7 Tips for Working from Home: What 12 Years of Experience Has Taught Contentor about Remote Work
At a time when the world is coming together to overcome the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Contentor stands ready to offer our full support to our customers and partners to help them navigate the challenging current business climate.
Once the impact of COVID-19 begins to be felt by the retail sector, businesses will be compelled to switch to online shopping to ensure they will be able to reach their customers. We understand how critical our role might be in helping companies adapt to the changing retail landscape.
As a responsible employer, we have converted our office into a fully-remote operation since last week to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees (including our four-legged colleagues Benji, Bosse and Yoshi).
Working from home is not a new thing for us since our team is comprised of more than 400 copywriters and translators who work remotely from all around the world. If your organisation is also taking steps to implement a fully-remote operation, check out our tips below which we’ve learned as a global company that has been built on remote communication for the last 12 years.
Tip 1: Workplace
When setting up your workspace, there are a few things you can do to improve your efficiency. For starters, make sure that you have all the equipment you need close by. Headphones for online meetings? A notepad? Chargers and adapters? A lot of coffee? It seems like you’re ready to go!
If you have a second monitor at home (or one temporarily stolen from your office), your efficiency will likely go up by 20-30%, according to one study. So that’s a quick boost worth investing in.
If possible, find a spot where others can’t interrupt you. And it doesn’t mean working from bed. Trust us, that’s a bad idea. If you want to stay focused and productive, try to avoid places associated with rest or leisure time.
Tip 2: Be social, engage with colleagues
That sense of isolation when working from home is something most people can relate to. Stay social with your colleagues and find a new set up for hallway or fika talks.
Set up one of the team chat apps (Slack, MS Teams, etc.) to keep your colleagues updated. Schedule do check-ins with the team in the morning to post what you’ll be working on for the day. Why not add a selfie to assure your team that you’re awake? Perform check-outs every evening to share how your day went and notify your colleagues that you are finished for the day.
If you’re temporarily unavailable, update your status in a chat to inform your colleagues that you’re away, in a meeting or having lunch.
On Contentor’s chat, we have a #chitchat channel. Schedule virtual coffee hangouts and play online games with colleagues while having a break. Do you have other creative ideas? Give them a try!
Make your presence felt, but don’t be overly social. It’s still work, after all.
Tip 3: Work when you work, but work smartly
Keep in mind that humans go through 90-minute cycles of heightened productivity before their focus deteriorates (quickly). Use the ‘Pomodoro technique’ to break up your schedule into chunks. You know, set the timer for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break, and repeat.
Set time aside, preferably in the morning when you’re well-rested, to finish that project you’ve been procrastinating on.
Establish boundaries with your family and pets. Catch up with your loved ones when you have your Pomodoro breaks or lunch.
Distinguish your work and private tasks to avoid distractions. As pointed out by Google, doing your laundry while finishing a business presentation is not what we call multitasking.
Start and finish your workday at the same time as you usually do at the office. It would boost your productivity and help you to determine the end of your workday.
Tip 4: Online meeting culture
This might sound obvious, but let us repeat some simple rules that people forget more often than they think.
- – Mute your mic when you’re not speaking. Hearing background noise from other people’s environments might distract other participants.
- – Remember to pause frequently to give people a chance to ask questions.
- – Turn on the video – that’s how the whole team can feel more connected. This might require a quick fixup in the morning though (just like you do before going to work).
Tip 5: Eat healthy and exercise
While working from home, a candy jar might be emptied way faster than usual. But it’s important to stick to your normal routines, and don’t change just because you’re working from home. Try to prepare some healthy snacks in the morning before you start working. Often in the middle of a work process, we think that making something healthy is time-consuming, which is why a candy jar looks like a nice ready-made ‘solution.’
If Covid-19 is preventing you from that trip to the gym, exercise a few minutes in the living room instead. Push-ups and planks can be done without any additional equipment. Is the weather nice? Take a walk around your garden!
Tip 6: Remote work apps you might not know about
For example, the app ‘10,000ft’ allows you to track your time, understand what your colleagues are working on and perform analysis of the profitability of projects. Of course, this is just one example. There are many other apps that could improve your work efficiency.
Tip 7: Yes, you’re supposed to wear pants
We can’t lie to you because it’s not just a formality. When work and life are taking place in the same space, different clothes can help to distinguish between the two areas. Your productivity will gradually wane if you spend your working hours dressed in pyjamas.
Oh, and one final thought. If you suddenly need to stand up to get something during an online meeting, it’s always nice to know that you’re prepared for it, right?
Stay productive, engaged and safe! 💚