We are experiencing a time in our lives that most of us have never before seen or experienced. Many businesses are having their operations upended – stores are closing, curfews are being instituted.
It’s normal to feel worry or panic over the unknown ahead, but as with everything else, we will work through it, find the situations we can control, and plan to make use of the time that is given. And yes, even if you’re working from home.
So, how can we stay connected when it’s so important to remain apart?
As business owners and professionals, it’s important to maintain focus on growth, success, and business as usual, even when the world around feels anything but. At C3Workplace, we are a team of experts when it comes to working remotely. Many of our staff members do it even in the best of times. So, to help you retain some sanity through these trying (and scary) times, here are some tips on keeping calm, working from home, and carrying on through the chaos:
Claim Your Space
First and foremost, you need to designate an office space. An extra room works best, but if you don’t have one available, designate a corner of your bedroom. Take over a desk in the den. Set up a tray table in a room that isn’t in the “center” of the house. You need to be able to concentrate and be as separate as you can. Avoid areas like the kitchen and living room where people congregate. Make sure you have a working laptop and a phone. And make sure it’s comfortable. Don’t sit with the laptop on your lap. Have a chair you can comfortably sit in and a space that you can make your own (no matter how small it might need to be).
Treat your home office as you would your regular office. Start day one with a routine – take a shower. Get dressed. Have some coffee and some breakfast, read a little bit of the news (or avoid it for sanity’s sake), and then make your way to your desk. Sure, there might be some toys on the floor or dishes in the sink, but your priority – as it had been every other day you went to the office – is going to work.
Use the Right Tools
Being home can be hard, especially at first. You don’t have your files, your systems, your staff. But it’s OK, there are virtual alternatives to nearly all of those things. If you haven’t put your office on the cloud yet, now would be opportune to research options and start making the switch. Having access remotely is key. We recommend Office 365, but there are other options such as Dropbox and Google Docs as well. For systems and staff, virtual reception and virtual assistant programs are great alternatives, because not only does it give you someone to support you, but we’re working through these times and know how important connection is. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to talk to who understands.
Here are some additional tips we find to be helpful:
- Find optimum work time – if you have the flexibility – you don’t HAVE to be 9-5 anymore. See what works for you.
- Treat your office like you would your own – take a shower, get dressed, don’t leave food around.
- NO television. Listen to music if you can’t stand the silence, but don’t get wrapped up in a 10-episode binge-worthy show. You’ll never get anything done.
- Schedule time to be social (we recommend Zoom video conferencing or virtual networking).
- Make sure you TAKE A BREAK!
Even though we’re all apart for our health, we are still in this together.