What can a business owner do during this difficult time?
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, so do the number of companies mandating that their employees work from home. As of mid-February 2020, it was estimated that 46% of American businesses rolled out remote-work policies. While working from home has enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years, it is still not something that is completely widespread. Today’s workers are now finding themselves working from home, perhaps for the very first time in their entire careers and are feeling a bit lost and daunted by the concept.
Here at EMB, we know that the pandemic has caused so much upheaval in the way you do business. That’s why we are offering these tips you can implement with your teams today, to ensure that your team stays motivated and productive while working remotely, during these uncertain times.
Practical Tips For Working From Home
Create a Daily Work Schedule: Treat each day as if you were leaving to go to the office as usual. Get up and get dressed. Eat your breakfast and start your day, tackling the most important and difficult tasks first thing in the morning. Don’t forget about taking your lunch break and subsequent breaks to keep your focus and energy levels up.
Maintain Your Working Hours: Your manager and your team are counting on you to stay connected throughout the day for any questions or feedback. If any personal event should arise, simply communicate this to your manager as soon as possible. Communicate your availability throughout the day with your colleagues as well.
Stay Connected: It’s critical to stay online as much as possible throughout your workday. Check email regularly to ensure you are on the same page with your management and colleagues. Stay on top of your calendar to attend any virtual meetings. Ensure that your computer’s camera and microphone are working at an optimal level. If you face any tech issues, make sure you have your IT Department’s contact information to sort things out.
Optimize Your Internet Connection: Make certain that your internet is both secure and fast enough to handle the multiple tasks of web browsing, sending emails, and video conferencing. Make sure you only work with reputable providers.
Establish A Dedicated Workspace: This is a crucial element that will determine whether or not you are consistently productive. Find a quiet place in your home where you can place a desk, a comfortable and ergonomic chair, a desk lamp, and a few office supplies. Since this is your new office for the foreseeable future, make it comfortable by adding a potted plant, relaxing music, and some family photos.
Reduce Distractions: Establish boundaries with anyone you are living with, be it family members or roommates. Communicate with them that when your door is closed, you are not to be disturbed. Also, try not to check your social media. This will only rob you precious minutes or even hours of focus that can be best used to get the job done.
Stay In Communication With Your Manager And Colleagues: Working remotely for the first time might make you feel like you are working in a vacuum, missing the constant interaction and exchange of ideas. Feel free to reach out to your management and team with any questions or suggestions to maintain that connection and sense of being part of the team.
Make Time For Fun: Sure, you miss the daily office banter with your colleagues. Remember that you can still get to connect, even if it’s virtually, throughout your day and after your work day is done. Consider jumping on a Zoom call with a colleague over a glass of wine to catch up and unwind.
Remote Work As The New Normal
Millions of Americans are now using their home as their new office. Remote work has inevitably become a new way of life. It’s difficult to replicate at home what you are used to having in your office. However, by taking these small steps to carve out a workplace to call your own, you are setting yourself up for a better, more productive work environment. Here at EMB, you can count on us to keep you up to date on ways to keep your businesses running as you struggle to navigate the waters of remote work as the new normal.