Millions of Americans are working from home (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/as-working-from-home-becomes-more-widespread-many-say-they-dont-want-to-go-back.html) for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some are enjoying the flexibility and not having to commute, others are struggling to maintain productivity outside the office.
While working from home cuts out the water cooler conversations and meetings that drag on all afternoon, it’s not without its challenges. Between spouses, kids, and pets, home can have more distractions than the office.
With no option to return to the office, newly minted remote employees have no choice but to make it work. But how? While there’s no magic wand that will shut off all distractions, these tips will help employees stay productive while stuck at home.
Where to Set Up Your Home Office
Quiet is key when choosing a location for a home office. But in homes without dedicated office space, employees have to get creative.
- Figure out where to put a home office (https://professionalstaging.com/design/5-places-to-put-a-home-office-when-you-dont-have-a-spare-bedroom/) when you don’t have a bedroom to spare.
- Get tips on converting a big closet (https://www.closetworks.com/closet-blog_desks-in-closets.shtml) into a small home office.
- Learn how to turn a garden shed (https://www.easyshed.com.au/blog/turning-garden-shed-into-home-office) into your private workspace.
- Install a telephone jack to avoid issues (https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/home-offices/install-telephone-jacks-and-wiring/) with cell reception.
Minimizing Work-from-Home Distractions
Every workplace comes with distractions, but when the people vying for your attention are loved ones, it can be tough to tune them out. Here’s how remote employees can set boundaries and maintain focus on the clock.
- Hear from the pros on how to work from home with kids (http://wfmdepot.com/how-to-work-from-home-efficiently-with-kids/).
- Get tips on ignoring the distractions (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/324560) you can’t avoid.
- Find out how to hire a babysitter (https://www.sittercity.com/parents/virtual-interviews-for-babysitters-amid-covid-19) during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tips and Tools for Collaborating with a Remote Team
Work-from-home challenges extend to the virtual sphere as well. From remote collaboration tools to Zoom etiquette, here’s what employees need to excel while working from home.
- Discover the most popular apps (https://skillcrush.com/blog/remote-work-tools/) for collaborating and communicating remotely.
- Learn how to improve team communication (https://unitonomy.com/how-to-improve-remote-work-collaboration/) when you can’t talk face-to-face.
- Know when to use email versus Slack (https://www.fastcompany.com/3068909/heres-when-you-should-use-email-instead-of-slack) — and when to pick up the phone and make a call.
- Become an expert at video conferencing with these need-to-know tips (https://www.zdnet.com/article/24-video-conferencing-tips-to-go-from-telecommuting-zero-to-hero/).
Resources for Running a Business from Home
Self-employed workers face their own set of challenges. If you’re running a business from home for the first time, these resources can help.
- Use this checklist (https://www.natlawreview.com/article/work-home-checklist-during-coronavirus-pandemic) to ensure you’re prepared for remote work.
- Get tips on pivoting your business to online sales (https://blog.boldcommerce.com/how-to-start-selling-online).
- Hire freelancers (https://www.upwork.com/) to outsource extra work.
- Keep up-to-date (https://swfloridabusinesstoday.com/covid-19-tips-for-business/) on the latest COVID-19 developments.
While some new remote employees relish the opportunity to work from home, others are eagerly anticipating their return to the office. But even if working from home isn’t your preference, there’s a lot you can do to make it work. The workplace will return to normalcy soon enough, but in the meantime, use these work-from-home tips to keep business moving forward.