With the Coronavirus Pandemic having reached the UK, we are being advised to work from home where possible. Some businesses have closed their premises as a precaution while others will likely experience staff shortages an an implication of the impending school closures. For many, working from home can seem quite alien and daunting. We are fortunate at V8Media that we have had a flexible working environment for many years now and enable our team to work from home if it enables them to get better results by saving travel time or providing a better work/life balance to help aid productivity. However over time, we probably now take for granted how easy and seamless this is for us when it could prove difficult for so many.
So to help you and your team to get to grips with this new concept, here are some of our top tips for working from home:
- Use cloud based systems such as Gmail for emails, Google Calendar for organising your team , Dropbox for sharing files and Xero for managing accounts. These will enable you to access your systems from anywhere with an internet connection and continue to work together collaboratively.
- Stay in contact. One of the key considerations in business is communication between your team and with your customers. Meetings may be reduced or stopped in light of increased social distancing measures due to the coronavirus, but you can still talk! Use online meeting tools such as Skype or Webex to keep communication alive. Chat facilities such as Google Hangouts are also available with many email services and some can also be integrated with your website.
- Be disciplined – it is all too easy to procrastinate at home! Set time aside for ‘home’ things and a clear timetable for work. Engage with other members of your team to ensure that you are available to one another during key times or help your business keep operating by covering the phone lines.
- Get up and get ready! Working in your pyjamas may seem like a great idea but it won’t help your productivity or procrastinating. Get dressed to motivate yourself and help to retain a sense of normality in your daily life.
- Make sure you move – if you were in the office you’d probably pop out for lunch or go for a quick walk so make sure you still get some fresh air and steps in when you are at home. You can even integrate technology into your fitness schedule, with the use of wearable technology such as the Apple Watch or FitBit which can monitor your heart rate and track your daily activity.
- Create a dedicated workspace and clear guidelines for when you are and aren’t available to other family members. If another member of your family is also self-isolating or working from home then discuss your work schedules with one another and see where you can support each other to keep on track with your workloads.
- Ask for help! Whether you work as part of a team or solo, don’t cut yourself off. Ask for help when needed and talk to others in similar situations. Speak with other team members regularly and don’t be afraid to just pick up the phone – they’ll probably be glad to hear your voice! If you don’t work as part of a team, then social media is a great place to start for support. From LinkedIn and Facebook Groups that have been setup to help small business owners through the crisis to trending Twitter hashtags, you won’t need to look far to find someone who is in a similar situation.
- Network – in person when it is possible or online in the meantime, using tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter networking hours. Right now, it is important that we show our support to each other in the local business community more than ever!
If you're not sure where to start or are struggling to communicate with your team or customers remotely, then please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can help you to identify the most suitable tools for your business and get them setup, while also providing guidance and training for your team members.