Work-at-home is common today, but it can be challenging. Even for small businesses, learning how to work from home is important to nurture an effective and efficient team. Unlike working in an office, at home there are many distractions, less accountability, and less communication; but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be productive. There are lots of ways to keep the team working productively, from any location.
Read on to get some working from home tips to help you, as an entrepreneur. You can ensure how much you can get done in a day and still keep the team productive!
• Maintain regular work hours: When working from home, it’s most important to create a regular schedule for your team. For, it’s tempting to give total flexibility when you get started, take breaks, and call it a day; but each team member must try to keep the daily schedule consistent. Setting regular hours for work keeps the team accountable. In the at-home work schedule, each team member can focus on communication with team mates, customers and boss at different times. And they can also figure out what time of day they are most productive. This doesn’t mean that the team needs to work 9-5 every day. They should work when they are most productive. Keep a track of when meetings or any conference calls are planned – so you can fit that into the day. And, your team will be on the way to lead productive, consistent work days.
• Separate work and personal time: Realistically, the team needs to give time for home life when it’s required. So, it would be preferred to not extend the work day too far beyond what was planned. One of the most important working from home tips for each team member is to keep work life and personal life separate – as it helps to stay productive while at work, and reduces stress too. In the same way that they set their work hours, the team needs to schedule, communicate, and plan when they will not be available to work. Thus, work can happen in an organized way, without losing out.
• Plan your workflow: As the boss, entrepreneurs should ensure maximum productivity. When you want your team to work from home efficiently, one surefire way to keep productivity up is to get smart about planning the work day. So, before the team starts working everyday, make sure they assess what the priorities are for the day, and how long it will take to get everything done. Each team member can be encouraged to take a few minutes at the end of each day, to plan for the next day. So, the stress can be less. While planning, they can consider some options: to do the highest priority tasks first, plan the day around each one’s natural cycles—do the hardest work when they have the most energy throughout the day and also plan rewards and breaks throughout the day.
• Stay in the loop: While working in an office, the option is open for collaboration and socialization. But, just because the team is working from home, they don’t have to lose out on this! Encourage the team to remain connected – by trying to reach out to the team members at least a couple of times per week, virtually, by video calls, Skype and so on. Thus, the team can keep up on a personal level, as well as a professional level. As the team leader, you can do this without taking a lot of time—just share the things that are most important, and encourage your team to do the same.
- Keep the inspiration alive: While working from home, a great advantage is that people cannot distract their coworkers. So, if the team feels inspired to keep the music alive, they can go ahead and play their favourite music loud – if that’s what gets them moving. However, some people work better in silence, and if you have some of them in your team, may be they can have the TV on in the background. Each member can find what works best for him or her and then get around to keep that flowing parallel to the workflow, and stay inspired!
Shifting your work environment to your home is challenging, but with these few simple changes to the daily routine and space, the team can see that they can still have a productive work day!