As much as we love our offices, in March 2020 we had to leave them and transform our homes into working spaces. Keeping a work-life balance is hard enough even when you keep these spaces separate. What happens when both worlds join one apartment? We put together our humble know-how on how to stay productive and still keep that balance based on our experience in the last couple of months.
Structure your days:
- Try to follow a regular work schedule. Maintaining your productivity at 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 for your and your loved ones’ wellbeing. 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.
Communication and work efficiency
- Check in with your team or collaborators more often. The main difference between remote and in-person work is communication. If you’re not working alone, check in with your team or collaborators daily on 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 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.
- Spend more time clarifying objectives and direction. Communication is often less understood in writing. Double-check that you understand any work task you get and its requirements correctly. Specifically align with your team or client 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 everyone is working remotely. 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.
Keep rocking! (online)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!