Now that everyone has settled in to working from home, I wanted to open a discussion on best practices for working remotely. Specifically, I would love to hear how you are managing a team that is used to being in an office but has now had to adjust to working remotely. When initially doing my research, I came up with a few ideas and below are some of the ones that have been working for us on the Association Analytics Sales team:
- Creating a successful workstation
We have found that we’re more productive with a clean desk that’s free from distractions, like the TV. Since we will be spending a lot of time here over the next few weeks, we have found that it’s worth spending some time to set it up like you would in the office. Make sure the chair you are using is comfortable and supportive. You can sometimes get lucky and find a free or discounted office chair online or in your neighborhood. Any sturdy chair you can find will work well, but try to avoid working from the sofa or bed.
- Getting in the habit of ‘going to work’
Our team has relied on setting a routine and sticking to it. Just like when we used to drive to work, it’s important for us to wake up on time, run through our morning routine, get dressed for the day, and go to our workstation at the time we start working. We all agree that we feel more productive when we follow our routines, which means normal putting on work clothes and not just rolling out of bed in our pajamas.
- Spending time with the team
We have been holding a morning huddle over Zoom that’s helped us define our goals for the day, and then afternoon huddles to recap what we accomplished during that day. These meetings are always done with our webcams on, so that it feels like we’re all chatting together as a team. We like to come up with one fun “watercooler” topic for the day, so it’s not all about business and we can all still have a laugh. This week we shared everyone’s favorite bad 80’s movie that they still love.
- Separating work and life
It can be tempting to go between work and daily life, but this ultimately confuses our brains because we don’t know when to be in focus mode or in decompression mode. We have found that it’s important to define your space and spend your work time in your workspace, and your home time in your home space. When we shut down for the day, we try to spend free time not thinking about work and focusing on our time with family and friends. Checking emails all evening long and keeping the laptop open will cause burn out and ultimately make you less productive for the next day.
These are some of the ideas we have found to help us keep productive in this unusual time. I would love to hear everyone’s feedback on what your teams are doing and what has worked/not worked for you. What are your tips and tricks for working at home? And if you are a manager how are you dealing with managing your team to ensure accountability, but also supporting success?