It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
These are indeed interesting times we live in—the best and the worst woven into the fabric of our lives and businesses.
The best, because this is the most family time many of us have had together. The best because we are cooking more, walking more, calling our friends more, playing board games more, enjoying the simple things in life more.
And of course, the worst of times, because our world is in pain. Our friends’ and families’ health and livelihood have been severely impacted.
We live in a time when Zoom has become a verb. I zoomed with my family last weekend and will be zooming with a friend for her birthday next week. We see many loved ones and share their pain and their joy across our digital devices. Birthday parties, weddings, and even funerals are now zoomable.
Our team has been zooming for several years. We went remote as a company in 2009 when the last economic downturn impacted us, and we haven’t looked back since. We believe once many clients and talent experience how well a remote team can function it will shift many perspectives as well as work patterns.
I’d love to share with you a few learnings from my team, as well as from several of our freelance talent about best practices for keeping accountable, organized and motivated while working remotely. Being solo does not mean being in a silo!
- Maintain your schedule– Keep the same work hours you had when you were in the office, and keep a balanced scheduled at home before and after work. Having a consistent schedule helps set boundaries and creates uniformity.
- Designate a specific place for work(not your bed, not the couch) If you don’t have a designated home office, create a space where you can be working ergonomically. Where possible have a set area to work that can help maintain routine and organization.
- Work with a headset– Be good to your neck and have your hands free. You can type and take notes easier for additional productivity.
- Be in a work mindset. If you’re not used to working at home, don’t get distracted with home chores. Schedule times for those chores as you would if you were out.
- Take breaks & Stretch to stay mentally focused and positive
- Stay connected with your team as if you were physically at the office.
- Communicate & Collaborate. Use technology to bridge the gap of distance. Check-in with co-workers and clients often.
- Work your calendar! Keep productive and stay on task. Make lists, set goals, track your time. Apps like Pomodoro or Toggl can help.
- Have fun while you work. Play music, have your pet with you, cook an amazing lunch.
- Be Grateful. It’s a unique opportunity to work from home and not have to commute.
If you need additional best practices on managing a remote team, check out our brief video ” A Remote Team Needs TLC”
“I typically get to work at 10 am, so while at home I start working at 10 am too. Keeping my morning routine (for me that’s meditating, moving my body, and making coffee) helps. The days when I start working right when I wake up are the days when I feel more anxious and restless.”
~ UI/UX designer Joni
Know that your employer trusts you enough to let you work remotely and that is something that should not be taken lightly.
~ Artisan Creative Account Manager, Margaret
When you prepare dinner, make extra. It’s nice to have something prepared for lunch.
~ Presentation Designer, Karen
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 558th issue of our a.blog.