Telecommuting was once a novel idea. Over the past two decades, some businesses began offering a “working remotely” option to their employees, while other organizations resisted the concept altogether. Enter 2020 and a worldwide pandemic, and businesses across the globe are learning that it really is possible to successfully work from home. Our team recently had a lively discussion on the topic of remote working and how we make it … well … work. Here are our suggestions:
Keep a regular schedule. “One thing that’s very important to successfully work from home is to treat each workday as you would if you were going into an office,” says Account Manager Sandra. “Keep a regular schedule, make your bed after you get up, get dressed in regular clothes (not pajamas) and take time off for lunch each day. Keeping a regular schedule and routine keeps me focused on work.”
Get a comfortable chair. “I spent the first two weeks working from home sitting in an old wooden chair in my dining room,” says intern Angela. “It gave me the worst low back pain, and I’m only 20!”
Set a timer. “In order to stay on track and not get distracted by household chores, set a timer for everything,” says Digital Marketing Strategist Lauren. “Work for a little bit, then do the dishes. It’s a small change that can help with your productivity.”
Personalize your videoconferencing. “Whatever teleconferencing platform you use—Zoom, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, whatever—find a virtual background that suits you,” says Senior Copywriter Becky. “You won’t have to worry about a messy office, and you can maintain a bit of individuality on a very monotonous and generic meeting platform!”
Be flexible. “No matter how strict you wish you could be with a normal routine, chances are there will be interruptions,” says Vice President Michelle. “Your home Wi-Fi will go down, the kids or pets will make some kind of big mess that needs immediate attention, or your neighbor’s house will catch fire. All of these things have happened to me. You go with the flow (and in the case of fire, you evacuate).”
Remember work/life balance. “Be disciplined to work, but also be disciplined to stop working,” says Communications Manager Lisa Jurado. “Of course there will be times when you need to work late, but remember to continue your work/life balance. When your work is at home, it’s easy to hop back on your computer after dinner or on the weekends. But to stay motivated, productive and sane, you really need the balance.”
Keep a business mindset. “Set your alarm, get out of bed, boost your Wi-Fi if needed and never forget that your clients or your company are trusting you to do good work and deliver what you promised regardless of environment,” says K/R President Ross Goldberg. “Remember, too, that doesn’t mean 24 workdays. Have the discipline to shut off, relax and spend time with family as you normally would.”