As we head into a further period of lockdown many of us have adopted policies for staff working from home and some of us are still looking for best practices. Below are Stephen Hobson’s our Head of Customer Engagement top tips for staff members and teams for working from home:
My first tip is set the environment – working from home is tough as we have distractions and not just the normal work type. Instead, we have our amazing families, children and partners close by which can distract us from our tasks ahead. So, for myself with two very energetic boys, I have to set myself up in an office space environment which does not affect the family.
We treat it as normal – I’m off to work so the children understand and don’t feel left out. The bonus is lunch times are lots of fun being with our families. I also know how hard it can be to be working from home alone with no one around. Again, I would suggest that you set your work space properly, avoid distractions: your relaxation devices, TV, games and things you normally would not be using. Keep these separate as you will need them later on in the evening to unwind.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then that can be a great office as well as it allows fresh air. peace and everyone a little space. We are all different but my tip is by setting a proper work environment you stand a better chance of success.
My next must is: have and utilise your tools! Your workstation should be updated everyday before switching off and all your programs should be updated by default if you are working with teams. The last thing you want is to miss a meeting because your PC/laptop/application is in the middle of a large update!
Pick something that’s going to help you communicate effectively: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft teams are in the standard set, but there are even more out there. I personally love video chat and utilise it at least 3 times a day with my team. Utilise your CRM system, set up the correct reminders and keep it tidy as this will guide you throughout the day.
I would also suggest picking a good management tool like Zoho, Slack or Asana to track and manage all jobs and keep updated with who needs to do what in order for things to move forward. The reality is that you can very quickly arrange remote desktop environments, collaboration tools and conferencing solutions.
If you do find yourself needing any help with remote working or a little guidance please drop us a line as we will be able to assist you.
Breaks and Exercise
It’s important for everyone to take a necessary amount of breaks including breaking for daily exercise. Do not sit there working at a PC all day without a break or any lunch. For breaks – walk around the house, the garden or take some time out with the family when you need to plan your breaks. A great business understands the challenges you face, they won’t expect you to be there every second of every day – they know you need rest and trust you to work responsibly
Don’t think you have extra time working from home as you won’t; overworking is not healthy and cramming too much into one day won’t give you the correct or best results. The best approach is to look at your goals set out by the business and set a goal list for the day, but don’t make this unrealistic.
My list is often limited to 3 key tasks which if I don’t achieve I realise something is wrong and I may need to distribute work or look for help. The important thing is that feeling of success and value to the business each day, so if you are wondering where to start then speak to your manager or, if you own the business, it may be good to reach out to one of your contacts.
Do not think that you’re alone, everyone is in this together. If you don’t have a manager, don’t know what tools to use, whatever it is, there is someone willing to help. I am happy to help anyone deal with any of these areas and offer free advice and I am 100% sure that there are millions of leaders happy to help.