As a Unified Communications (UC) provider, Sangoma has seen the potential for workspaces to stay more connected than ever while becoming flexible enough to allow employees to work from anywhere. So, we’re no strangers to working from home. Here’s some general tips for working remotely.
The biggest pitfall employees working from home for the first time can encounter is the initial dissonance of trying to stay focused on work while surrounded by their leisure environment. It’s all too easy to slip into bad habits like inconsistent sleep schedules and wanting to “clock out” early.
Staying disciplined by sticking to a schedule and staying focused throughout the day actually makes the transition to working from home easier. If you start to mix work and leisure, the lines can begin to blur between the two, leading to either slacking or burnout.
Disconnect Regularly & Take Breaks
Just like going into work, it’s not normal to sit for 8 hours straight. When in the office, you, no doubt, get up from time to time and walk around, take a coffee break, chat with a coworker, and stay stretched and refreshed. In just the same way, it’s important to get up every so often to move around even when you’re working from home.
Get up and take a walk around the block. Actually take your lunch hour and cook something. Play with your pet. It’ll do wonders for your mental health while keeping your mind fresh for the work at hand.
Make Time for Yourself
Similar to the other two points, it’s important to make time for yourself, especially for those working from homes occupied by other people. In these types of situations, it can be all too easy to slip from being connected to colleagues to spending time with family with no time to collect your thoughts and take care of yourself. So, make sure to keep a solid distinction between work hours and home hours, and schedule in time to look after your own needs. This will keep you happy and productive, whether you’re working from home temporarily or full-time.
Goals & Productivity
Set daily and weekly goals
At the start of every week and every day, identify your top priorities and physically write them down, highlighting especially the top 3 or so. This will ensure you stay motivated working towards a goal and ensure you don’t lose sight of the big picture of the business. This will also help you remain focused – especially when working in a home environment where there may be many more distractions than usual.
Stay connected and responsive
Without the possibility of popping into each others’ offices, it’s vital to ensure you remain connected and responsive. Yes, it’s fine (even good) to stop responding to chats for a while to tackle some project, but making sure you are in sync with your team, answering their questions and getting their insight, will ensure that you stay engaged with your work and avoid losing morale or direction.
Schedule regular check-ins
At the same time, though, be careful not to rely on random messages, emails, and phone calls to stay connected as a cohesive team. Take the time to schedule regular check-ins with all the people you need to stay in sync with. This will eliminate a lot of headaches and ensure that productive collaboration can continue outside the walls of the business office.
Environment & Sanity
Dedicate a workspace in your home
One of the best ways to stay disciplined, on a schedule, and maintain a healthy work-life balance is to designate one part of your house as your home office, even if it’s just a table away from the high-traffic areas of the house.
Perhaps you already have a home office? Make sure it doesn’t share use with other activities, especially during work hours. Many are accustomed to using their offices for hobbies or personal paperwork, so it’s important not to get distracted by personal activities that could sideline the work you need to get done.
Keep drinks and snacks at hand
One of the most dangerous journeys one can take while working from home is to run to the fridge outside of taking a break. En route and back, you’ll encounter many distractions and sidetracks that it may be better just to wait for a break. Or… just keep a small supply of snacks and drinks with you to keep you refreshed. Heck, move the coffee pot into your home office if you can. Then your breaks aren’t always to eat and drink, and you can snack while working without having to run to the fridge and back. Win-win.
Don’t feel guilty about ambience or entertainment
Finally (and this is especially important for new remote workers), don’t feel guilty about doing perfectly appropriate things that you couldn’t do in a business office. Open the windows wide, run that noisy fan, play your music without headphones. In your home office, you control the environment, both for good and for bad. So have fun while staying productive, and you’ll find that remote work may be what you always wanted.
Interested in a Communications Solution that Keeps Remote Workers Connected?
No matter what line of work your business prevails in, Sangoma has a business communications platform for you. Switchvox is a Unified Communications (UC) business phone system that integrates all the ways colleagues stay connected to each other and customers into a single platform. Best of all, it’s available in both on-premise and hosted in the Cloud, using the same source code. That means it’s incredibly easy to get started, and most users are able to use it from day one. Check it out!