Transitioning to Working From Home?
If you find yourself working remotely for the first time, we’re here to provide our guidance and expertise. We have put together some tips and tricks to help you work effectively while 100% remote.
Worried About Going Remote?
Many people find themselves working remotely for the first time this week. If working from home isn’t your preferred setup—that’s ok! But it certainly has its benefits.
Clearly the most obvious benefit is helping slow down the spread of COVID-19—but beyond that, there are plenty of benefits to working from home!
Personal Cost Savings
- Lunches are easy when you can just walk to your fridge. This makes it easier to say no to the drive-through or happy hour (and the fact that most places are closed).
- Gas! Who needs gas now, right?
- Wardrobe … I mean, there really isn’t any reason to spend money on new clothes. Unless, of course, you lack some comfy pants!
Better Work/Life Balance
- With not spending as much time getting ready and no commute, working from home makes it feel like your workday is just a portion of your day—not taking it all up.
- More quality time with your family or furry friends!
- Working from home also makes running your household a little more manageable. Instead of getting coffee and chatting with a coworker, you might be able to throw a load of laundry in and set out that meat you want to grill for dinner.
Efficiency & Productivity
- With schools and daycare closures, distractions might be higher right now. However, typically it is very easy to be more productive at home. Less people, less distractions!
Get Your Communication Tools Ready
Your company more than likely already has the programs needed to create a successful WFH environment.
Thankfully most corporations moved to tools that increase digital communication a few years ago … even if no one utilized them! For the majority of businesses, new tools don’t need to be introduced, which means work moves on very quickly.
To successfully manage our app and website development company, we use the following to stay on top of our communication game. All of these tools allow us to leverage @tagging to keep communications focused and notification settings to limit non-stop distractions.
More than likely, you already have access to all the tools needed for a successful environment—the key is how you use them.
Everything Isn’t Urgent
Slack’s design is meant to grab your attention—there’s fly-in notifications, sound effects, bold fonts, unread threads … it goes on and on! Remember, not everything is urgent or needs your attention. Just like you prioritize your projects based on which ones deliver the most business-critical outcomes, prioritize your communications the same way.
Communication Is Key
When it comes to remote work, your team and/or client relationships don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) suffer. We surveyed our 100% remote team members and asked them a few questions about communication in a WFH environment.
What’s different about how remote agencies work and communicate?
Accountability and personal responsibility. I find that we all communicate effectively and strive to find efficiencies, without compromising delivery. I also find that there is more personal responsibility to be attentive to emails, Slack, and project status updates. We’re all accountable for making sure client work continues to progress.Erika Kurdyla
Way less meetings that should have realistically just been an email! We communicate more efficiently and effectively, because we have to.Laura Strelnik
When the meeting is finished, everyone drops off the call and can get back to being productive. The transitions are faster because you don’t need to leave a conference room and pass by people you enjoy talking to.Shannon Garrahy
How do you think being a fully remote team benefits our clients?
I think that because we are remote and we are used to being remote, it allows our team to be more accessible and responsive to our clients.Stephanie Azar
Building trust based on results and communication means we have a strong foundation to talk about both issues that arise and opportunities that we identify to help the client grow.Shannon Garrahy
What are the keys to a successful client relationship when you’ve never met the client?
Frequent communication, but also transparency. While we would always like to provide positive news, when roadblocks arise, clients appreciate being notified with solutions and options to feel that they too, are involved in the decision making process.Erika Kurdyla
In conclusion: be proactive, transparent, and accessible!
Tips and Tricks for Being as Productive as Possible (While Also Staying Sane)
Some tips from the pros (aka our team!)
- Need a brain break and would normally catch yourself going to grab some coffee and finding someone to chit-chat with? Take a walk outside! Taking 5 minutes to escape technology and your house can have a great effect on productivity.
- Now that you’re not around your team members, it is so easy to get engrossed in your work and lose track of time. Set reminders/timers on your phone and block off some time on your calendar to get up and move or eat.
- Take advantage of your phone settings and some free apps that allow you to turn off social and media notifications for set periods of time. It is a lot easier to get lost in social media when you’re feeling isolated.
- Pace on calls if possible to get those steps in. If you need to be near your computer, pace your house!
- You now have zero commute—Use that time to get up and get ready for the day, even if no one will see you. Your definition of “ready” just might change a bit. No need for slacks now 🙂