Bannersnack’s priority is the health and safety of our employees and community, including business partners and candidates.
As a precaution against the novel coronavirus, organizations across the globe are being forced to adapt quickly, including us. Companies such as Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and many more are urging their employees to work from home, as the entire business world has joined forces to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Conferences and other large events from all over the world have also been canceled, and companies have halted work-related travel.
You may also find yourself working from home over the upcoming weeks as employers attempt to limit staff exposure to the coronavirus outbreak.
To help you get through this, we put together a list of tips that can help you stay productive and focused while working from home.
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1. Find your spot
Assuming you already have the essentials—a laptop, your phone, and a good internet connection—all that’s left for you to do is to find a good spot in your home.
Whether you live in a small studio or a big house, setting up a working spot can be crucial to your productivity. Not only that, but it will help you get into that state of mind you need and, at the end of the day, it will be much easier for you to disconnect.
Still, if you feel like you don’t have enough inspiration, you can adjust your working spot for different tasks. This way, your mind will stay focused and productive.
2. Stay focused
At times, managing distractions at home can be a challenging task, as there are many things that can interfere with your ability to deliver.
It’s best practice to set up a zone that’s entirely dedicated to work, in a quiet corner of your house and away from the TV, pets, and other family members.
However, physical distractions are just a small part of the picture. You can also get distracted by unproductive work habits, especially if your job requires spending time online. There are many tools and apps you can use to avoid wasting time, including Cold Turkey, Rescue Time, and productivity app Proud.
3. Structure your day
At Bannersnack, while we work from home, our working hours are from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. This allows all of us to have a daily structure and, most importantly, it facilitates team collaboration, online meetings, and discussions.
Make sure you check the calendar in the morning so you can see if there are any meetings scheduled for the day.
Write down the tasks that you want to accomplish. You can even do it for an entire week so you have a clear overview of what you need to be working on in order to avoid losing focus.
Also, if you got used to having a certain structure when you were in the office, make sure that you’re using it when you work from home as well, so you maintain your productivity levels.
4. Use the right tools
Using technology to stay connected is one of the top three most important aspects of working from home.
At Bannersnack, we use Google Hangouts for instant messaging and video conferences. You can use whichever tools you find most reliable to check in with your coworkers and run virtual meetings. Luckily, there are plenty of options you can choose from, in case you haven’t found the right tool yet.
As you already know, team collaboration is also at the core of results-driven teams. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to go and nag someone in person and ask them for feedback on something.
When you collaborate online, things change because you need to use tools that help you establish a workflow between you and other team members that you rely on.
That’s why a design collaboration platform such as Bannersnack can help you avoid the hassle of misplaced feedback, countless emails that no one reads, or switching between multiple tools.
In case you want to discover more tools for working remotely, feel free to check out this list.
5. Prep ahead of your video conference calls
You know how group meetings in-person can sometimes get out of hand, especially when a lot of people participate? Imagine how much harder it can be when you need to have a meeting with a few different people that are in totally different locations.
Because of this, it is very important to have someone to conduct the meeting. Ideally, this person needs to have an agenda so all the participants will know the talking points and main issues that need to be discussed.
If the meeting agenda is available before the video conference, make sure you go over it so you can prepare yourself with ideas, answers, or solutions.
To run an efficient online meeting, make sure that there are no distractions around you, such as your phone, music, TV, or other people talking in the house.
6. Don’t skip lunch
We’re all different, and while some of us skip over breakfast and reach for a coffee instead, others start the day with a healthy, nutritious meal, and then it’s showtime: three or four hours of intense mental effort.
Allow yourself to take a much-deserved lunch break because it’s a good way to disconnect from work and wind down. Since you’re working from home, taking a trip to the kitchen from time to time can actually be a good idea. While you’re there, don’t forget to drink water.
We, at Bannersnack, have a one-hour lunch break at noon. That’s plenty of time to cook something and enjoy, or maybe order in and relax after the meal. And please, do me a favor and don’t eat in front of the screen. It’s really not healthy.
7. Log off
Working from home can give you the false impression that sitting at your desk for an extra hour can help you complete the task at hand or that a brilliant idea will magically pop in.
We highly recommend turning off your devices and pausing your online system at the end of your workday. You may want to refer to your company’s work from home policy to know exactly what expectations and working hours your employer has outlined while you work remotely.
To relax and recharge your batteries after work, take half an hour to engage in the home activities that you enjoy most. Simple things like reading, physical exercise, and cooking can make a huge difference in helping you feel energized and refreshed.
Now’s the time to start cooking a healthy dinner and being grateful for everything you’ve accomplished that day. Start reading that book that you bought two weeks ago, have a cup of tea, and relax.
Nowadays, remote work is accessible to most employees working in tech, and workplaces from all over the world are embracing this option more than ever before.
If it’s the first working from home experience for you, you may find it a little difficult to get settled at first, but we promise you will adapt in no time, especially if you follow our tips.
We encourage you to maximize the time you spend at home by reading, meditating, writing, listening to music, painting or drawing, binging on TV shows—basically, doing whatever makes you happy.
Stay safe and healthy.
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