17 Mar Working From Home – Tips
The Best 17 Work From Home Tips from seasoned (WFH) online business entrepreneurs
The effects of COVID-19 have forced a lot of companies (large and small), to encourage or request their employees to work from home. A lot of companies are already equipped to support remote working, by having their workforces fully operating on laptops, with cloud-based software and storage systems (and policies in place). However, those not yet up to date and established with this technology – it is a wakeup call to catch up to 2020 and implement the infrastructure needed to support remote working.
As a business owner, I myself have been working from home for 4 years’ now and whilst it does come with many benefits, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. It can be really difficult to separate the work from the home. I have asked several entrepreneurs who have been nailing the working from home arrangement in their thriving businesses for their best tips and strategies and compiled them here for you.
Prepare yourself to Work From Home with these Top Tips from online business professionals who have been navigating the WFH space successfully in their businesses:
#1 Combat loneliness and connect where possible:
Ok, so with Coronavirus in full swing, I know we are embracing Social Distancing – however as humans, we all need and crave connection.
Plan regular catchups, where you can actually connect by speaking to other humans, rather than only typing via emails or social media. Whether that is team meetings via a video conference (such as zoom or skype), picking up the phone and calling an old friend or simply connecting with your family members at home on a deeper level (play a getting to know you game with your family, ask them their favourite things colour, food, activity, dreams, hopes and desires. Board games and cards also work well for connecting with family at home).
#2 Set Boundaries:
Stacey Cranitch, from The Social Hub says ‘setting boundaries is vital. Such as having set times that you will take calls, respond to emails and messages etc. Ensure you are not available 24/7.”
Figure out your peak times for best productivity results (i.e. if you are more productive early in the morning). You could start from 6:00am – 8:00am, you may then need to break to tend to family members and recommence again for another 2-hr block then break and so on.)
Have clear discussions of when you will be on and when you are off. Says Kylie from Your Virtual Admin Star. Kylie also recommends using software such as Deputy for live rosters for clarity as to when your team is on/off work (if there isn’t something already in place).
#3 Maintain a routine and Dress For Success:
Gemma Pritchard, Pilates Instructor, has worked from home in a corporate position prior to her business and advocates for “maintaining a sense of routine. Getting up at the same time, wearing office wear, putting makeup on etc. It may sound silly, but I found it difficult to concentrate on the days I chose PJ’s over my corporate attire. As they say Dress for Success.
#4 Time Blocking & Noise cancelling Headphones 🎧
We loved Karen Grant’s tips on time blocking over multi-tasking. Focusing on one task, with 100% of your attention is proven to be far more effective then starting and stopping. You are able to get into your ‘flow’ state (or genius zone) when 100% dedicated to the task. Therefore, ticking it off and moving to the next.
It is important to limit distractions also. Lock your mobile in your draw or put it out of sight (out of mind). This can be a huge time suck.
Brand Consultant, Karen also shares these beauties:
- Act like you are in the office – forget the washing and dishes etc. continue those tasks as normally (outside of work hours).
- Noise cancelling headphones! 🎧 They will keep you in your zone of genius and focused!
#5 Adjust your expectations:
You may be getting a little excited at the thought of working from home – for some it may be a dream come true – and I believe is a great opportunity to prove this can work and you can be trusted in this environment (outcome over office hours wins every time).
However, day in/day out working from home, may not be exactly what you expected, and it does present pros and cons. Michele Scherr, Skincare Consultant states;
“If you don’t normally work from home and don’t have your life organised for that… there will be some ups and downs. You will need to be aware that if the kids are home, they are going to need your attention and you will need to work around that.
Prioritising is key.
Children | Housework | Paid Work | Hobbies etc
“It’s tempting when you are home to try and fit it all in – “I’ll just throw a load or two of washing on, vacuum, wash the floors… oh shite – it’s lunchtime and I haven’t done any work!” Be realistic.”
#6 Take regular breaks and get some sunshine:
Step away from the desk and take a break. Go outside, even if only in your own backyard, courtyard or balcony. Get some fresh air and sunshine to help you reset and re-energise.
Ensure your breaks are scheduled into your day and set the length of time you intend to take. It can be easy to get distracted when you are not in your normal work zone and don’t have the accountability of teammates, leaders or customers in your face.
#7 Makeover your home office (or workspace):
Prepare your home workspace as best you can. We all may not have the luxury of having a home office however, think about where you can dedicate a designated space to work (and make it look great).
Leading Business Coaches, over at The Elevatory say “Treat yourself to a home office reno! Why not give your workspace at home a makeover?”
A comfortable workspace and a clear desk = a clear mind!
#8 Play Classical Music
Melinda Steep shares with us, “It’s been found that classical music is best for work environments as it is the least distracting and can even stimulate the part of the brain associated with attention and focus. In addition, listening to music that is familiar is best, as you know what to expect. Listening to new music can distract you as it is more surprising.”
#9 to #17 Teamwork, Technology & Productivity Tips from Your Virtual Admin Star
Kylie is a VA (Virtual Assistant) and is a gun when it comes to being highly productive when working from home. Kylie runs a VA business Your Virtual Admin Star and shares these 9 Tips:
When working in a team (even as small as 2):
#9 – Try and stick to your normal work schedule as if you were at the office, particularly at the beginning as EVERYONE needs to adjust to the change. Teamwork makes the dream work!
#10 – Respecting other team members boundaries. (See tip #2 Boundaries)
#11 – Set up HOW you will communicate as a team – Slack or Zoom Email and then only use those channels rather than contacting each other via Facebook, personal text. It can become quite overwhelming quickly if communication channels aren’t clear and all over the place.
#12 – Use a good digital project management system to track team projects and tasks. (We personally love Trello for this here in our business – Sally Watson – Career Coach).
#13 – Kylie, highly recommends (at the beginning at least), that via your systems do a daily or at least a weekly report to your direct upline/report/manager. This just helps to keep each other accountable and all on the same page to the work that needs to be achieved.
#14 – Managers etc need to factor in there will be interruption to the daily workflow if children are at home and people being at home in their environment. Some grace and understanding are required. However, they can still expect the role to be fulfilled effectively.
#15 – Using cloud-based and good digital systems so all work and documents are always live.
Technology today is phenomenal. If your company is not using a cloud-based software – this really should be a HUGE prompt to be catching up to 2020. Mitigating this risk and encouraging remote working options. There are SO many benefits.
#16 – Workers; when you are rostered ON for work: you’re ON. Respecting your role and duties as if you were at the office. There should flexibility to attend to family and life however it’s not a time to pop the feet up and to drop working standards or balls. Limit distractions and stay focused because amazing progress and success overall can still be achieved. All in your pjs if you choose 😉
#17 – Enjoy the process and stay connected to the team so you don’t feel isolated. Zoom team chats. A team Facebook group. (see Tip #1).
There you have it. 17 awesome tips that will set up for Working From Home success. If you would love to continue to receive blogs like, click here and we’ll keep you informed with all thing career-related to ensure you are not only succeeding in your career and feeling fulfilled.