed to your computer can take longer.
One way to get productive when you work from home is to get up early as though you are commuting to the office. Prepare as though you are going to work and dive into your to-do-list immediately. If not, you will prolong leaving your bed and having breakfast, and the morning sluggishness will wear off your motivation. At the end of the day, you will get nothing done.
Work On Your Mindset
The mind shift you make between work and the office will help your productivity. As you awake in the morning, have the mindset that, you are going to work.
When you work from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office. For instance, set an alarm to wake you up, have your tea or coffee, take a bath, wear a nice dress and dress up (remember your team member or boss may call in anytime on facetime). What I’m saying is, get fully ready for the day and pretend you’re going to work.
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Have A Dedicated Workspace
Have a place in your home, you go specifically for work. An organised workspace dedicated to your work will help you get into the right frame of work.
Remember, just because you are not working from the office doesn’t mean you can’t have an office. Avoid spaces that are associated with leisure like the couch or your bedroom,
Take Active Measure To Avoid Social Media
Well, except you are a social media manager and use social media tools for your work, otherwise, you have to ensure you don’t get sidetracked by social media.
Social media is conveniently designed for you to open easily and browse. When you work from home, this convenience can be detrimental to your productivity.
You can remove your social media networks from your browser shortcuts and log out of every social media account to counteract your social network ease of use. It guarantees that you are not tempted to take many social breaks during the day.
Stay Connected To Your Team Using Technology
If you are not used to working from home, it will make you feel cut off from the larger operation. Use instant message and facetime tools to make it easy to check in on co-workers.
It will remind you of how your work is contributing to the big picture and how it fits into the whole goal of the company. Finding the right tool to keep you and your team connected is important for staying productive at home. Most times, management advice on the right tools to stay connected.
Communicate Expectations With Anyone At Home With You
Of course, working at home does not mean you won’t have ‘company’. You may have parents, kids, spouses, pets living with you. Ensure you communicate expectations to them, and they should know to respect your work hours.
Just because you work at home does not mean you are home. It’s easy to get distracted with people at home or with many things that have to be done at home.
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Take A Clear Break
Structure your time and input clear break time. That you work in the same building where you sleep should not stop you from taking time to relax.
During your break, leave your work desk, take a walk or spend time with people at home.
Don’t assume you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re home to be more productive. Breaks like making and eating lunch can recharge you to do better work.
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Indeed, not all jobs can be done from home; fast food and factory workers, nurse and doctors, etc. During this time of uncertainty, if you can’t work remotely, ask your employer what you can do to ensure you don’t lose pay.
One thing that’s important is that we need to be disciplined, make some changes to our habits and routine to make working from home a success. If we are able to achieve this, it becomes a win-win situation for everyone; employer and employee.
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