You’re working in your pajamas, chilling with your best pup, and avoiding the morning MTA rush! Sounds ideal, right? Yeah, so when did you realize working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Was it two or three months into quarantine?
We usually separate work and home life for a reason. While blending the two might seem easy, it is quite the adjustment from working in the office. You’re in the same space for days at a time, your daily routine changes, and you lose that regular social interaction. Having your family is lovely until it’s time to work, and it feels as if they are invading your new home office space (the sofa). It’s challenging to feel motivated when part of your life turns upside down, especially if your team or manager can’t seem to empathize expecting constant productivity while your mind feels disconnected. You’re just trying to figure out how to plug back in, so we’re here to provide some tips on adjusting to your new normal, and for those managers reading this, please take the time to check in on your employees, hear them out and see how they’re processing the current situation.
We have mentioned these tips in the past, but we feel it’s the right time for a refresher crash course to adjust to your new remote work life.
Rise & Shine
We get it. You’re home and don’t feel the need to get up early or put on an actual pair of pants. We’re going to suggest you do so anyway. Get ready to start your day. It is essential to keep up your usual routine and maintain that reset time between starting and ending your workday. Now we aren’t telling you to put on a suit, but at least change out of your pajamas, and don’t you dare get back in that bed! Trust us; it will only deplete your energy and productivity. Do what you would do on a typical weekday morning. Wake up early enough to give yourself time to prepare for your 9-5, jump in the shower, wash your face, brush your teeth, etc.
We honestly don’t think anyone misses the MTA, and yes, it sounds silly to think about a commute when you are just going to be sitting in the house on your laptop. Please, believe us when we say that creating a commute can change up your day. It gets you up and moving, which is crucial when you’re usually just stuck on the sofa. Need some suggestions for a commute? Why not go for a jog, walk to your local coffee shop, take your pup for a walk, remember to wear your mask and social distance.
When your shared family space becomes your home office, it can be a struggle. Is it rude to tell your family to take a hike? Yes. However, you also can’t have your kids screaming in the background of your next zoom meeting. The obvious solution is to keep family life and work life separate, but that’s easier said than done. Try designating a space where you can entirely focus on work; no family allowed. If you set these ground rules and identify your chosen space, we’re sure your family will understand. Once you log off of work, get some family time in. You all deserve it.
How do you stay social while social distancing? That’s a difficult question with, honestly, no right answer.
It can be risky to interact with people you don’t see daily. The problem is human beings thrive on social interaction. It’s draining being stuck in the house, especially when you live alone. Who do you vent to about the stressful conference call you just had or laugh with when you see a funny meme on Instagram? It can be a real downer, ultimately affecting your energy and productivity. We suggest trying to video chat as much as possible to gain that small face-to-face interaction. Or maybe set up a jogging date with a friend. Just make sure to wear a mask and you are good to go. Now that some restaurants and cafes have outdoor seating, set up a coffee meeting with a co-worker or client. Try to not keep yourself cooped up in one space because your comfortable home can quickly become a confining and negative space.
For more information on working remotely, click here.
Managers, we have some things to discuss. Whether you can empathize with your employees’ predicaments, it is still essential to be that support system rather than add to their stress and discomfort. In a recent interview with Gregg Cohen, our former CEO Chris Smith, gave us some insight into work from home realities. He states, “the health of an employee is multifaceted and very important to the longevity of the business.” Everyone is adjusting to this new normal in their way. It is not just up to the employee to stay on track, but the team should be set up to succeed. Provide the tools needed to succeed, provide ways to manage their new remote work-life, and stay in touch. Your employees’ mental state may be suffering during this pandemic. Ask questions, get to know them, how they function, and what process works best. Some may want to start heading back to the office to get that social interaction while others may feel safer working from home. Respect their feelings and come to a solution that works for them and the business.
Need help getting your team moving in the right direction? Read the full article Conversations with Cohen – The Right Tech Plan for Your Business here. Also, try our course Decentralizing Your Workforce that covers the following:
- HOW should I start? Software tools and best practices for the employer and employee when beginning remote work.
- WHAT should I do? Steps you can take to preserve company culture while keeping remote workers happy and productive.
- WHY should I care about remote work? Trends in remote work and how they impact a business through retaining and recruiting talent.
- WHERE should I work? When you can work anywhere, what are the best resources for Co-Office work, share spaces, and some home office best practices?
The reality is working from home isn’t as comfortable as some people may think. We can give you every tip in the world, but in the end, it depends on you as a business to continue functioning as well as you would in the office. Please stay connected with your team and let them know what’s going on, whether it be a work issue or adjusting to this new normal. Ensure you and your loved ones are on the same page when designating your home workspace. Most importantly, keep up with your daily routine and try to safely get out of the house as much as you can. We know firsthand how difficult remote work can be, so we will continue to do our best to provide the tools that have worked for the Cloud9 Smart team. Let’s get through this pandemic together and come out on top.
Zoom has been our go-to for staying connected to our team and our favorite video conferencing tool. Plus, we have found the virtual background option to be a lot of fun!
Slack is one of our top productivity tools. It helps us stay connected internally. We can create multiple channels to discuss various projects while staying organized and have direct conversations with our managers or fellow employees, keeping them updated on our progress. Since only our team can see these discussions, it allows a little more freedom to be silly, and the occasional meme on our general channel puts a smile on our faces.
Dropbox helps us stay organized, keeping all our documents in one place accessible to the whole team. It is a handy tool, especially when working remotely and can be utilized on an app or web browser. Our team can obtain files from any device.
Use AnyDesk to connect to a computer remotely. This tool helped our team during the quarantine. We hadn’t expected to be away from the office for such an extended period, but with AnyDesk, we were prepared and able to connect to our office PCs.
To see more of our favorite productivity tools click here.