The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has meant many changes in daily life for most Americans. With many states issuing stay at home orders, most non-essential businesses have opted to allow their staff members to self-quarantine and work from home to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus. While working from home certainly has health benefits in the current landscape, it also has its own unique challenges that need to be overcome. These six tips will allow you to create a positive work from home experience and remain productive in this uncertain time.
While working from home, utilizing technology is a must. Many internet users are experiencing slower load times or interrupted service due to the increased demand their providers are facing. Check with your internet company to see if upgrading your internet or cell phone speeds might help.
Focus on Security
Make sure that you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) set up so that your staff can access workplace servers securely. According to CPA Practice Advisor, this will protect you against cyberthreats while ensuring that your employees still have everything they need to perform their roles to the best of their ability.
Use an instant messaging software and frequent video and audio calls to make sure your team stays connected and on the same page even while separated. Checking in a few times a day, staying on top of your emails and voicemails, and scheduling team meetings are all great ways to ensure your team is still communicating and being productive.
Work Regular Hours
The line between personal and professional can get blurred when your home becomes your workspace. Stick to regular business hours and save personal projects for after work. Equally important is to maintain regular “personal” hours where you do not check emails and are fully present with your loved ones.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
While it can be tempting to work from your bed, having an “office space” within your home can help you to separate personal and professional and stay productive during work hours. You don’t need a whole room to do this; a simple desk or even a dedicated chair at your kitchen table will work! Make sure that you have all your necessary supplies within arm’s reach and a comfortable chair that provides adequate back support.
Make sure to continue to take your regularly scheduled breaks even while telecommuting. Getting up to stretch and walk around your home will help you avoid burnout and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any new tasks that pop up throughout your day.
Working from home can have enormous benefits. Aside from the obvious pro of limiting exposure to the COVID-19 virus, telecommuting can help you save on transportation costs and time, improve your productivity, and allow you to work at your own pace. Making sure that you have a dedicated workspace, maintain a good work/life balance, and utilize technology properly and safely can help you make the most out of this time and prepare your company for the changing times ahead.