Lessons Learned From Running a Remote Company, Use These Tips To Maximize Your Productivity.
At this time, we’re nearly three weeks into dealing with the worldwide pandemic. The coronavirus has impacted seemingly every industry and probably a lot of your personal and professional lives.
While a lot of industries have been disrupted, luckily some companies have pivoted to working remotely. As you can imagine, this has caused a surge in people understanding the difficulty of working at home. Since our team at EasyWebinar is remote, we wanted to help you learn some best practices to make the most of this situation.
3 Common Work From Home Challenges
For some of us, working from a home office is second nature as you might already work part-time or full-time remotely. For others, this sudden shift has turned your world upside down and you had to adjust overnight.
First off, congratulations on making the switch and figuring it out. While it’s not easy, it can be done if you schedule your days and time correctly. Here are some of the most common challenges you might face when working remotely.
Working at home sounds like a dream until you realize everyone in the house is home as well. Finding a quiet moment isn’t always easy. Maybe your dog keeps barking during video meetings or your child finds a way to interrupt at the perfect moments. To help with this, keep your communication open so everyone is on the same page.
If interruptions are killing your productivity, try your best to plan ahead so you can find childcare options or have a neighbor watch the dog if possible. Getting constantly disrupted can make it hard to stay focused when you’re working on something important and take you twice as long to complete. Getting into a flow state (and staying there) is key to getting more done in less time.
Another idea to help with interruptions is to have a trigger to let others know you’re focusing. Maybe this means putting on headphones or having a sign on the door. This will let others know you’re in the zone and not to be interrupted if possible.
Work From Home Solution
Have a conversation with the people in your home communicating how distractions really affect your productivity. Since you’re likely quarantined with the same people day in and day out, great communication is key to everyone succeeding.
Working Too Many Hours
When you work from home, it’s hard to sometimes turn “it” off. It’s easy to see your laptop staring at you while you’re watching Netflix at night with the family. Or, getting a business call after hours and saying you were done for the day.
But you need to have clear boundaries with your schedule so you can keep some resemblance to your normal life. Working more hours can lead to extra stress, frustration, and anxiety in already challenging times.
Work From Home Solution
Working more is rarely the right solution. Instead, make an effort to disconnect and go for a short walk, read a book and unplug as you normally would in the office.
Don’t forget to take breaks and drink plenty of water to stay productive throughout the day. Keeping work and life separate are key when working remotely.
Lacking Human Interaction
If you’re an extrovert, this social isolation might feel like a very difficult transition as you’re used to human interaction throughout the day. Working at home means no more team meetings, no more water cooler talk, and no more bumping into coworkers in the hallway.
For some, this isn’t a problem and you might get more done but for others, it’s extremely isolating. With so much social distancing, it’s important to protect your mental health as well.
Work From Home Solution
If this feels like your situation, make sure to be very intentional in scheduling brief meetings or virtual happy hours to catch up with coworkers. Use this time to reconnect with people, bring a positive energy to the call, and make the most of this difficult situation.
While catching up with coworkers is great, you can also use this time to catch up with friends and family as well.
Working Remotely Lessons
For so many people, switching to work at home has created a ton of learning moments. Here are seven helpful tips to help you work from home to get more done.
1. Wake Up On Time
Working at home makes it easy to feel like you can sleep in and hit the snooze button. No commute, no dressing, why not sleep in… right?
Think again, even though it’s tempting to do so, you want to try and stick with your normal routine. This way you don’t throw off your sleep patterns once you head back into the office.
According to a Forbes article, waking up at the same time as always, will help in many ways:
“By getting up at the same time every day, your circadian rhythm (or body clock) will stabilize, helping your productivity to raise improving your sleep and decreasing possible insomnia and sleep deprivation. It is also scientifically proven that it reduces your caffeine dependence, improves alertness, sharpens your focus and short-term memory, decreases your irritability and pain, improves your mood and your immune system functioning and helps you with a better safety and job performance.”
