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Are You Suddenly Running a Remote Office?

Six practical tips for a quick, stress free transition to your virtual home away from the office.

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business women hand using laptop on the table with smart phone in the cafe.
business women hand using laptop on the table with smart phone in the cafe.

As Coronavirus captures the world’s attention, employers are taking precautions and encouraging employees to work from home in an effort to flatten the curve and limit unnecessary exposure to the illness. As a result, remote offices are popping up in dining rooms, at kitchen tables, and in nooks all around the world. Whether you have been dialing in from a remote situation since the last decade or were recently given leave to set up shop at home, there are a few tricks to making your remote routine relatively easy and stress free. At Final, we have been a 100% remote team since we launched and place tremendous value on creating functional, productive satellite offices. Here are a few tips that have helped our team get the most out of each day while working from literally anywhere.

Denote a designated workspace to call your own. We have one employee who requires the entire length of her dining room table to be productive, our CEO thrives in small spaces, and others find comfortable spots to share visits with pets throughout the day.

Take time to set the mood. Lighting, comfortable seating, and a proper work surface take priority. Once the basics are in place, consider relocating a small plant, an inspiring picture, a candle, or a salt lamp to make your home office a bit more zen.

Don’t adjust your morning routine too much. The commute may be shorter but continuing to set the alarm clock at a regular time informs your body and mind that work will continue as usual. Get dressed and enjoy a healthy breakfast to ensure your productivity level remains relatively the same.

Make a schedule and stick to it. Set reminders on your phone to take an actual break for lunch, commit to a 10-minute meditation, or head out for a walk around the block. Schedule virtual meetings and block off time for projects that require long periods of uninterrupted thought.

Prepare for continued success. Designate the last 30 minutes of your work day to the organization of a list of priorities and straighten up your workspace for a smooth start the following day.

When it’s time to call it quits, close up shop. Draw a defined line around work and set boundaries. When you join your spouse or partner in the kitchen for dinner, leave your electronics in the other room. It’s important to recognize that you’ve logged more than enough time with your tech and your team for the day.

Remote work can be extremely convenient, productive, and rewarding—especially with the right mindset and well-appointed home workspace. However, individuals accustomed to the constant buzz and collaboration with co-workers, that is often found in an office, may feel isolated in their remote setting. Nothing can replace the partnerships and inside jokes that develop in a cooperative work environment, so don’t forget to jump into a Google Hangout or send a few check-in messages throughout the day via text or Slack. Your co-workers will thank you and when you return to the office your team will likely pick up right where it left off, as if a day hasn’t passed since you last sat next to each other in your swivel chairs.

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