The Best Work from Home Tips (a Must-Read During COVID-19!)
Once upon a time, all of our employees worked out of an office in Marysville, WA. We’d show up around 8 am and leave at 5 pm. Nothing new.
But then a big transition happened:
Our founders moved to Puerto Vallarta, a team member moved to Chicago, another to Spokane, and so on.
Before you knew it, we’d become a virtual dental marketing company!
HA, just kidding. ????
Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly “happily ever after” at the beginning.
The truth is:
Working from home is a BIG adjustment.
For us, it was a choice. And being in the digital dental marketing industry made this switch easier than some businesses.
But thanks for COVID-19, working from home became a reality many of us never expected or prepared for. And when it’s forced upon you like that, it can be an even harder adjustment.
Our team at Roadside Dental Marketing has been working remotely for nearly 10 years. That’s more than enough time to find a routine and home office environment that works!
So, we’ve compiled a list of our very own tips on how to work from home efficiently.
We’re confident that once you find a rhythm that works for you, you’re going to LOVE working remotely. Take these statistics… This text opens a new tab to the Fundera article with stats… for example:
Now, let’s get started on how you can make this your reality!
Top 12 work from home tips
Take a look and let us know what one(s) you’re most excited to try in the comments! ????
1. Set work hours
Possibly the biggest struggle with working from home is discipline. Staying focused and getting your s*** done.
With kids, laundry, cooking, and chores lingering in the background, this can be hard.
So here’s what you do:
Set work hours to hold yourself accountable.
If you want to utilize your time at home for other things, build that into your work schedule, so it doesn’t take away from your work.
7 am – 7:45 am: Get kids ready and take them to school
8 am – 12 pm: Work
12 pm – 1 pm: Lunch and chores
1 pm – 3:30 pm: Work
3:30 pm – 4 pm: Pick kids up
4 pm – 5:30 pm: Work
2. Don’t work before or after your hours
It’s important to set clear boundaries between work and home life since they can blend together when you work from home.
Having a work schedule will help you know when it’s time to clock on and off.
P.S. Don’t feel guilty about it!
3. Keep your team informed when you’re offline and online
One of the best perks of working from WIFI is flexibility!
Depending on your job, you may not have to stick to certain hours of the day, which can give you so much freedom!
If you work with a team, we highly recommend you keep them informed so they know when they can expect to hear from you or reach you.
Communication is ESSENTIAL for any work environment but especially when working remotely. More to come on that!
4. Create a dedicated workspace
Whether it’s a private office or makeshift desk in your studio apartment, try to make a dedicated workspace.
Create a space where distractions are minimal, and you have all the tools you need to work effectively.
If you have children at home, this may be helpful to indicate you’re not to be disturbed when you are in this workspace.
5. Include these must-haves in your workspace
From Mexico to England, here are the essential workspace items our team swears by:
- A dedicated desk or work surface
- Comfortable, ergonomic chair
- Ample screens (laptop + monitor)
- High-speed WIFI
- Noise-canceling headphones
6. Consider buying a stand-up desk
A stand-up desk is a great way to break away from the unhealthy lifestyle of sitting on your bum 8+ hours a day.
Health benefits… This text opens a new tab to the Healthline website… of using a stand-up desk include:
- Lowering your risk of weight gain and obesity
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Lowering your risk of heart disease
- Reducing back pain
- Improving mood and energy levels
- Boosting productivity
- Helping you live longer
Pause. Read that last one again!
Now, if you’re thinking, “There’s no way I’m standing all day!” Don’t worry!
Stand-up desks come in all shapes and sizes… This text opens a new tab to an article on types of stand-up desks…. Most of them convert between sit down and standing desks, so you have both options.
7. Keep a morning routine
It can be tempting to wake up 15 minutes before you clock on and wear your PJs “to work.”
But trust us, a morning routine will give you MORE energy than that extra 30 minutes of sleep!
So get up, shower, get dressed, drink your coffee, eat breakfast, and THEN start working. By this time, you’ll be fully awake and fueled to start the grind.
8. Don’t wear PJs
I know we mentioned this above, but we need to repeat it.
Here’s our experience:
Pajamas are associated with sleeping. If you wear an outfit to work that you also wear to bed at night, you may not be separating the two enough. You may feel more tired and not fully ready for the workday.
An alternative option:
Athleisure or other comfy clothes that you don’t wear to bed.
If you hold video calls, make sure your outfit is presentable for your audience too! AKA wear pants just in case you stand up in the middle of your call.
9. Take breaks
Contrary to what some believe, taking regular breaks is actually beneficial!
Here are some reasons why you should try to take breaks more often:
- Increases productivity
- Boosts creativity
- Prevents “decision fatigue”
- Improves mental and physical wellness
- Helps with memory and learning
What should you do during work breaks?
Since working at a desk can become very sedentary, our team highly encourages taking “active” breaks and moving your body.
Here’s a quick 4-minute exercise our CEO Shannon swears by:
Other things you can do include:
- Eating a healthy meal or snack
- Getting outside
- Reading a book
- Listening to a podcast
- Calling a loved one
- Doing something for yourself
But most importantly, turn your eyes away from your screen and give them a rest.
10. Follow this video call etiquette
When COVID hit, video calls went threw the roof!
Back in December, Zoom “had only” 10 million users… This text opens a new tab to an article on Zoom…. But now it has over 300 million users (and growing!).
Video calls aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time we all learn some basic etiquette:
- Test your camera and microphone before the call
- Choose good lighting
- Introduce yourself before talking
- Dress appropriately (yes, that includes pants)
- Mute yourself when not talking
- Warn others around you that you’re going to be on a call
- Be on time
- Don’t eat during the call
11. Hide your phone
Unless you need it for work, your phone and all its little apps can be so distracting. Before you know it, you’ve spent 30 minutes on TikTok.
Was that in your work schedule? Probably not.
To stop your phone from distracting you, keep it out of sight and silence it!
Put it in a drawer, on the other side of the room, behind your laptop, wherever you can’t see it.
Trust us; it’ll help!
The final tip is probably one of the most important when it comes to your actual work, and that is to overcommunicate.
Repeat yourself often, confirm and then reconfirm, get things down in writing, send reminders, etc.
Use technology to communicate digitally
At Roadside, we use all sorts of websites and apps to help us work from home efficiently and collaboratively. Our most-used platforms are:
- Slack: For day to day communication between teams and one-on-one
- Skype and Zoom: For calls and video calls
- Wrike: For project management
- Box: For file storage and sharing
- Gmail: For emails and schedules
Most of these services are FREE too!
Now, get back to work!
But first, tell us:
What work from home tips are you going to try this week?
Share your answer in the comments!