It’s already been a month since our whole team has gone full-remote to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. To make sure this change had minimal impact on our work, it was important to create a pleasant workspace and make sure we maintain our company’s culture through adversity. We put together our top recommendations that helped us adapt quickly to this remote-first reality.
Start your day with 15 minutes of yoga or exercise
While working from home, we tend to be less active and take fewer steps throughout the day. Starting your morning with physical activity helps to maintain activity levels and allows you to reap the benefits throughout the day. It also increases focus and helps you to feel more comfortable at your desk.
Several of our team members mentioned that when they perform some physical activity before their workday, it helps activate their creativity. Others said it helps them get into their workflow with more ease than on the days when they don’t do any physical activity.
Create your workspace
In order to help yourself get into the groove, take time to set up a workspace in your home where you feel comfortable, and if possible, close to a window. Additionally, plan an alternative work location for when you want a change of space. If you like the option of a standup desk, find a household item that is tall and wide enough to place on a desk to prop-up your laptop at arm-level. Make sure your desk space is clean and only has the items you use on a daily basis. Everything else should be neatly stored away in drawers.
Go the extra mile by putting up some inspiring art pieces or set up a corkboard where you can pin images and fun quotes. Use your space to keep you on track with other items like calendars, planners, and organizers. If you enjoy feeling zen while working, set up a diffuser with some essential oils, like lavender or eucalyptus, or add a plant to your workspace.
Set your goals
In the same way you set a daily to-do list at the office, set a to-do list while working from home. Then if you can, take it a step further and outline a plan for your week and month. This will help you keep your vision and focus on a short and long-term basis.
Set a plan for your daily to-do list by segmenting your work into time blocks of 30 to 60 minutes. There are several methods you can use to implement this methodology like the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique not only helps you to get your to-do list done, but it also gets you to be more efficient and stay focused on one task at a time!
Another tip is to start building or continue to work on your career goals. This is a great opportunity to advance current skill sets, take on new projects, and reflect upon ways to add value to your organization.
Keep Your Daily Routine
Make sure you keep your morning routine consistent when you are working from home. For example, if you usually wake up at 6 am, shower, eat and get dressed, then keep that routine when you are working from home. By maintaining your morning routine you are taking the first step to keeping your mind and body on track to perform throughout the day. Other routines you have when going into the office should also be incorporated into your work from home schedule. For example, if you are used to meal prepping, you should definitely continue doing it while working from home!
The added benefit of keeping your routines is that when you return to the office you can smoothly transition back into your regular schedule with little to no adjustment period.
Take regular breaks
Be sure to take your lunch break and a few 10-minute breaks while working from home. It may be tempting to stay at your desk, but it’s best to rest your eyes from screen time and your body from desk time. During your breaks, spend time with your close ones, call a friend, or go outside for a walk.
Host weekly company-wide virtual video meetings
Led by management, company-wide video meetings permit essential information to be shared across the enterprise. It keeps the company culture flourishing while everyone is working from home and maintains a sense of vision for everyone during the week.
Have daily department meetings
At Bloom, we have both company-wide and department meetings to keep the team up to date and motivated. It gives us the time to collaborate on client needs, tasks, projects, and initiatives. It offers the opportunity to find new solutions to challenges and advance together as a team.
Conduct meetings via calls or video chats
For matters that require more than a few short exchanges, call and video conference with your colleagues instead of sending an email or internal message. This increases the efficiency of the communication, advances projects, and reinforces collaboration.
Not to mention, it also gets team members to motivate each other organically by taking a break from intense research or work. It provides a more diversified workday and helps with engagement.
Enjoy virtual coffee breaks with colleagues
In order to keep the company culture alive and well, we recommend virtual coffee breaks of about 2 to 5 people for about 15 minutes. This allows colleagues to interact during their break time at home instead of being on their phone or feeling alone.
Having time with colleagues over coffee is also less formal and can generate new discussions. Many of our team members have virtual coffee breaks with their colleagues say it helps to foster new ideas and encourage more collaboration on client projects and company initiatives.
Gather for virtual social activities
Even when working remotely, we recommend setting a weekly schedule of virtual social activities where everyone can participate. Here are a few things we did recently to keep our company’s culture thriving:
- virtual trivias on various topics such as geography, food, animals, etc.
- a Bloomer Baby Guessing Game
- virtual workouts as a team during lunch
- virtual [email protected] as a company
- photo competitions (best pet photo, best snack, etc.)
Fun tip: take it up a notch during your virtual social activities on Zoom video conferencing with unique video backgrounds using Canva design tools.
Virtual social activities really help keep a sense of unity across the organization and getting colleagues connecting on new levels. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen relationships within the organization. Further, the activities are greatly appreciated by many and often get the team looking forward to the next social event to connect with each other!
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