In this crazy time, it’s been a blessing for those printers and creative agencies that are able to convert employees to a work from home position. But for those not accustomed to working from home, it can be disorienting, and both employers and employees could be struggling.
Here are five tips to help you and your employees adjust to the new remote reality.
- Stick to your schedules and routines. It might be tempting to stay in your PJs all day, but sticking to morning practices such as showering and getting dressed can be motivating and help with the mental shift from home to work. Likewise, make sure to take breaks like lunch and “coffee breaks.” You’ll also want to make a clear end to the workday in order to not burn out.
- Create a conducive workspace: This could be as simple as delegating a specific chair at your kitchen table as your ‘workspace,’ or putting a table in the corner of your living room to create a designated workspace. This will help you transition in and out of work mode.When you work from home if you live with other people, it’s important to create a distraction-free area. This could be a separate area or something as simple as investing in noise-cancelling headphones. For working parents, having a designated work area will also signal your kids when you’re working and when not to interrupt you.
- Employ remote tools. When your teams work from home, you want to make sure they have the right tools to be efficient and productive. This includes both physical equipment like laptops and cell phones, along with ergonomic equipment like monitors or keyboards. VMA members get discounts on Dell and Apple products. Additionally, in recent years there has been an explosion of productivity software tools and apps for video conferencing, instant messaging, project management, and document storage. There are a lot of options.
- Communicate frequently. Communication is especially important when people are not face-to-face. You may find yourself needing to communicate far more than you would with a collocated team. It’s a good idea to vary the ways you communicate as needed: Make use of phone, chat, email, and video. Set up weekly whole-company or team meetings. Communicating frequently with team members will help maintain and develop trust, and can help you get a better sense of any conflicts or tensions that are taking place at a distance.
- Maintain your organization’s culture. You’ll also want to keep up the sense of camaraderie and team spirit. Virtual meetings where employees can come together, both for work and social experiences, can be beneficial. Virtual coffee breaks can help maintain that sense of company culture and help fulfill people’s needs for social interactions. Other ideas include setting up a Slack channel or some other way to have off-line small talk or share fun content.
In this difficult time, we’re fortunate that most people have access to the tools, such as the Internet and apps, that make remote work life possible, even if it is not the work life that most of us are used to. We hope that these tips help you make the transition more comfortable, both for yourself and your employees and their families.