WFH is no longer a “cool work perk,” instead it has become necessary in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
During this time, it is important for all of us, no matter where we live to stay at home in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Like many companies worldwide, our team has decided to indefinitely switch to remote work so we can #flattenthecurve and #stayhome meanwhile continuing to offer our clients the best service possible.
How can you make WFH manageable and productive?
Since our team is already experienced in working from home a few times a month, we would like to share a few tips with you to help you get through this difficult period:
1. Prepare for your productive workday.
Start off your day with your usual morning routine. Wake up early, shower, get your coffee brewing, and breakfast ready. Consider getting some fresh air and taking a walk outside to boost your mood. Take the time you would usually spend commuting to work and make your morning enjoyable.
Afterward, you can start planning the rest of your day. Build a schedule around the times you know when you’re most productive and fill out the rest with breaks. Having a to-do list also makes sure you always have something to work on and helps you keep organized.
“After almost two weeks from home, I now understand that it is really important to have the same routine of getting ready for work. Continue doing the same morning activities like drinking coffee, working out, or meditating before work”
“Always make sure you have enough coffee on the table.”
“I get up from bed, stretch, grab some water, prepare my breakfast (usually fruit, oatmeal, vitamins, and coffee), and check out my to-do list for the day.”
2. Create your own home office.
Get your ideal set-up ready to make yourself feel comfortable. Find a quiet area in your home away from distractions, preferably close to a window with some natural light where you can set up your table, work chair, laptop, and possibly monitor. Adjust your chair and desk to the proper height, and organize the rest of your equipment so you can have your own ergonomic environment at home. By having a proper home office area, you’ll create a place where you’ll keep both productive and healthy.
“I’ve created my own workroom equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, pinboard, sticky notes, markers and pens, and of course my laptop.”
“I like switching between my comfortable couch and the kitchen table.”
3. Communicate more than ever.
Thanks to great technology, there are many ways to keep our communication clear and effective when working remotely. Tools such as Slack and Google Hangouts allow us the opportunity to instant message and call so we can easily run demos, daily stand-ups, and stay in touch with our team members. Aside from being able to call and message, Slack also offers the option of setting employee statuses. Heading out to run an errand? Or in a meeting? No problem, set your status to let the rest of the team know what you’re up to.
“I keep my Slack notifications on. And I always begin my morning by having a remote coffee with my team.”
“Be available all the time (except when in meetings), on multiple communication tools. Sync regularly. Secure a strong internet connection.”
“Most of the time it's easier to video call someone and explain the issue than to go back and forth through chat.”
4. Establish new rules for meetings.
It can get a bit challenging being a part of a meeting with more than two people as it becomes difficult to control who is speaking. In addition, not everyone will always have a stable internet connection or be working in a quiet environment. That’s why it’s a good idea to put speaking rules in place, keep your meetings small, and regularly check your equipment.
“The most important part is that everyone needs to be very respectful. People should turn their mics off when they're not talking so they don’t cause excessive noise. They need to be prepared to be interrupted as it is sometimes difficult to get visual cues from other participants when they want to speak. Meetings need to have a moderator to keep things under control and going in the proper direction. Everyone needs to use quality headsets and/or microphones to get their message across, these devices are very important. Certain activities need to be timed and everything collaborative has to be properly explained.”
“Somebody taking charge of the meeting helps keep things on point.”
"A strong internet connection, audio support and/or equipment, focus, and empathy."
5. Take breaks.
Breaks are essential for refreshing your mind and body. Go for a walk outside, take a nap, do an at-home workout or really anything that makes you feel better when you stay away from your work. We suggest you take a 10-minute break every hour instead of taking one long break for utmost productivity.
“I do some sort of workout challenge. Plank challenge is the choice of the month.”
“Go for a walk, do some laundry. If it is a meal break there is always a meal time video in the background. Also, if you don't know what to watch while you eat, there is even a subreddit for that: r/mealtimevideos”
“Preparing food, taking a nap and playing video games. It is important to go into another area or room so you actually feel like you’re on a break and away from your work.”
6. Eat more healthy.
Now that you’re at home and you have full access to your kitchen, you may as well make good use of it. Take the opportunity to make healthy meals and snacks to promote good health and productivity.
“Making a meal really makes me excited these days, it is something I look forward to. I try to get creative with everything I already have in my fridge so that I don't go out on a whim. I try to eat balanced meals. Every meal should have some vegetables, carbs, protein, and most importantly be very tasty. Taste is definitely a priority. For easy and fast meals, there is the Tasty Instagram account with lots of short video recipes, you don't have to follow them to a T as you can always improvise.”
“Lots of Vitamin D!”
7. Stay connected and laugh.
Maintain those fun moments and close relationships you’ve developed inside the office. Take the time to message or call your colleagues to catch up and see how they are doing and take part in non-work banter because trust me, you’ll miss working closely with your colleagues after a few days.
“I miss the feeling of being a part of a community and having the team physically there.”
“I miss hanging out in person with my co-workers, exchanging stories and making jokes.”