Working From Home: Best Practices
in case you’re unaccustomed to working from home, or are accustomed but don’t do it well, some points I’ve learned over the years:
Working from Home
- Set up a schedule, allowing for breaks and lunch. Tell your family. Act as if you’re “going to the office.”
- Dress decently. You’ll feel better about yourself. Clean up, as if you were meeting people personally.
- Close the door if you have one. Arrange a “do not disturb” with your kids. I like to keep the dogs with me.
- Don’t turn on TV for any updates. Don’t surf the web. Don’t respond to personal emails.
- Make a list of three priorities to accomplish. Focus on those. If you accomplish them before “quitting” for the day, choose other issues to work on
- “Chunk” thinks, like writing or recording. Don’t work on any one thing for more than about 45 minutes.
- Don’t schedule “back-to-back” calls or Zoom or Skype meetings.
- Remove distractions from the room: musical instruments, screen savers with photos should be disabled, crossword puzzles, and so forth.
- Alternate between active (making calls, writing) and passive (ideating about future offerings, creating intellectual property).
- No music. It’s actually a distraction.
- Don’t multi-task or you’ll do three things poorly at once.
- Don’t plan a full day. Counterintuitively, knock off around three if your three priorities are accomplished (or if your employer permits if you’re working for someone else).
- Go outside during your lunch break. Don’t eat at your desk. Get some fresh air.
- Explain to callers you’re working at home if need be (extraneous noise, dogs on camera).
- Invest in excellent cameras and microphones.
- Have an empty real and virtual desktop at the end of your day. Don’t allow clutter or disorganization. When you “show up” for work, your physical desk should be clean and your virtual desk include only email that came in overnight.
- Use snacks and energy drinks during the day, not junk food.
- Soon after you begin, set expectations for your family so that they can be supportive.
- If you’re alone, be prepared to respond to UPS, Fedex, and other deliveries. Try to create “no signature required.”
- Postpone virtual socializing until the end of the day.
For my free livestream on Sustaining and Growing Business in Crisis Times, use this address at 11 am US Eastern time on March 26: https://livestream.com/accounts/21314230/events/9036953 Absolutely free and access later via recording.
© Alan Weiss 2020