In early March, Nitro made the decision to mandate a company-wide work-from-home (WFH) policy. This was a big change, but one we knew was for the best. Over the past couple of months, we’ve learned that everyone approaches remote work differently, so it’s important to figure out what works for you. To help you get started we’ve compiled a list of remote working success tips from Nitronauts with varying levels of remote work experience.
While there are several benefits to working remotely like schedule flexibility, it’s not without its share of complications especially when all employees have to suddenly (and quickly) switch to working from home.
You can choose to soak up these practical tips in a few ways—continue reading or watch the video below. We hope you enjoy.
Tips from full-time remote Enterprise Customer Success Manager, Sarah Wille
1. Routine is your friend
Keep things consistent. Your daily rhythm when working remotely is going to be different from what you might be used to when based in the office—that does not mean you cannot have a routine.
Establish a morning routine and set your alarm for the same time you would if you were going to the office. Make your morning tea or coffee before firing up your laptop, as you might have in the office. If you normally had a commute you can now use that time to get some fresh air, take your dog for a walk, join one of the many virtual exercise classes available, or even take some time to meditate.
Starting your day at the same time every day makes it easier to get into work mode faster and helps make the entire day (and those following) that much more productive.
2. Create a dedicated workspace
When you are working remotely, it is important to have a dedicated home workspace where you can be productive and signal that you are in do-not-disturb mode. You do not need to have a home office to achieve this… a breakfast nook, a quiet corner of the bedroom, an underused game table in the rec room—any focus-friendly area can double as a workspace.
You have the luxury of creating a custom work environment, just for you. When you are setting up a remote working environment, consider what is important to you. A nice desk or table with good lighting will make all the differenc. Also, make sure your headphones work and everything is fully charged because finding a power outlet mid-meeting is not ideal.
Mix in an occasional standup desk if you are feeling it–stay scrappy if you need to like this Nitronaut!
3. Reward yourself
Do something nice for yourself during your day. Give yourself a treat each time you complete your new work habit. For example, if your goal was to power through an hour of uninterrupted work time, allow yourself 15 minutes to relax or go for a quick coffee break.
Tips from first-time remote Partner Marketing Manager, Ann Marie Ryan
1. Keep moving
Without the daily demands of commuting to/from work and walking around the office, you may find yourself sedentary often. Take regular breaks to move—even if it is just to walk around the block
At Nitro, we have a homework Slack channel to make sure we keep moving throughout the day. Every hour on the hour you get a message to do a particular exercise challenge. These can be anything from scissor kicks to squats and it always starts a conversation so not only are we moving but we also get to have some of the usual office conversations that we all miss.
Remember to get out and get a breath of fresh air during your day. Here’s what one Nitronaut’s morning walk looks like.
2. Block time on your calendar
When we are in the office, we will often swivel our chairs around to say, “Hey, do you mind having a quick look at this?” When we cannot work through a problem in real life, what might usually be a 5- or 10-minute chat is now a virtual meeting. We are finding that we are juggling a lot more meetings than normal so it is important to block off some time so you can get stuff done.
During this time, stay super focused on one or two activities, no distractions, no side conversations, no email or IM notifications. This type of hyper-focused work also applies to other specialized activities throughout your day.
3. Be flexible
Having a routine for your day is important but sometimes it is impossible to do everything you planned. Be kind to yourself and your teammates as you work through the kinks. You may find that you need to adjust how you work and communicate but rest assured, you will all learn and ultimately become better teammates.
Tips from sometimes-remote Senior Accountant, York Ng
1. Embrace video meetings
For meetings (big and small) as well as 1-1 conversations, video helps to have a real human connection. Communicating in email can be difficult, sometimes you just need to see each other’s faces and talk out loud. So, remember to turn your camera on during meetings.
It can be isolating to work from home, but it can also provide an opportunity to connect in unexpected ways. Funny moments such as kids interrupting meetings make us laugh and help us feel positive.
2. Set a deadline to finish your day
Maintain healthy boundaries. Put away your laptop at the end of the day and resist the temptation to check emails or log back in. If you have the mindset of “I have all day to do this,” you’ll be less efficient overall. Push for results, not hours worked. If you normally leave the office at 5 or 6 PM, stick to that at home. Make sure to clear work stuff away at the end of the day and especially at the weekend so you are not constantly reminded of your to-do list every time you see your computer.
3. Stay connected with your team
Video meetings are great to ensure that the projects keep chugging along while you are working from home. But they don’t replace the relationship building of physically being around your co-workers. For that, you might want to organize some remote team-building activities such as online team quizzes, challenges, and competitions or set up a team happy hour.
York recently won Nitro’s first (of many) virtual happy hour challenges: Craziest cocktail. (Ingredients: Stolichnaya vodka, Ginger Berry Kombucha, and a sprig of mint)
Adopting a new way of working
Looking for more ways to up your productivity while working from home? With Nitro, anyone can make an unlimited number of eSignature requests that can be completed from any device with a mobile browser. Start your free account here.
For larger teams and businesses, contact us today about a free managed trial for your team.