Let’s face it–the world is changing and who knows if it will ever return to the “normal” that we’ve all grown accustomed to. While many people have unfortunately lost their jobs and their incomes due to the global pandemic we are currently experiencing, others have had to very quickly adapt to working from home.
For those who are motivated by their team members being by their sides all day, it can be a hard adjustment to suddenly become a self-motivated worker, and even harder to keep your energy from flagging during your workday.
Today, I’ll be sharing five tips that have helped me to thrive while working from home. Not only that, but these tips have also helped me to enjoy remote work and become even better at my job–I hope they will help you as well.
1. Don’t Disrupt Your Flow
When you go into an office every day to help grow your small business, it’s easy to get into the work mindset. As soon as you walk through those doors, you know that you have to be a more professional version of yourself at all times because you represent your business. But when you work from home, there is no transition into the work mindset, which can make it much more difficult to get into the routine you are already accustomed to in the office.
To try to combat this mindset shift, arrange your workspace in a way that reminds you of your office, or wherever you feel most productive. Take a shower and get ready before you sit down to work, even if you’re not going to be on a webcam with your employees. You shouldn’t disrupt your routine if you can’t help it–this will disrupt your work as well.
Most important of all, when you do find a bit of comfort with your workflow, don’t disrupt it. It can be as easy as picking up your phone to look at social media for a moment–resist. If you wouldn’t do it at work, don’t do it at home. It’s much easier to stay in that mindset if you treat your time as if it has the same value at home that it does while you’re in the office.
2. Take Regular Breaks (But Productive Breaks)
That being said, it’s still important to take regular breaks each day. If you’re someone who enjoys work and finds yourself getting lost in it, it’s vital that you set an alarm every few hours so that you can take a stretch, get away from your computer, and refresh yourself a bit. Don’t work through lunch if you can help it–take some time to concentrate on eating and use your break to be mindful. If you don’t take breaks, you’ll find yourself burning out much more quickly than you usually would.
One of the easiest and most effective routines is to use the Pomodoro method if you’re able to work at your own pace. At either ten or twenty-minute intervals, you’ll take a short break, and then a longer break after you complete a few sessions of work. This method is incredibly helpful to regulate your breaks and to allow you to use them more productively.
3. Keep An Eye On Your Performance
When you work in an office, surrounded by your fellow team members or employees, your day is often filled with social interactions. Unfortunately, working from home can be a bit draining because you don’t have your usual coworkers to blow off steam with, so it’s important to keep an eye on your performance so you don’t burn out.
During quarantine, it’s difficult to get the amount of social interaction you would normally get daily, so take this time to send a message to an old friend or schedule a Skype date with a team member just to catch up. Don’t allow yourself to get so overburdened with the minor details of work–if you need a little bit of time to catch up on social obligations, you should allow yourself that time to blow off a little bit of steam.
4. Practice Gratitude
While transitioning to working from home with your small business, it’s important to keep in perspective just how lucky you are to still be able to do your job.
Instead of getting upset when the transition isn’t as smooth as you expect, start a gratitude journal. Each day, write three things you are grateful for. They can be as simple as chocolate or your favorite television show or as complex as your family and the love they bring–just be grateful for it. While it may not be enough to cut through all of the fear that surrounds us at the moment, it can be helpful to remind yourself how lucky you are each day.
5. Motivate Yourself and Your Team
It’s easy to generate new ideas amidst the camaraderie and creativity that comes with being physically together with your team and it can be difficult to regain that chemistry when communicating over the internet.
Take time to call each of your team members or employees every week to catch up with them and to touch base with goals and strategies. When you pay special attention to your team members, it can help to motivate everyone to work together during your daily meetings.
Use This Time To Your Benefit
It can be easy for your work routine and relationships with your employees to get lost in the daily hustle and bustle of working from home, especially if you have a family to take care of as well. You must use this time to benefit your small business. Finish the small tasks or calls that you’ve been putting off. Communicate with your team members and remember to be grateful.
We do not know when this quarantine may end, so you must try to adapt as quickly as you can. There is a lot of uncertainty looming in the future, but if you dedicate the time and energy to your small business during quarantine, you may find that you enjoy working from home.