MBP Tips: Our Guide to Working Remotely
With COVID-19 spreading globally, we’ve found ourselves in a strange world where we must limit our contact with each other and with the outside world. Considering that some carriers of the virus can show no symptoms, it is clear that the virus spreads relatively stealthily, leading governments to shut down public places and non-essential businesses and companies to ask their employees to work from home.
For some, this may be a welcome change. For others, this may prove challenging as they navigate through how to stay focused and productive at home. Here at MBP, we’re experts at the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, with all of us regularly working from home, or even from a different country!
If you’re curious to see how we make it work, check out our list of suggestions below!
Define company policies
To avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings, this is a must! Outline what you expect from all employees and ensure that your team understands that working from home doesn’t mean that their work ethic or professionalism gets left behind. Address matters such as keeping regular ‘office hours’, how tasks will be designated and processes of accountability to ensure that your employees continue to maximise their productivity and that your business keeps running smoothly.
Invest in tools and programs
With all your employees in different physical locations, the management of daily tasks may become more complicated than if everyone was in the office. To stay organised, invest in different organisational tools, applications and platforms. There are countless products out there, so take the time to research and find out which ones have the features you need. At MBP, we’ve found that a combination of G-Suite, G Drive, Trello/Monday, Zoom and Adobe (who are currently offering discounted rates for their programs) has helped everyone stay on the same page, and they have even boosted creativity and productivity at times!
Without your colleagues around you to offer advice, discuss issues or bounce ideas off, working remotely can sometimes feel like you’re going it alone. That’s why communication becomes crucial when you’re working from home! Think about setting up a work group chat or scheduling in a weekly/ daily video call to get updates on projects, discuss ideas, or even just to check in on each other.
Set up a separate and comfortable space
When working from home, it’s important to have a separate space where you won’t be distracted or bothered while you work. Find a workspace that is clean and has space for everything you may need, including your laptop or computer, a printer, notebooks and pens etc. Most importantly, however, make sure the space you’ll be working in is comfortable and won’t cause you any physical problems in the long run. Trust us, trying to work in a chair that has mediocre back support or a standing desk at the wrong height is a mistake you’d be better off avoiding!
Keep a routine
Working from home can sometimes mean that the lines between work and play become blurred, leading to either a drop in our productivity or a negative shift in our work-life balance. To avoid this, set up a structured routine and stick to it! Doing things like waking up at the same time each day, keeping regular work hours, having a set time for your lunch break will help you stay focused, motivated and keep your work and personal life separate, even when you’re working from home.
Look after yourself emotionally, mentally and physically
Following on from our last point, working from home doesn’t mean that being at home should be all about work! Make sure to set boundaries and look after yourself emotionally, mentally and physically. Take time at some point each day to close your laptop, turn off your phone and get active or do something you enjoy.
Transitioning to working from home can be fun and easy for some, but for others, it can be a hard change to adapt to. However, with proper guidelines and discipline, we’re firm believers that working from home can be just as productive and enjoyable as in the office and in some cases can lead to added benefits!