In the United States, mitigating the coronavirus has led to some unprecedented preventative measures. Officials say the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed through social distancing, and because of this, many employers are transitioning by letting their employees work from home. For employees and employers who are working remotely for the first time, this might be a new challenge; for others, it might be a dream come true. Either way, working remotely poses challenges for your team. Follow these GROWL tips to make the transition more seamless.

4 tips for employees working from home

When making the jump from in-office to at-home, it’s critical to have everything from your workspace to your schedule in check. 

1 Create a dedicated workspace 

While your company has you working from home, create a space that is dedicated to working. If you have a home office, then all the better, but if you don’t, try setting up shop at your dining room table. Make sure the space you choose allows you to sit up and stay focused. Consider your needs and limitations when establishing your at-home workstation setup.

GROWL Tip: Limit distractions. It’s easy to get distracted while working from home, so try to remove things from your space that can reduce your productivity. If you can have a designated area solely for your work in your home, then establishing boundaries with your family is incredibly important. Start with communication, and explain what kind of personal interactions appropriate, and what interruptions are will limit your productivity and should be off-limits. 

2 Make a schedule

Establishing a routine for yourself and your family is extremely helpful. Creating separation between your personal time and professional time will allow you to keep focused on one task. Here’s how to make that happen.

GROWL Tip: Have a morning routine. Get up and get ready in the morning in the same way you would if you were going to the office. Eat a good breakfast, and maybe even carve out time for a short in-home workout. Then, dive into your workday. 

 When it’s time to clock out, it’s just as important to develop habits that signal the end of your workday. When you sign-off from a virtual workspace, leave the room you were working in and close your computer (or work-related tabs). This will aid in your ability to leave work where it belongs and signal your brain when it is time to relax.

Remember to take breaks during the day. Set clear margins for your lunchtime so you can step away from your work and refresh your mind. If you need to leave your workspace during this time, try limiting the time to fit in your usual lunch hour, so when you return, you are ready to be productive. 

3 Make sure your tech is reliable

Most companies will work with you to make sure you have what you need to work, including taking home your computer/laptop for remote work. Having two computers at home, one dedicated to work and another for personal use is ideal. Operating in this way is more secure for your employer and allows you peace of mind when you use your personal device. If operating in this way isn’t feasible, then perhaps creating a separate account specifically for work, or even running on a different hard drive will help to create the hard line of separation between work and personal. 

Check your internet speed to ensure you can work efficiently. A reliable computer needs a stable wireless internet connection; otherwise, conference calls and cloud sharing will be frustrating and impede productivity. The last thing you want to run into is a poor connection while on a video call. You should be able to complete the work you need without the hassle of wasting time with a slow connection. If you need to invest in a more reliable service provider, communicate that with your boss so that they are in the loop and know you are doing everything in your power to make sure the company doesn’t suffer during this time.

4 Communicate & socialize with colleagues

Overcommunication is critical during this time. It can be challenging to make sure your team is up to date on their projects and tasks since you aren’t able to walk down the hall to check-in. Keep in touch with each other through a group chat and keep your team posted as you complete tasks and projects. Tracking the progress of each team member will be difficult for your bosses, so help them out by giving them daily updates.

Have daily phone/conference calls with your team. Schedule phone meetings as often as needed to make sure everyone is on the same page and has what they need to complete their work. When you do have a phone meeting or video chat, make sure you are participating, even if it’s by simply saying hello and goodbye, so that everyone can hear your voice. 

While working at home can be ideal for some, others thrive off of the social aspect of the workplace and even rely on it. Check-in with your fellow team members so that everyone feels supported, this will help keep projects on track and everyone confident the team is still functioning even while remote.

Tips for businesses going remote

Thanks to developments in technology, many businesses can have their employees to work remotely and keep productivity up. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn help connect people and keep them updated. LinkedIn will have courses available for people to bolster their understanding of virtual meeting tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc. These courses will teach how to balance work and family efficiently during this time. Try enhancing your tech with GROWL’s top five tech tools for remote work.

Similarly, due to COVID-19, many significant events and conferences are being canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This potential obstacle can be turned positive by transitioning to a virtual platform. You can still keep the momentum you had by offering virtual product demos, hosting keynote speakers and interactive sessions, all while providing an immersive online experience. 

Had an in-person event planned or even something as large as a conference? Try these ideas to shift your event to a virtual format:

  • Pre-record videos
  • Animate educational video content
  • Live stream
  • Host virtual panels and forums

You can keep that connection and communication with your consumers and employees without losing momentum by postponing your event entirely. Remember that communication is critical, and a virtual connection can be just as powerful as having an in-person meeting. 

Though many things in our daily lives are shifting, it is possible to take this new challenge and thrive in this new environment. A little discipline and a whole lot of communication will keep your business meeting goals, and your team feeling like a family.

As always, GROWL is here to help. Let us know what we can do to support your business during this time.