Working from home used to be the exception, not the norm.
But now, we find ourselves thrust into working from our kitchen table (or the garden), sneaking precious moments in our days to work. We are juggling looking after and home schooling our children, making sure we get our daily exercise and fresh air boost and checking in on our loved ones.
How do you juggle working from home and family life?
You may have had a taste of remote working from when you pick up the kids after school – fitting in an hour or two each week to make up the time or complete the email you didn’t quite finish when you had to rush off.
But what about working from home every single day?
If you are used to working in an office environment, it can be a radical change.
Here’s what you need to put in place to work from home every day
You are used to having people around you; interacting, asking questions and chatting to your colleagues. Busy with meetings, presentations, client work and collaborating on projects.
To go from this to being alone every day, with only your kids and dog/cat to keep you company can be very isolating.
Here are a few things to consider, to make sure you get your work done (and stay sane) when working from home.
- Decide on your working schedule. It may take a few weeks to figure out what this schedule looks like for you, as you settle into a routine with your kids and partner and your team does the same. It may be that 9-5 does not work for you anymore and you need to switch to working in the afternoons and after the kids are in bed.
- Communicate this working schedule to your team members, managers and clients. That way they know when they can contact you and you are available.
- Setting boundaries with your family is key. Communicate your working schedule to them and discuss what constitutes an emergency, and what doesn’t… Devise a way to let everyone in the house know that you can’t be disturbed, such as a flag on the table, a closed door or a sock on the banister.
- Set out your work space. Try out a few areas in your house to find the best place for you that enables you to concentrate and be able to take voice and video calls without being disrupted. Once you have decided on where you will work in the house, make sure it is clutter free. Move all the kids (and dog/cat) toys out of the way. Especially the noisy ones. And if you are going on video calls with your team or clients, make sure you have a suitable background (put away your washing…)
- ALWAYS make sure you are fully dressed on video calls. You never know when you will need to stand up to go to another room to get something.
Technology for working from home
Having the right online collaboration platform in place for your team to communicate and work on projects together is essential.
A system like Zoho One gives you endless possibilities, with everything from training platforms, event management software, collaboration tools, project management software and presentation tools, to help desk software, a CRM system and email marketing software.
The best systems will give you peace of mind by letting you check in from your mobile at any time to get an instant overview of what everyone is up to.
You have to remember that no system can work without a team committed to using it and working together. This is even more crucial in a remote working system.
We put together a guide to the Online Tools you need to work remotely. It outlines the tools available to you as well as a brief overview on each of the tools. Have a read of it here.
Collaborating with your team – from home
You will no doubt be missing the interaction with your team and clients.
As a remote team, we use a variety of Zoho tools daily to ensure our team are able to collaborate and communicate on projects and client work.
There are tools to make sure you can keep in touch, be it through instant messaging (Cliq), online video meetings and screen sharing your presentations (Zoho Meeting) or through your internal social network (Zoho Connect).
Zoho Remotely is a bundle of applications which makes online collaboration easy. It enables you to take your work out of the office environment by offering a complete suite of web and mobile apps that will help your organisation and teams communicate, collaborate and continue to be productive.
Zoho have committed to providing these products for FREE until 1st July 2020. Find out more about this offer here.
Traits you need to develop to work from home
In our experience, there are several key traits remote team members need to develop when switching from office to working from home:
- Strong self-discipline, with the ability to avoid distractions and focus
- Agile and flexible enough to quickly adapt to the new system and working conditions
- Able to deal with ambiguity and work ahead should someone be offline
- Responsible enough to ensure you check-in with regular updates
- Communicate regularly throughout the day with your team and clients
If you had to rate yourself, how are you doing with each of those?
For those leading a team of people working from home, it’s important they set clear goals for everyone and keep a continuous conversation going.
Don’t forget to celebrate the wins too!
Feel free to drop us a line on 01484 307066 for a chat about your business and system requirements!