Given the current worldwide situation, where most of us had to quickly adapt to fully working from home, we’re posting our company’s guide to full remote work, particularly in a quarantine environment. Sharing is caring! If you have your own working from home tips, go ahead and share them in the comments!
🏡 Communication and efficiency when working from home
- Check in with your manager and team. The main difference between remote and in-person teams is communication. Check in on each other daily on Slack or your internal chat system of choice, even if just to see how it’s going. For brainstorming, strategic conversations, one-on-one meetings, or all-team meetings, video chats work best, so be prepared to use Zoom, Meet, or any other video call software as well. At SiteGround, for example, we started having weekly all-hands video chats, hosted by our co-founder and CEO, that are mostly just to check in with everyone, not strictly work-related.
- Set up team collaboration slack channels. If you don’t already have a channel dedicated to your own team, set one up. Ongoing chatter and sharing will become more important when everyone is WFH (work from home).
- Spend more time clarifying objectives and direction. Communication is often less understood over slack. Double-check that you understand any task you get and its requirements correctly. Specifically align with your manager on what their expectations are, and don’t be afraid to ask questions at any point until you feel certain you understand what’s needed.
- Over-communicate status updates. A lot of visibility is lost when you’re not together. Make up for this by over-communicating updates, even when you think it might not be necessary.
- Build trust, rapport and reliability. If you can’t deliver something on time or have doubts/issues, communicate early and proactively.
- Your time and attention is everything. In a situation where writing communication will increase, it’s important to set work rules and hours in which to focus on your own tasks. When you’re working remotely, communicating this in a clear manner is crucial: set the corresponding status in Slack (or any internal comms system that you use) or disable notifications altogether. For some things, quiet time is better. For brainstorming, strategic conversations, tough conversations, one-on-one meetings, or all-team meetings, video chats work best.
🤘 Keep rocking! (online)
- Culture doesn’t build in the same way as in the office. Мake an effort to engage with your teammates online, as you would have done in the office, be proactive about suggesting online team or home activities to do at the same time – anything that you think would lift your team spirit.
- Tone doesn’t always translate in writing. Working remotely oftentimes means 95% of your communication will be written, so whenever possible use emojis to help convey your tone and intent ?. A good GIF gives you double points.
- Consider daily calls with your teammates. Get together online as a team more than you normally would. Have lunch or an afternoon coffee with a colleague using Zoom, Slack calls, or Google Hangout.
- Stay active: get a bike, dance in your living room, take up yoga, or regular walks around the city or in the park. Move your body as much as you can, and your mind will thank you for it.
🧘 Wellness – combating isolation
- Try to follow a regular work schedule. Part of maintaining your productivity when you’re working from home means keeping the same mindset as if you were going to the office. So don’t overwork, or stay late, and change out of those pyjamas!
- Take 5: be sure to take clear breaks away from your working area during the day. Have a look outside, do a quick exercise routine or even a little dance! Setting aside some time to get fresh air and a bit of exercise can go a long way in keeping you focused and healthy!
- Avoid constantly checking the news and only seek information to take practical steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Set specific times just once or twice a day to check the news, the constant stream of information about an outbreak can cause you to feel worried or overwhelmed, and this does not help anyone.
- Quarantine is not synonymous with isolation – while we encourage you to avoid congested areas and limit exposure, taking a walk in the park on your own, or even a brief cup of coffee on the balcony is still OK, as long as you don’t touch anything, and keep your distance from other people.
- Create and take advantage of online chat channels where you can just joke or blow off steam. A #watercooler channel is a good example. You could start or join a channel for all the #bookworms on your team. Why not even start a book club, like we have at SiteGround? You could also start sharing your home-made food masterpieces (or fails) in a #foodies channel, like we do on the SiteGround team. These are all great ways to stay connected and to get to know your awesome teammates better!
- Your social circle is still there for you – call your friends, family, and relatives every day. Now you have no “it’s too busy at the office” excuse!
❤️ Remember to appreciate each other
SiteGround’s 16th Birthday is on March 22nd this year. Although we can’t celebrate with our team in the office, like we were going to, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge how lucky we are to have each other! We have seen troubles together before, even though not as tough as this time, but we can still stick together, even when we are apart, help each other, be kind, and learn from this. Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll get through this.