March 28

Part 2: 16 MORE WFH Tips You Can Do Right Now!

Why Working from Home is Critically Important to Every Business

Believe it or not, working from home is quite common. Nearly 40% of companies are currently offering positions to work remotely.

Maintaining business continuity is something every company leader needs to think about. Diversifying where employees work is one of the ways businesses can withstand any unexpected changes in the market. With a remote workforce, employers can limit the effects of any disaster so the company can stay operational. Plus, they can adjust their work hours around local needs.

Since the cost of a broadband internet connection with a strong Wi-Fi signal has decreased every year, working from home is common. For those who use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions, they can maintain connectivity between co-workers and customers.

Benefits for employees go well beyond skipping a commute. On the mind of every remote employee is the well-being of their family members and the balance between work and home life. Employees can meet both needs if they can work from home full-time.

The benefits of telecommuting from home save employers on commercial real estate, utility costs, equipment and infrastructure expenses, and other brick-and-mortar business costs.
Plus, survey after survey shows remote workers are happier across the board with their work experience.

But if you read Part 1 to this post, you know that working from home can be problematic if it's not managed effectively. Here are some more best practices for the WFH life that you can start implementing now to have a better experience:

16 More Remote Work Tips:

  • Create a Rewards System:
    This is an easy way to help you get things done — even the things you have been procrastinating or putting off. For example, take a five-minute break to go for a stroll, grab a healthy snack, or take your dog to the park once you finish an important business task. Using a basic rewards system will help you get things done and feel fulfilled.
  • Use Time Management Apps:
    Using a time tracker app will help you see your productivity levels each day and week. This will not only provide you with insight into when you’re most productive, but also how much time you spend on each task so you can optimize or even automate your work.
  • Stay Off Social Media:
    Social media can be a giant time-suck if you aren’t careful. If you love using social media, then make it a habit to shut off social media notifications during the workday. Consider muting your notifications on your phone. Get familiar with your company's social media guidelines as well. They might even want you to engage in their approved channels, like LinkedIn.
  • Listen to Music:
    Depending on the nature of your work, it helps to turn on some background music. But since you're working remotely, you don't want it too loud or distracting — ensure you can quickly mute it to take a business call.
  • Step Outside:
    Boost creativity and productivity by stepping outside. Since you'll be cooped up indoors all day to work, it can be easy to forget that there's a whole world out there. Open some windows to let sunlight and fresh air in and take some time throughout your day to go out - at least to your patio or backyard.
  • Use Video Chat:
    Working from home can get lonely. Make it a point to chat with colleagues, team members, or clients each day. Video chat is a great way to stay connected with your team. Meet regularly and don't forget to relax and have a little fun.
  • Hack Your Lunch Break for Errands:
    Structuring your day is important. To run an errand or schedule a quick doctor's visit, try to work them into your lunch break; just as you would if you worked in an office. That way you’re not letting personal errands interfere with work.
  • Declare Your WFH Availability:
    Communicate dates and hours (with time zones) for your schedule, what capacity you’re working in, and how others can get in touch. This effort avoids assumptions that you're skipping the office or refusing contact if you’re in the middle of some other work task. If you have a business communication app like Nextiva, you can use its status features. While you're at it, check out some other benefits of using Nextiva for remote business communications and collaboration:

Working Remotely with Nextiva

The remote work revolution is here. Does your business have the right tools to support your workforce?

  • Avoid Family, Friends, & Pets:
    If you are home all day for work, then family and friends might interrupt you without knowing better. It's best to set some clear boundaries. It's not being mean if it results in better job performance. The counterpoint to this is you must be present for your family and friends when away from work. Show up 100% and put your business phone away outside of work hours.
  • Create a Vision Board:
    A vision board is just that: a board that you can use to write notes and post pictures of your dreams, goals, and aspirations. The visualization aspect of a vision board is a powerful mind exercise. Such inspiration can help you get out of a work slump, paving a clear path to productivity and success.
  • Check in With Co-Workers Frequently:
    Take the time to meet with your team regularly. The meetings should have an agenda actively involving all members, so they can contribute. Dedicate time so everyone can share status updates, receive coaching, and discuss developments from their personal life. Be mindful under the context of why people work from home but be sure to make them feel valued and included through live video meetings and conference calls.
  • Assume Positive Intent:
    One limitation of working from home is that emails, chat, and text messaging sometimes fall short of expressing ideas clearly. It's easy to think a quick remark was made to be rude or even flippant. But remind yourself not to take seemingly short or snide responses offensively. Some people are just efficient in their replies. Consider using emoji to support your intent, focus on the facts, and always assume positive intent.
  • Connect With Your Team Offsite:
    Companies should budget time and resources at least twice a year to welcome employees together in-person, so they can reconnect with the team. Go out for lunches, plan an annual team outing, and bring your remote team into the office to strengthen the working relationship. It builds loyalty, respect, and trust among colleagues.
  • Invest in a Good Pair of Headphones:
    Even if you have a brand-new laptop or smartphone, you’ll want to invest in a quality pair of headphones with a mic. Noise-canceling features can really help improve the clarity of your phone calls. With modern virtual phone systems, you’ll appreciate the higher fidelity of your calls. Look for headset features such as long battery life, Bluetooth compatibility, microphone, and noise canceling. These all work together to make your remote working duties a little easier.
  • Stay Vigilant Against Security Risks:
    Just because you're not in the office doesn't mean you're not a target for hackers. Your work machine is incredibly valuable for thieves and criminals, so take care to work securely and understand how to protect yourself from common security threats. Don’t click into suspicious emails or links, and don’t download attachments you weren’t expecting from someone you know. Also keep your antivirus, all software, and your technology hardware up to date. If your workplace has security policies, follow them from home too.
  • Use Professional Communication Tools:
    You might be using free tools to communicate with your team. The SaaS market has capitalized on the freemium model to upgrade into paid plans. The problem with personal apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Google Hangouts — as an aggregate — is they don’t necessarily improve internal communication. Consider upgrading to a business communication platform that brings your phone system, team chat, sales pipeline, and customer support together into a unified, secure, reliable, and easy-to-use solution.

These tips can help you to streamline your remote and hybrid work routine, increase productivity, and succeed at your job regardless of where you work. If you need some more help finding tools and technology to support your remote work team, give us a call at (781) 235-5520 or contact us here.

Source: Adapted from an article by the experts at our partner, Nextiva.