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Managing work from home: Veertly’s top 4 tips

COVID19 has and continues to have an impact on people and companies across the globe. Suddenly, commuting to the office, sitting at your desk on a comfy chair or simply making a coffee in the kitchen, while chatting to your colleagues became impossible. The Coronavirus crisis has changed the way companies work and how employees conduct their work. For some companies who were remote first or had already started implementing ‘work from home’ options for their employees, the change and transition was smoother and easier. For others, however, there was much to be figured out, such as how to conduct the work, which software/platforms were to be used, how to align internally and stay in contact with each other. Apart from technical dilemmas, many employees struggled with figuring out their own home office schedules and adapting to working from home, a place where we usually go to relax after a long day at work. As a remote team, Veertly presents to you our top 4 tips on working from the comfort of your own home.

1. Designate a specific space for your home office

Working from home is great! Flexibility, no designated work hours, more time for other activities or spending time with family and friends. However, a distinction between a place where you work and a place where you relax is of utmost importance. Such distinction and separation of spaces can reduce stress and further increase productivity. Hence, a space should be divided into three sections:

Home office

We understand that sometimes a designated home office is not possible and not everyone has the luxury to have a separate space for such. However, if applicable to you, a separate space which promotes productivity is needed, but does not interfere with the life of your family members or housemates. Preferably a completely separate area where you can close the door, have your own desk and a place where you never take your laptop out of. That area is your designated work space, whereas the rest of the house is an area for relaxation.

Place of relaxation

A place of relaxation should be separate from the area of your work. A place where you can relax, focus on yourself and take a break from work. This could be a living room, a bedroom or another space which you do not resonate with work.

A “third space”

“Third spaces” refer to spaces that are not a part your home. It is an another place where you can conduct your work. Such spaces are growing more popular, as it gives a break from working in a familiar, designated area at your own home. Some examples of “third spaces” are: your favorite local coffee shop, library, coworking spaces. For some, such spaces increase productivity and reduce stress, as you take yourself out from a familiar place. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not possible for everyone. However, we do hope that, sooner rather than later, this will become more available for people around the globe.

2. Have a clear and defined schedule

Studies have shown that remote workers tend to overwork and log more work hours, making the distinction between work and home, a blurred one (APA). When working from the office, you have clearly defined hours, a time when you start and finish. Hence, having a clearly defined schedule is of utmost importance to minimize overworking and reduce stress. Start your day by having a good breakfast and try not to read your emails or work messages before your work day even starts. During the day, take a break and go for a walk outside, read a book, have a coffee or do some physical activity such as yoga or a quick work out. It is important that during our breaks we do not have any distractions, especially not from work. In case you need a reminder to take a break, the Pomodoro timer might be of help.

Veertly recommends having a designated online workspace, where you conduct your work and can meet with your colleagues. An online space where access codes are not needed and where you can access the platform at any time during your work hours. Treat this as your work space and do not enter it before or after your work hours.

Do not forget to nourish your body, have a well-balanced diet and drink enough fluids! After work, do not be tempted to read emails or respond to any work related messages. Your work time has ended, and now it’s time for relaxation. Enjoy it and focus on yourself! Tailor your schedule and activities to yourself and what feels the best for you.

3. Stay connected with your colleagues

In 2020, Buffer and AngelList conducted research on the feelings of remote workers towards working from home. The research has shown that the biggest struggle with remote work is the collaboration and communication (20%) and the feeling of loneliness (20%). As a remote first team, Veertly uses its own platform as a coworking space, where our employees can stay connected, have daily check-ins and network with each other. We have found that this enhances the connectivity and deepens the personal connections and relationships with each other. Veertly recommends having daily check-ins with your colleagues, coffee breaks, lunches and monthly fun team events such as a round of charades, movie evening or a game night. Not sure how to stay in touch with your colleagues? You can do so via Veertly, Jitsi, Google Hangouts, Slack, Zoom etc.

Fun games the whole team enjoys!

4. Embrace digital tools

Remote work requires self-discipline to stay focused, creativity to come up with new solutions to problems and connectivity to stay in touch with your colleagues. Luckily, there are some great tools out there which assist in fostering connectivity and collaboration between employees, so that creative solutions can be found. Below is a list of the tools that our team uses on a daily basis and can be embedded into the Veertly platform:

Miro

A cloud based whiteboard collaboration tool which allows remote teams to communicate and collaborate across formats, tools and channels. Miro enables its users to create journey maps, plan out their marketing strategy, jot down their plans and leave feedback on other colleagues’ ideas. Miro can be integrated into the below applications as well as Veertly. It’s a great way to work collaboratively with your teammates, no matter what time zone they might find themselves in.

Google Workspace

Google Workspace is a collection of cloud productivity and collaboration tools developed by Google. Some of the great features which Google Workspace offers are: Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms etc. These are the tools that most of us use daily and in fact, we would be lost without them.

Trello

Do you feel like tasks are piling up on you and you do not know where to start? No worries, Trello is here to help. This web based list making app allows teams to effectively manage and prioritize the tasks which need completing. You can even download the Trello app on your phone, so you are updated with the tasks that need to be done, on the go

Coggle

A mind map software assisting teams to simplify and visualize complex information. Coggle is free to use and is great for planning, taking notes, visualizing information and brainstorming with your team. We give it 5 stars!

Embedded Miro board in Veertly

We do hope that our tips will help you in structuring your work from home, reduce stress and loneliness as well as increase productivity and communication with your colleagues. Let’s face it, remote work is awesome and if properly managed, it can be liberating!

Let us know your thoughts about the above tips. As a remote first team, Veertly has been using its own platform as a coworking space. Hence, we wanted to share this with you too and help you in creating a designated online work space for you and your team! If you are wondering what our coworking space looks like, you can try out our demo here.

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