Under normal circumstances, working remotely feels like a luxury. You get to skip the daily commute and spend your most productive hours focused on the job from the comfort of your favorite chair or coffee shop. But nothing about the world today feels normal, and people now find themselves working from home out of necessity. Many of you may have never worked from home before, and you may feel a little awkward about the whole situation.
At ICOM, working remotely is a part of our operational fabric. In fact, our team members have been doing it for years. But we know that not everyone has, and it’s not the easiest transition to make. That’s why we thought we would share seven of our favorite tips, tricks, and tools to help make life simpler when it comes to working from home, or wherever you are in the world.
1. Create Your Workspace
One of the most important things you can do when working from home is to create a dedicated office space. It’s easy for work to seep into the rest of your life when you work from home, but it’s important for your well being to maintain a solid work-life balance. Set aside a space you can call your own throughout the workday. Personalize it with items that make you smile. A photo of your family vacation, a succulent plant, and a few knick-knacks are the perfect touch.
2. Set a Schedule
Setting a schedule is a great way to help you maintain a sense of consistency throughout your day, and you can go about it two ways. First, if your company has standard hours when everyone is expected to be available, use that as a guide. Be online and ready to work the same hours you would if you were going into the office. If your workplace doesn’t have regular work hours, you can take an alternative approach. Think about the hours of the day when you’re most productive, and build your schedule around them.
3. Get Dressed
We’ve all cracked a joke about whether or not to wear pants to work if no one sees you from the waist down. The answer is, “Yes.” Always wear pants…or a skirt…or shorts…the point is that you should still get dressed for work. It helps put you in the right mindset to get the job done.
4. Use Technolog
yWhen you work from home, technology becomes your new best friend. From word processors and project management software to cloud-based design programs, content management systems, and learning platforms, technology can make your life much easier if you have access to the right tools.
At ICOM, we use G Suite for all our internal communications and documentation, which includes email, video conferencing, and more. With the simple click of a button, we’re all connected in the same meeting space or cloud-based content. For external client meetings, we typically use Zoom. It features reliable cloud-based remote conferencing services that are easy for everyone to use. But this isn’t a sales pitch for any one product or service. It’s just meant to get you thinking about how you communicate and share information with people both inside and outside of your organization.
5. Take a Break
Don’t forget to take some time away from your computer throughout the day. Go for a walk around the block, have a snack, listen to a podcast, or do a little online shopping. Everyone needs a few minutes to refocus and refresh, and sometimes we forget when we’re working from the comfort of our own homes.
6. Connect with Coworker
sAre you a social butterfly? Do you love the underlying buzz of chatter around the office? Working alone at home can be a big adjustment. It’s important to remain present with your peers even if you’re not in each other’s presence. You can always strike up an informal conversation using a chat platform. Whether you talk about the weather, bounce ideas off each other, or simply share your favorite cat video, human connection helps you feel like you’re part of a team and serving a greater purpose.
Another great way to connect with coworkers is through a daily check-in meeting. Our leadership teams have a quick check-in first thing each morning to make sure we’re all on the same page in terms of priorities. Setting a regular rhythm gives people the opportunity to share roadblocks early and simulates the office environment.
7. Make a Plan
It’s easy to get distracted at home. From your favorite TV show to your kids looking for snacks, there are plenty of things to take your mind off your work. But it’s also easy to be more productive at home if you set your mind to it. Come up with a to-do list of daily tasks and stick to it. Be reasonable and include only as much as you know you can get done in a day. Just think of that sense of accomplishment as you check items off your list.
Whether you’re working from home for the first time or you’re a seasoned professional when it comes to remote tasks, give these seven tips a try to make the most of your day.
Contact ICOM Productions to learn more.