Make Working From Home Work For You
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
Everyone is home, and it’s 9am on a Monday. Do you have a game plan?
Mondays aren’t like the typical Monday’s we’re all used to. Some are treating it like a Saturday, some are hustling to get ahead and some are just lingering in between. To a lot of us, home is a place where we unwind and forget about our work life. We focus more on our personal life and do whatever we feel like, whether it’s watching Netflix or working on that side-hustle. Now, the lines have been blurred. As countless individuals are working from home, many are finding it hard to adapt since it is not what they are used to. Whether you are a fan of remote working or not, it’s safe to say everyone is facing the challenge of isolation and confinement. However, there are other common challenges that come with remote work such as lack of face-to-face supervision, lack of access to information and the regular distractions at home. So how do we deal with this best? Digital communication tools make remote work possible, but it is teamwork is the backbone of its success. Having a clear, structured plan for your team, as well as yourself, is essential for staying productive and mentally healthy while working through this tough time. Planning creates the structure and routine necessary to get through the day with confidence and organization. Remote work is something we should all get used to. The internet is only expanding and there are many tools available to help enhance both internal and external communications.
So, first thing’s first: you should probably shower, eat some breakfast and put on some pants. How else can you keep a high performance while on the job? There are some who love working from home, and are pretty good at it, while others become lost and lose motivation. However, there are many ways you can help yourself out and make your experience less stressful and more productive.
As silly as it may sound, maintaining a regular work routine at home does in fact have a direct impact overall performance. In fact, behavioral research has shown that setting goals and structure significantly increases the likelihood of success. A schedule can include setting strict work hours and break times, time batching your work, and setting chores or a household schedule; but don’t forget to communicate your work norms to your team so everyone stays informed. Developing a healthy work-life balance is important because happy and healthy employees are productive employees.
What’s more important than making a routine is sticking to it. It can be easy to lose track of time and with that can come lack of confidence in work performance. Some get distracted and do nothing all day, while there are others working into the night, not knowing when to call it quits. This is where boundaries come in. There is a time to work, but there is also a time to take care of yourself and rest, so you don’t burn out. However, when it comes to distractions, having a dedicated workspace makes it easier to stay mentally focused. It’s also important to remember to make that work space comfortable, but remember to set boundaries. If you are living with a spouse, children or even pets, it’s a good idea to make sure you have designated time to be with them and left alone.
Lastly, when you are working, you should be focusing on your most important work and not on tasks for the sake of looking busy. If you feel unsure of what to do, ask. Over-communication is better than lack of communication, and it’s important that you know what is expected of you, so you can play your part and know you did your job. Communication is more critical when working remotely because people don’t know what you are really up to since they can’t see you. Stay connected with your team, be considerate and make sure you get your work done.
Managing Your Team
When it comes to managing a team, you need to be empathetic but practical. As a manager, it’s your job to make sure your team has the proper resources and support to keep them productive, engaged and on the same page. There will be employees that find remote work easier than others and there might be some challenges, but by cultivating a connected culture, you can build both trust and confidence in your team and the work they do.
To start, your team will need to be properly equipped to be successful, and that goes beyond having a laptop. Using collaborative communication tools is ideal because it helps keep your team on the same page and stay connected. Like we said earlier, communication is even more important when you are working remotely. Not only does it help maintain clarity, but it also helps strengthen the company’s collective vision by providing a sense of the bigger picture and keeping everyone aware of what other team members are doing. There are many communication tools you can use that are helpful including apps like Basecamp, Slack and Zoom. It just comes down to how well you use them.
When you are communicating with your team, it is vital that you set clear expectations for each team member. Role definitions may start to get fuzzy in times of crisis, leaving employees unsure of what to prioritize. So, you’ll need to define a clear system for tracking and planning by discussing goals and setting clear responsibilities with your team. Instead of micromanaging, focus on outputs instead of the processes and frame tasks around goals. This will help promote a culture of reliability as well as help your team judge their individual productivity levels by setting individual and departmental goals with measurable outcomes.
Promoting a culture of reliability isn’t the only thing consistent communication will do, it will also allow you to create a culture of transparency by explaining reasons behind your decisions and how it relates to the bigger picture. Collaborative communication channels make it possible for your team to see how everything is connected and how their work contributes to the overall success of the company. It also makes it possible to provide development opportunities to those who lack in certain areas of performance.
As a manager or business owner, it’s important to understand the value of streamlined communication and the digital opportunities available to us. Remain aware of the current situation and express gratitude and respect to your team members. Allow them to be flexible and focus on what’s getting done. Promote dialogue and open communication, but have trust in your employees doing the right thing. There should be a mutual understanding of what’s expected and when.
Managing Your Clients and Customers
When it comes to managing your clients, again, you’re going to want consistent streamlined communication. In times of crisis, it’s important your clients know they have your support. Be transparent and let them know of any changes on your side that might affect them. Times are tough, but now is a great opportunity to show your brand’s purpose and think of how you can help them during this crisis. How are you going to accomplish that?
At MSM DesignZ, we are focused on giving your brand a voice. This is not an easy time, and staying afloat can be difficult enough for a business. That’s why we are here to help! We value the importance of streamlined communication and transparency. With over two decades of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!