Best Practices for Working from Home
So, you work from home now?
We’re in the risk business, so we were pretty prepared for an all-company, WFH scenario. We even did a test drive when rumors of the impact of COVID-19 began to spread.
That’s not to brag, but to say, we’ve been there, we made it through, and you can too. Below are some of the tricks that have kept our team productive and positive in the face of telecommuting and uncertainty.
General Tips & Tricks for Working From Home:
1. If you’re working from home with young kids in the house, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Set a timer for 45 minutes and let them know when it goes off, they get your attention. Tend to them for 5 minutes. Let them play with something they shouldn’t – raw spaghetti or the remote control. Worry about cleaning up at the end of the day.
2. Designate a work area. Beds and sofas are comfortable, sure. But if you are used to being productive at a desk, get yourself a chair and a table and get to it. Seriously, you’ll figure this out by day 3, or you could trust us and just do it now.
3. Eliminate distractions. We haven’t seen The Price is Right in years either. And yes, it’s still on. And yes, it’s incredible fun. But in an hour, you’ll find you haven’t accomplished much.
4. Work during the time you are most productive. Are mornings your thing? Crank out your to-do list early. Go for a walk at lunch and complete more clerical tasks in the afternoon.
5. End your day with a routine. It’s incredibly weird to shut your laptop and then start the next part of your day without the routine of a commute. So make a new routine. Put all your work supplies away in a bag and put it in the closet. Get some fresh air, change clothes, take a shower and treat your evenings as usual.
6. Indulge in a little self-care. Do something to make your physical or mental health better. Being inside all day, in the same place you live, can drain you of energy. That might be doing yoga, eating ice cream or something we’re pretty into: getting your financials in order, including applying for life insurance.
7. A lot of the internet’s helpful working from home tip lists suggest you put on pants to feel like you’re in work mode. But we’re not so sure. There should be some bright spots in this time of uncertainty. To be clear: DO wear pants. But it’s cool if they’re stretchy.
8. Stock up on your favorite tea bags, cold brew, or any other drinks and power snacks you might rely on at the office for productivity. If sipping hot coffee with that special vanilla hazelnut creamer is the first thing you do at work each morning, make sure your home kitchen is equipped.
9. Maintain regular workday hours as much as possible. It’s important to be available to coworkers when they need you. If you’ve got special circumstances, like caring for kids, the elderly or a sick family member, let your team know.
10. Utilize video technology. Yes, turn your camera on. Yes, you really look like that. No, we don’t care. When you can see someone’s reaction and body language, it improves communication. If looking at yourself is too distracting, put a post-it over your face so you can focus on your meeting.
11. When in doubt, over-communicate with colleagues and managers: availability, project status, needs, requests, etc. Be responsive, even if you’re only able to acknowledge the request — a lingering Slack message with no response can be frustrating.
12. Keep your team apprised of your status. No, not your coronavirus status – your Slack status. Or whatever messenger or productivity app your office uses. Are you logging off for lunch or running to the supermarket? Let your team know you won’t be immediately responding to requests.
13. For the benefit of all your co-workers, change your email and other messaging/productivity app profiles to include a recent photo, the name you actually go by, contact information, and your job title. This way everyone, especially new hires, knows who they are looking for.
14. Take it easy on yourself and cut your co-workers some slack. This is weird. And unprecedented. And even though you’re looking into some of their living rooms, you don’t know what is going on in their lives. Check on each other. Be kind.
- Entrepreneur: Coronavirus: Best Practices for Working From Home, According to a Six-Figure Social Media Entrepreneur
- PC Mag: 20 Tips for Working From Home
- The Hartford: 7 Best Practices for Work from Home Programs
- People: Working from Home Because of COVID-19? Here Are Some Tips That’ll Keep You Sane and Healthy
If you maintain productivity, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on all those important things you’ve been putting off. Like applying for life insurance – something we’ve made convenient to do from home. Get a quote in seconds and be insured in minutes with our 100% online process (if approved).