Although increasing numbers of businesses and companies were already transitioning to remote workspaces to reduce cost and establish more sustainable options for workers, many are struggling to adapt.
However, as a home business owner myself, I can say there are perks for both employees and employers to remote working. Some of these include increased productivity, reduced overhead costs, a lower turnover rate, and a boost in mental health.
In this guide, I have equipped you with tools to help you make the most of your time in quarantine, establish a functional home office space, and keep your businesses/jobs afloat while the pandemic subsides.
- Technology is your friend. There are hundreds of free resources out there to keep you connected, organized, and on track without having to spend. Some of my favorites include Zoom and Skype for meetings (30-minutes allowed only for more than two people), HoneyBook for project management, and Trello for planning.
- There are immense benefits to working from home, such as:
- Increased productivity
- Lower Organizational Cost
- It’s time to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm potential income possibilities. Use this time to innovate ways of generating profits during crisis times. What kind of businesses can you have (on the side, or full time) to support you despite sudden changes?
- Give yourself grace and get time for you back. If you focus on your high-priority tasks, you can incorporate self-care and quality time into your schedule.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
During your time at home, you must stay productive. If you’re not used to working remotely, the first few days can be distracting, but a few steps toward organization can help assuage this.
When I used to work full-time at an office, any opportunity to work from home for me was blissful. Not having to go to any particular place, have distractions from other co-workers, or spending time getting ready for my daily commute allotted me space for productivity.
“I’ve got a theory: if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more.”
First, it’s essential to have a designated workspace equipped with the technology you need. Sitting on your couch and getting work done while watching TV is not going to jive. Find a space within your home where you can isolate and be free of other distractions (kids, pets, etc.). Use this space ONLY for work and not other activities.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Establishing a schedule will keep you sane and organized. Follow-up with your employer (if it applies to you) on what their expectations are of you, and then devise a plan that fits you. I suggest batching your work throughout the day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
For example, my daily schedule varies but tends to follow these two structures:
|Schedule||First Variation||Second Variation|
|9:00 AM||High Priority Tasks||Meetings|
|10:00 AM||High Priority Tasks||Meetings|
|12:00 PM||Lunch Break/Personal||Lunch Break/Personal|
|1:00 PM||Meetings/Client Assistance||High Priority Tasks|
|2:00 PM||Meetings/Client Assistance||High Priority Tasks|
|3:00 PM||Administrative (If Applicable)||Administrative (If Applicable)|
|4:30 PM||Next Day To-Do||Blogging|
As you can see, I have batched my “high-priority tasks” into concentrated sections of the day to be sure that the work I have set out to do gets done.
Additionally (check with your employer first), I have limited my email response times to 12 PM and 4 PM, when the highest volume of emails comes in. This reduces distraction and allows me to be more productive in return.
“Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.”
Human beings are expert time-wasters. We can’t be focused for too long, so we use distractions as a way to feel busy. I understand, if you’re sitting in an office, at your desk, and you’ve still got six hours of a workday ahead of you, it can feel like you need to fill it up with something.
The wonder of working from home is that you can limit your distractions and focus if you really set your mind to it. These steps can help eliminate them:
- Turn Off all sound alerts for email, phones, and apps. Most of the time, you’ll start doing something and get sidetracked by a cute pic of a baby monkey on your phone–no more!
- Use the automatic response tool on your email to let customers/your boss/leads know that you are limiting your email responses to 12 PM and 4 PM. Provide them with an alternative in case of emergencies (there will rarely be an emergency).
- Use headphones, a focus playlist on your favorite streaming device, or a white noise machine to block out sounds or noise.
Time to Re-Think Our Work Systems
Leaping from being a full-time employee to owning my own consultancy was a massive step for me. However, during this crisis, I realize that my experience transitioning has been of great benefit to those who continue to work in more traditional settings.
We can now step back and re-evaluate what systems in society, our personal lives, and the world are working and which are not. Thanks to the internet and globalization, individuals worldwide can connect, create, and launch online businesses at a low cost.
Besides, in the online world, skills are welcome, and there’s a community everywhere for you. Perhaps, it’s time to think about what steps you can take to be prepared for the next crisis (there’s always one). Will you continue to be dependent on one single source of income, or could you set up various streams that work even when you can’t be present?
If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into entrepreneurship, download my free guide for tools and tips.
This is Your Time, Give Yourself Grace
When I first started working from home full-time, I always felt like I was not doing enough.
If I had all this time now, why not spend it making money?
That’s great, but you also must give yourself time to breathe. Working from home, if you apply the tips provided correctly, can award you a lot of time to focus on your family, physical and mental health, learn new things, and innovate.
The Earth has us all in a lockdown, so why not use it to slow down? There’s no rush when you’re at home; no one is closing their doors. So, meet your company, business, and employer’s needs and meet your needs as a person.
Slow down and think, “How can I contribute to my wellbeing and that of others? What are some steps I can take to invest my time on things that matter to me personally?”
I hope these tips help you streamline and adapt to your new circumstances. You’ll soon find the pros and cons from your own perspective.