As the global economy becomes more and more competitive, people are working from home in an effort to find some professional stability. With a growing number of remote workers comes increased pressure on companies to make sure their employees feel like they’re still part of something bigger than themselves.
The “work from home checklist for employers” is a list of things that you must do to be successful in your work from home business. It includes the steps that you should take and the tools that you need.
Approximately half of the 543,000 new small enterprises that start each month are home-based.
Because of the ongoing requirement for workers to participate in social distancing and continue to work from home as a result of COVID-19, that number is anticipated to rise. Employees throughout the world have been forced to pack up their workplace desks and take them home (if their jobs allow it). Although not every firm can simply operate with its workers working remotely, the necessity to adapt has prompted an increasing number of companies to change their strategies and discover methods to make remote work sustainable.
It might be difficult, but with the correct tools, space, and discipline, it can be very beneficial to you and your team. When getting ready to work from home, use this checklist to ensure you’re properly prepared and avoid the usual mistakes that most remote workers face.
1. Set up a workspace
Working from home may be unfamiliar territory for some of you, so make sure you have everything you need to keep your career running when you can’t go to the office. This entails more than just possessing the proper tools; it also entails setting up your workstation. By going through the following requirements, you’ll be able to establish an environment that is both comfortable and productive.
Needs for Equipment
Determine what equipment you already have and if you’ll need to buy anything in order to make your task go as smoothly as possible. You may need the following items to ensure that you can continue working:
- If you’re accustomed to using two monitors, inquire if you can borrow one from the office to use with your laptop or home computer.
- Headset or microphone — If your computer mic isn’t up to the task, invest in a headset or Bluetooth headphones with a good microphone.
- Webcam — Most computers come with a camera, but if you don’t have one, you can always use your phone or locate a nice webcam.
- Again, attempt to utilize the same sort of equipment you’re accustomed to having in the workplace. If you regularly work with a second keyboard or mouse, ask to take them home with you when you work remotely.
- Strong and dependable internet connection — This should go without saying, but if you reside in a region where internet access is limited, you may need to locate another place or use a wireless hotspot to get by.
- Remote Tools – These will be entirely dependent on your requirements and the systems in place at your firm. Check out our suggested list to help you started if you’re not sure which tools are right for you.
The Working Environment
You must establish a workstation that supports productivity in addition to having the essential tools. This doesn’t mean you have to have a desk or an in-home office (though having one might be helpful), but you should identify a room as your best choice for working remotely. Here are some things to consider while setting up your home office.
- Quiet place – If you want to be sure you can remain concentrated, choose a room or location in your house that is out of the way and isn’t utilized by others.
- Natural lighting – Getting enough natural light at home is just as good for your health as getting enough at work.
- A door — You don’t need a closed-off place all of the time, but if you’re making frequent phone/video conversations, it’s crucial to have one accessible. This might be your usual home office area or a separate meeting room that you use just for meetings.
- It’s up to you to find out what sitting and workstation arrangement works best for you. If you suffer from back discomfort on a regular basis, ensure sure your chair offers enough support. Make a temporary standing desk if you need to stand often.
2. Establish limits
It’s important to set limits in terms of your workplace and working hours while working from the comfort of your own home. After you’ve established your designated workplace, make sure your spouse, children, roommates, and other family members respect it; working from home allows you to spend more time with your family and friends, but this luxury can quickly become a distraction.
When you’re on a conference call or conducting head-down work, let your roommates know you’ll be working and maybe show them some images to remind them to stay out of your office. Make a sign if a closed door isn’t enough. A little sign that says something amusing like “Mom’s lair!” Please do not enter. “May return at 3 p.m.” might serve as a visible reminder to your children that you need some alone time.
Having some fun with various signs on your door or at your dedicated office place might assist remind individuals you live with that you’re thinking of them but need to concentrate. This method may also be used to remote chat applications such as Slack. Regularly updating your status, switching to do not disturb mode, and automatically scheduling meetings are all simple ways to let your colleagues know when it’s ideal to communicate and avoid being interrupted.
3. Put on work clothes
Dress in something you’d wear to work to get a genuine sense of the difference between resting at home and working from home. It’s not necessary to dress up, but stepping out of your pyjamas can make you feel more awake, put-together, and prepared for the day. Getting ready for the day will put you in the appropriate frame of mind for work and demonstrate to people you live with that you are serious about your job.
Brandon Strapper, the creator of 858 Graphics, is a stickler about dressing well in the morning. “Get ready for work by showering and dressing as if you were leaving your home. Put on a clean pair of pants, an ironed shirt, and a pair of gleaming shoes. After all, you’re heading to work. You won’t feel like there’s any difference between home and work if you spend the whole day in your bathrobe and slippers. This might simply be a psychological trick, but it keeps me focused by reminding me that I have work to do.”
Separating working from home and living at home requires going through the motions of dressing for work. It also helps you integrate the activity into your daily routine, which brings us to our next point.
