Prior to COVID-19, working remotely was a setup that was more common in the tech field, rather than landscaping, but as company owners strive to stay open during this period of self-isolation, remote work has become the new norm
If you or your staff is new to working remote, here are some tips on how to remain productive while at home and how to balance between caring for children who are also home with schools being closed.
It is crucial to be proactive in communicating what your individual situation is when it comes to children, as well as what your expectations are during this unprecedented time.
Even in normal times, overcommunication is encouraged for remote workers as this ensures everyone is on the same page. Take advantage of the various communication technology available such as Slack for quick messaging and Zoom to still have “face-to-face” meetings over topics. Screensharing during video communication can also help take the confusion out of certain conversations.
Communication shouldn’t just be used on a business-level either. Working remotely can easily feel isolating when you aren’t around your co-workers as usual, so don’t forget to stay connected and share how you’re feeling and check in on others. Scheduling a remote happy hour Zoom conference on a Friday is just one way you can stay in contact while keeping things light.
Stick to a Schedule
One of the most common pieces of advice given to remote workers is to stick to a schedule. Being at home can be tempting to blur the lines between your work life and personal life but creating clear guidelines as to when your workday starts and ends can help protect that balance.
With many working at home with their children, this can be easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to establish times where you will be focused on work versus taking a break to deal with family and home tasks.
Having a normal morning routine of waking up and getting ready for work as if you were going into the office can help get you in the proper mindset to be productive.
Also, keep in mind that just because you are trying to stick to a schedule doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to take a break. In the office you’d might swing by a co-worker’s desk to chat for a bit, so don’t fall into the habit of thinking you are chained to your desk for a set number of hours.
Don’t be afraid to take a break and get away from you desk for a few moments. Often by getting outside and taking a breather you can re-focus on the task at hand. Also remember to give yourself and others grace during this challenging time. Some days will be better than others. It’s how you respond to them that really matters.
Location, Location, Location
When working from home, it may be tempting to do your job from your bed, but this can make it harder for you to feel truly awake. Also, your bedroom should be seen as a space to sleep or relax. When you associate it with work, it can be harder to shut down at night.
Creating a dedicated workspace will allow you to step into work mode when you are in this area. Ideally, this space should both comfortable and functional. If you can, opt for a room where you can close your door. Having physical boundaries can help reinforce the mindset that you are working in that specific space.
While it’s near impossible to create a completely distraction free environment at home between kids, pets and other aspects of your life clamoring for your attention, try to minimize these as best as you can. Try to replicate your office workspace at home and when your workday comes to an end, leave this space until the next day.
Maintain personal health
You can’t do your best work if you aren’t feeling your best personally so don’t forget to take care of your personal wellness when working from home.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising. Take the time you’d usually spend commuting doing something productive and good for your mental or physical well-being.
Limiting your media consumption can also cut down on feelings of anxiety, stress or panic. Stay informed by following reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control, but don’t obsess over the pandemic.