Working from home is a reality a lot of us are facing for the first time. So for her Diamond Discussion, Brianna laid out five fantastic tips to help make sure anyone working from home can be as productive as working from the office.
- Workspace – By now hopefully everyone has a dedicated place to work and be set up. We all work with multiple with monitors so having a desk set up is important. And try to stay away from normal distractions. I’m lucky enough Josh also works from home and gets it, but not everyone has that so make sure everyone in the house knows working from home still means working. Take your breaks and spend time with them and have lunch together but make sure they understand the boundaries when you are trying to work. Having a designated workspace also allows you to clock off and then “leave work.” Believe it or not, a laptop on your lap while you are sitting on the couch is harder to put down at 6 o’clock!
- Stay connected – We are all such a close group that if we stopped speaking except to say “proof is up” it would not feel like Diamond anymore! While staying focused and getting things done is obviously important, make sure you stay in touch with your team and everyone else too. Don’t be afraid to share your story about something your kid is doing being out of school, or send pictures of the dog enjoying you being home, just keep that connection to the team or you’ll feel lonely and just out of touch after a few weeks and that’s usually when people get the “I never leave my house and this is awful” feeling.
- Follow a schedule – It seems great to sleep in and skip a long commute and live in pajamas, I know, but that wears you down very quickly. Try to figure out a schedule that works for you and keeps you feeling… well human. Wake up and make coffee, change your clothes (in my case I just change into new pajamas but hey it’s something), grab something for breakfast just like you normally would if you were coming into the office. That way, when you sit down at your desk you are ready to work. And take breaks throughout the day like you normally would. Get up to make lunch, step away to make a phone call, those breaks away from your desk allow you to be your most productive and not burn out from 9+ hours a day sitting at your laptop.
- Communication is even more important – When you remove the face-to-face interactions you are used to having every day, it will almost immediately make you feel isolated. So now more than ever communicating effectively is important. Not just water cooler chat, but speaking to each other about needs, expectations, questions, etc. It’s easier (and keeps you more connected) to pick up a phone or video call to chat with someone. Share your screen so show them how to do something instead of sending 50 Slacks about it. It’s usually more effective and keeps you closer!
- Stay in motion – This one is not included on TIME, but very important and mentioned in some way from everyone who works from home effectively. Just like Newtons law says, an object in motion stays in motion. The busier you are the more you tend to get done, since knowing 10 things need to be completed today as opposed to 4 things will push you to finish all 10 instead of stretch out the 4 to fill your day. So, make sure to stay focused on your tasks and not put things off to be tomorrows problem. Don’t move slow because you seem to have time to, (like Melissa just said, you can even just read articles or watching trainings!) wouldn’t you want to try and sign off early or be done on time the next day too? Stay in motion then! Or you’ll be like Josh, who plays video games when he’s slow and then ends up back at his desk after dinner to finish the things he didn’t get to because he’s bad at time management 😊
Brianna Kennedy is a Senior Account Manager for Diamond Media Solutions.