During the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses have implemented a flexible work environment allowing, or even requiring, employees to work from home. This transition can be a challenge for individuals who have never worked from home before. Then, add in children who are home from school, significant others or roommates who are also working from home and the situation can get chaotic.
Over the last few years, GRIT has evolved to an increasingly remote working environment and has systems and policies in place to make working from home a seamless process. As a business who has experience with flexible work environments, the GRIT team is offering up the top six tips to make working from home productive and efficient.
Tip #1 – Follow Your Routine
Just because you are working from home does not mean it’s license to stay in your pajamas all day and lounge on the couch. Follow the normal routine you would if you were going into the office to work. Wake up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. Not only will this help you stay on a routine for when everyone is back to the office, but it will help you be more efficient. Plus, if you have multiple video calls a day, your clients and coworkers will thank you for it.
Tip #2 – Stick to Your Working Hours
Sticking to your regular working hours while working from home also helps with collaboration among your team and customers. If your job involves collaboration, it is critical to be online during the same timeframe as your coworkers and clients as they will most likely reach out to you during that time. Sticking to your regular working hours makes the transition to working from home much easier and helps keep an efficient workflow.
Tip #3 – Designate a Workspace
Working from home can make it difficult to differentiate your home life from work life. To help with the transition, find a designated workspace in your house that includes a comfortable chair to sit in for eight hours and even decorations that make you feel like you are at work. Find a spot with natural sunlight as it will help lighten your mood when you can’t leave the house.
Having a designated workspace also allows boundaries to be set. When working at home with children, pets and others, it can increase productivity to have your own space to go and work. It also communicates that when you are in your home office, you are working and need to avoid distractions.
Tip #4 – Overcommunicate
Communication is key when working from home. You are not in the office with your coworkers, so it is critical everyone stays on the same page. At GRIT we use tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom to stay connected and up to date on client projects and internal news. Implement more phone or video chat meetings so everyone can be online at once to ask questions and give updates, which can make work more efficient and keep the team connected.
Tip #5 – Add in Exercise
When working from home, it is important to remember to get up and move around. Try going for a walk or bike ride during your lunch break. Not only will this get your outside but getting up from your desk and moving around keeps you physically and mentally fresh, which increases productivity.
Tip #6 – Socialize from a Distance
Don’t forget to continue socializing. Just because you are cooped up in your home doesn’t mean you should stop checking in on your coworkers, calling your family or texting your friends. It is important to understand everyone is in this together. Although being stuck at home may not be ideal, it is important to check in on each other to help brighten each other’s days.
Please know we are thinking about everyone during this time, including our clients, family, friends, and community. We hope you all stay safe and healthy!