Everyone (and their dog) appears to have compiled a list of handy tips for how to work from home. You can bet your face mask that they are almost all identical, and terribly sensible. I’ve been freelancing remotely for nearly three years so, trust me, I know. Heck, I’ve even written a fair few in my time.
However, I’ve decided that what the world really needs is a list on how to be utterly useless at working from home.
World, you’re welcome.
1. Don’t leave your bed
Common wisdom has it that a dedicated workspace can do wonders for your productivity but forget that. Start your day in bed, whether it contains someone else or not (they’ll love your 6am video conference calls, trust me).
Beds are generally comfortable places, and starting work there means you don’t have to waste time with breakfast either. Of course, you’ll probably burn out in a few hours and develop unsightly sores, but you’ll be sort of comfy! Hurray!
Boring alternative: Even though staying in bed is not the best idea, you are allowed to be comfortable when working from home. Common wisdom talks about having a dedicated working space, but that’s not always a) practical or b) productive for you. I personally like to alternate between my desk when I’m feeling formal and the sofa when I need to get comfortable. I think of it as a mini commute. I find with more mouse-intensive tasks, the desk is a better fit; whereas writing blog posts (such as this one) can be better achieved on the sofa. You might be different! Test out different spaces in your home to find out what works best for you. Depending on how many people are sharing the space with you, you might need to be creative anyway (video conference calls from your bathroom, anyone?).Even though staying in bed is not the best idea, you are allowed to be comfortable when working from home Click To Tweet
2. Use the same tech as before
If working from home hasn’t been part of your business repertoire before, have no fear: nothing needs to change! Who cares that you can’t access anything because all you have is an old laptop from 2004 and no VPN access? Keep moving that mouse around and making thoughtful sounds at your blank screen. After all, as the saying goes: if at first you fail: keep failing.
Boring alternative: Of course things are going to have to change. Whether you’re a leader or not, now is the time to discuss with your team how to communicate and collaborate efficiently from home. You can’t pop into the meeting room for a quick chat, but you could use Slack or Zoom for a virtual catch up.
Working from home is a great way of assessing which of your processes are too clunky to survive. Tribal knowledge becomes a real impediment if someone on your team falls ill and communication breaks down with other colleagues. If your business deals with critical data exchanges (such as tendering), then you might want to consider a plug & play platform like DeepStream. As an extra bonus, it can be accessed from anywhere, including your mobile or tablet.
3. Trust no one
You can’t concentrate working from home, therefore all your employees must be in the same boat too. There’s no choice but to call them every five minutes to ask them what they are doing and can they hurry up. There’s no time like the present to become a micro-manager.
Because that’s not enough, you are hoarding all the information to yourself, blocking them from meaningful progress in the process. Two birds, one stone, everyone loses.
Boring alternative: Working from home isn’t a natural state for everyone and takes some getting used to. The truth of it is, you’re going to have to both learn to trust your team, and adapt your ways of communicating and collaborating with others. You will be far for more efficient if you are open about the difficulties of the process and help each other find the right system.
Constant interruption can break people’s concentration, so instead, why not schedule a regular catch up call they can organise their day around? This can also be a great way to boost morale and refresh people. Why not add a fun element to it, such as taking turns to lead an activity session or introduce new tools/information?
If you are concerned about where people are spending their time, you could also encourage your team to use Toggl to track their hours in a non-invasive way.The truth of it is, you’re going to have to both learn to trust your team, and adapt your ways of communicating and collaborating with others #wfh Click To Tweet
Over to you
If you are new to remote working, how are you coping during this testing time? We’d love to hear about what’s been working and not working for you.
This period is a great time to take up new things, so why not schedule a demo with DeepStream today to find out how you can make the most out of working from home? Get some free training & discover some top tips on how to replace emails for good when it comes to critical B2B data exchanges.