4. Create and stick to a regimen.
While the flexibility of working from home may encourage you to work a variety of hours throughout the day, it is really wiser to stick to a strict plan. Having a pattern of waking up at the same time, eating at the same time, and working defined hours can keep you healthy, productive, and allow you more free time outside of work to spend with your family and hobbies. While there are misconceptions about how productive people who work from home can be, if you hold yourself responsible, you can be quite effective.
While having a personal routine is vital, it does not have to be the same as everyone else’s. You could discover that you’re more productive at various times of the day, that you live in a different time zone, or that you require some time throughout the day to care for your children.
In a Harvard Business School paper, Prithwiraj Choudhury, the Lumry Family Associate Professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit, discusses the necessity of companies permitting asynchronous work. “The crisis emphasizes what remote enterprises already understand—that work does not have to happen at the same time,” Choudhury argues. People in various time zones and places may get up, view papers, and begin to work.”
Whatever habit you decide to establish for yourself, be sure to hold yourself responsible and stick to it. This will assist you in being busy and maintaining a feeling of normality through times of solitude. After the period of social isolation has passed, you may realize that you want to continue working from home.
5. Make video calls a frequent part of your routine.
Meetings and phone conversations may be daunting for many individuals since they take up valuable concentrate time and divert attention away from other tasks. Meetings through video calls, on the other hand, may be a vital element of remaining connected during periods of lengthy remote work. Being away from the workplace reduces face-to-face contact with your coworkers and may lead to feelings of isolation, which can have a detrimental impact on both your productivity and your mental health.
Companies may use a variety of applications to conduct video calls. Depending on the size of the call, we at Palo Alto Software employ a variety of video conferencing solutions. Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack video calls are among the most popular apps we utilize. All of these tools allow you to see and hear who is on the other end of the line, switch off audio and camera access selectively, and share your screen and post comments in certain circumstances.
Even when you’re in a state of lengthy self-isolation, it’s critical to maintain contact with your coworkers. The ability to see each other improves communication, inspiration, and teamwork. If you’re becoming a touch stir-crazy, consider designating a separate area of your home for your meetings. This will help you to arrive to meetings feeling more energized and then return to your usual desk for more focused work.
If you’re not used to being in front of a camera, video chats are still worth a try; you’ll probably discover that being able to see your coworkers makes you feel a lot more productive and less lonely during these secluded periods of quarantine and distant work.
6. Takes pauses and seeks out fresh viewpoints.
If you’re at your desk all day, even the most creative environment might grow stale. When you have the opportunity to take a break and acquire a fresh perspective (whether it’s in a different room or your garden), you may be amazed at how good it can make you feel.
“If you have folks living with you, make sure you have a quiet location allocated for home office work,” advises Andrew O’Connor, Director of SEO at American Addiction Centers. Feel free to explore other areas to get a new viewpoint. Take your job to the patio, the pool, or the sofa, for example.”
Changing your work environment may make you feel more energized and productive, and it’s a lot easier than redesigning your office.
Working from home for lengthy periods of time may be taxing; it can cause a lack of mobility, make it difficult to distinguish work from home, and make you unproductive if you don’t give your mind and body the breaks they need. Breaks are crucial! However, how you use your time will decide whether or not your break is effective in keeping you motivated.
Set aside time for yourself to do something other than sit at your desk on a regular basis. Get up and stretch, take a little stroll outdoors, or do some at-home exercises. Call a friend or socialize with your spouse or children. It is beneficial to stimulate your mind and recharge yourself in whichever way works best for you.
Taking pauses like this will help you to move away from your job and return to it with a new perspective. This will allow you to be more productive and maintain a healthy separation between work and home.
Making the switch to remote work
Some of you may feel that remote work from home is unfamiliar and unappealing, but if you get beyond the learning curve, you may find that you like it. Setting up work from home with a determined plan may help even the oddest of times seem a bit more normal in these times of isolation and major changes to our regular life. Following these rules and maintaining a healthy routine will most likely make you successful, happy, and productive as a home-based professional.
If you and your team have just switched to remote work and are having trouble adjusting to this new style of working, the resources listed below may assist.
How to Prepare Your Team for Remote Work
For both managers and individuals, transitioning a team or firm to work remotely may be a difficult process. Learn about the problems you could experience and how you can overcome them to succeed in long and short-term remote work. Continue reading to learn more.
13 Must-Have Remote Team Management Tips and Tools
You’ll be able to weather this season with the correct tools and a flexible crew. You could even discover that the brief experience of leading remote teams and working independently will help you come back stronger than before. Here are some of our favorite tools and techniques for working from home. Continue reading to learn more.
How a Shared Inbox Can Help Remote Teams Succeed
A shared inbox solution might help you increase communication and productivity if your team is having trouble managing shared email accounts while working remotely. Continue reading to learn more.
Resources for COVID-19
Check out our COVID-19 Resource page for current webinars, articles, and up-to-date material if you’re searching for further insight into what you can do to help your company survive and prosper during this crisis.
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The “work from home guidelines” is a checklist that includes everything you need to know about working remotely. This checklist will help you make sure that your work-from-home job is successful and rewarding.
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