While waking up near your normal time is important, don’t forget exercise either. Since we’re so cooped up and all gyms are closed, it’s important to get in some form of exercise as well. Whether it’s watching at home workout videos on YouTube, going for a short walk with your dog, or doing yoga at home, try to stay active.
Not only will this help your physical health but it will help with your mental sanity as well. Exercise will help you become more resilient when it seems like there is endless negativity online.
3. Start Morning Rituals
While the quarantine has a lot of downsides, there is one upside – more time alone. One thing you can do with this extra time is to add a set of morning rituals to your schedule. As best-selling author Tim Ferris said, “If you win the morning, you win the day.”
Use this extra time at home to create new rituals that set you up for success once this pandemic is over. Here’s a list of seven powerful morning rituals that highly successful people use according to the same Forbes article mentioned above:
- Get up on time (skip the snooze button).
- Start your day with a few minutes of quiet time or meditation.
- Establish a routine for exercise.
- Sit down with family for breakfast.
- Devote time for self-learning (watch educational videos, listen to podcasts, etc.)
- Say good morning to people on their way to work (since you aren’t leaving the house, use Slack or email to greet friends, family or coworkers).
- Create a to-do list for the day.
After you add some of these rituals into your morning routine, they might stick once all this over to help you conquer the mornings.
4. Create a Work Environment
Another challenge with working at home is separating work from the rest of your home. Ideally, you want to work in a spare bedroom or home office if possible. This will help you disconnect and recharge instead of being “ON” 24/7.
But if you can’t do that, try to establish some type of work space. Maybe it’s a specific chair in the kitchen, hiding your laptop when you’re done working, or never working on the couch. Creating a work environment will help you keep family and work life separate.
5. Maintain a Schedule
Keeping a schedule is crucial to productivity and it’s even more important when you’re working at home. Each afternoon or night, make sure to create a schedule for the following day. This will help you stay on track with your normal routine and get as much (if not more) done.
Whether you write it down or add it into your phone, stick to it as close as you can. Try to get the most important stuff done early, so that you’re more likely to not skip it later in the day. Plus, doing the big stuff early will build early momentum that will carry you on throughout the day.
6. Use Time Management Techniques
Another way to make the most of your time working at home is to use time management techniques. One of my favorites is the Pomodoro technique. Even though it’s been around for a long time, it’s one of the best ways to get more done in less time.
If time is your enemy, you’ll love this simple technique. Here’s how you can use it working at home:
- Pick a task you want to get done. Big or small, it doesn’t matter.
- Set a timer on your phone or a physical timer to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task (and nothing else) until the timer goes off.
- Then, spend five minutes doing anything else. Check your email, go for a walk, grab a drink of water, etc.
- Then, do another 25 minutes on and five minutes off. Each one of these represents one “Pomodoro.”
- After four sessions, take a 15-30 minute break.
- Each time you do a full session, make a check mark on a piece of paper.
7. Set an End Time
When you’re working at home, it’s easy to feel like you can log on to your computer and get some more work done. But you still need to have a clear end time so you don’t get burnt out.
One of the best ways to do this is by having an end of day ritual. Just as you might have morning rituals to start your day, you should create ones to end your day as well.
This could be powering down your computer at a certain time to watch an episode of your favorite show. Or, closing your laptop and start to cook dinner. Or, even something as simple as closing your office door as a signal to your brain it’s time to end the day.
These small triggers can help you identify an end time and ensure you’re refreshed for tomorrow.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get more done while working at home. Also, great job staying resilient in times of stress and chaos going on in the world. It’s not easy making a massive shift to your day-to-day routine overnight but you’re doing an awesome job.
Remember, the people who become the most successful in life and business are the ones who adapt, especially during challenging times.
To make working remotely easier, make sure you check out EasyWebinar’s three flexible and powerful plans. Not only can you run live and automated webinars, you can onboard new customers, have video meetings with your team, and so much more.
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