As a business that provides communications tools to enable flexible and remote working, and a business that practices what it preaches (I have predominantly worked from my home office for over four years now), I thought I would share my insights and experiences.
Working from home can be lonely, and with the distractions of home life, can be unproductive as well. But, with the right tools and the right mindset, it can be more productive and more rewarding than a day in the office. Below are my top tips for working from home.
Now, this is a habit I started from the beginning. Shower, brush teeth, get dressed. Even if it is just ‘loungewear’ and even if I did earn the nickname “the devil wears track pants”, I cannot stress how effective getting out of your pyjamas is, to getting into a productive workday.
TIP FOR EMPLOYERS Set the expectations with your staff, it is a workday, not a lazy Sunday Netflix marathon. Not only will staff be ready for an impromptu video call with clients or coworkers, but it will get staff into the right headspace for the day ahead.
MAINTAIN A ROUTINE
When I first started working remotely, I did not start with a strong routine. Some days I would start at 6 am, other days not until after 9 am, and sometimes had to work late into the night because it was hard to shut off since there was no boundary between work and home, or because I hadn’t finished the tasks I had set for myself during the day… sometimes Channel Seven does a damn tempting midday movie!
TIP FOR EMPLOYERS Set work hours and start every day with a video meeting with your team. Set goals for each team member for the day, document them in a shared document or collaborative tool and end the day with another video hook up to hold everyone accountable to have completed their tasks.
CREATE A DESIGNATED WORKSPACE
Sitting in bed with a laptop is just not gonna cut it, that is for online shopping to buy more loungewear, not a set up for a productive day at work. Whether you take up residency at the far end of the dining table, set up a desk in the spare bedroom, or are fortunate enough to have a dedicated office, whatever you are working with, you need to have a space that is designated for work.
TIP FOR EMPLOYERS Be sure to provide your team members with the tools they need to get their job done. Adequate laptop, software, stationery, telephone etc. And most importantly, an ergonomic chair. More distracting than a 90s thriller at midday is the pain of a sore back or neck because you are sitting on a dining chair for 8 hours a day.
TAKE BREAKS TO STAY POSITIVE AND MOTIVATED
Loving working from home does take work. It takes discipline. One of my favourite things about working from home is doing some of the weird things that give me motivation and a positive outlook, without judgement. I might take 10 minutes to listen to a motivational clip, listen to a Ted Talk, or use my favourite App for busy people, Blinkist. Confession: I don’t enjoy reading, I lose interest and my mind wanders thinking about all the other things I could be or should be doing. In about 15 minutes Blinkist give a complete audio overview and the top learnings and takeaways from prize-winning titles I don’t have time to read in full.
TIP FOR EMPLOYERS Encourage and even schedule breaks to educate and motivate. These might be a video hook up for afternoon tea chit chat and staff connection or do what I do and choose a short educational piece for all employees to participate in viewing either on a Zoom or privately. It works better than a chocolate bar for a perk up mid-afternoon.
About The Author
General Manager – Cybertel Telecom
For almost 15 years, Laura Kelly has been a noteworthy member of the Telecommunications space.
Coming on board with eTech Data back in 2005, Laura was instrumental in the rapid expansion of the wholesale and retail divisions of the business.
Since moving on from eTech, Laura has remained in the telecommunications industry and is now heading Cybertel, the family business, for the last 13 years.
She is ever-evolving with new technology to continue her commitment to providing market-leading communications designed for businesses like yours to thrive.
For the past 15 years, Laura has built firm relationships with key providers in the industry. Her expertise, connections and commitment to her customers, bring an experienced and professional, yet personal touch, to your telecommunications experience.