New to Remote Working? Tapping Into 6+ Years of Tips for Working from Home
For many across the globe, limiting their human contact, the home has become…well, home base for just about everything. Folks are taking advantage of virtual meeting software like GoToMeeting and Zoom to video chat with friends, host virtual dinner parties, and even play board games! And that’s just in our personal lives.
In our work lives, companies are piecing together Digital Workplace strategies to allow their employees to work from home. Today, workers everywhere are booting up their laptops at kitchen tables and temporary home offices – many for the very first time. And with this change comes some new challenges like – deciding where in your home you should work from, how to deal with the new distractions, and more.
Here at AIIM, remote working has been a priority of ours for many years now, and our staff has experienced it all when it comes to working from home. So, we thought we’d gather our best WFH tips for those newly remote workers.
1. Don't Work in Your PJs
"Don't work in your PJs. Seriously. Keep your regular wake-up time and routine; work out, shower, and put on clean clothes - doesn't have to be your work suits, but look and feel civilized. You'll be on video calls, so you should look presentable. Be aware of what your background looks like on these video calls - we really don't want to see your unmade bed. And please keep your pets on their regular walk/play routines. You don't want their excess energy distracting you - so (bonus!) an added mid-day walk with your pup will give you a fabulous mental break from what's happening inside your house."
- Theresa Resek, VP, Market Intelligence
2. Keep Your Status Up to Date
"Get up and walk around every so often. Better yet, since you don't have a commute, make the time to go for a walk. Remind yourself to drink water. Get a good chair. Hopefully, your org pays for it, but even so, most peoples' "home office" (dining room, bedroom, etc.) have chairs not designed for sitting in 8+ hours a day. Keep your status on social up to date. I don't necessarily need to know that you're in the bathroom, but at least that you're "in" or out for the day."
- Jesse Wilkins, VP, Training and Certification
3. Pack It Up at the End of the Day
"If you work in a shared space of the house, like a kitchen, pack it up at the end of the day. Put the laptop away, clear the space back to its original purpose. Your family will appreciate that you have signaled the end of work; that the space is back to the family and not your job, and mentally it feels like you arrive and leave work each day. Helps establish routine."
- Georgina Clelland, Chief Operating Officer
4. Establish Your New Routine
"At first, you may be thrown off by your slightly adjusted schedule -- no more commute, no more school drop offs -- but the sooner you establish a new routine for yourself, the better. You'll be more productive, and you'll sleep better."
- Peggy Winton, President & CEO
5. Don't Forget About Breaks
"Make sure you take breaks! It can be so easy to get lost in your work since your home is now your office. Remind yourself to step away for an hour and listen to some tunes or your favorite podcast. I like to do this while taking care of chores around the house. What can I say? I love to multitask."
- Kate Dalton-Hoffman, Manager, Digital Marketing
6. Use the Right Tools for Communication
"Communication can be more challenging when you can't lean over and shout at the guy next to you. Use the right tools, like Slack, Trello, and Basecamp, so that information can be easily accessed and to keep the conversations going."
- Anthony Paille, Chief Revenue Officer
7. Take a Walk to Re-Energize
"Taking a walk break is a great way to refresh and re-energize."
- Renée Martin, Director, Event Marketing
8. Go All-In With Virtual Communications
"Turn on those video cameras during meetings and catch-ups with your colleagues and clients even if you don’t look your best, chances are they don’t look their best either. And if they do, they won’t be so concerned about it next time. Don’t jump right into the meeting agenda, take a few minutes to catch up with each other first. Don’t just call someone online without ensuring they are available – respect their time, even at home."
- Amy Michalski, Senior VP, Sales
9. Don't Forget About Your Body
"For me, there are 2 keys to keeping your body happy while working from home - staying hydrated and getting on your feet from time to time. Here's my two-fer tip to accomplish both at the same time! Fill up a glass of water and set a timer on your phone for 1-hour. Within that one hour slot, make sure to drink the glass of water. When the timer goes off, refill the glass and repeat the timer. I do this all day, every day. You'll maintain hydration and trust me, your body will make sure you're on your feet often."
- Sean McGauley, Director of Content
Adjusting to Working from Home Takes Time
Working from home is an adjustment. It takes time to find your own groove, and it's not something that will be perfect right from the start. But the benefits of remote working are worth it and your friends here at AIIM are here to help you. We've developed an entire library of resources to help you and your organization be successful with your Digital Workplace strategy.