A super guide on how to manage it working from home in a easier way during this crisis period.

Produced by One Coworking

Translated by Rafhael Dalto

>> SUMMARY

1. What is home office?

2. How to be productive working from home

3. How to handle kids and family while working from home

4. Special care to teams’ communication online

5. Tips about tools and communication online

6. How to hold good online meeting (and F2F, as soon as situation is back to normal)

What is Home Office?

It’s a working scheme that many professionals already use for a matter of cost and convenience.

Home Office requires a lot of focus for keep productivity, since there can be several distractions. From wanting to stay in bed, only watching TV, or doing the dishes and kids wanting you to play with them. Because of that it isn’t easy keep working at same beat as in the office.

On another hand home office can offer better work-life balance: Less time commuting allowing more time for a calmer breakfast, having healthier meals – added of course, spending more time with family or have a short nap after lunch.

Fact is, learning how to work from home office is needed and make it an ally in your routine. It may be a viable solution for your business, maybe not only in moment of social isolation as we are living now.

It’s always important to remember: Home office isn’t holidays.

Home Office & Productivity

Important tips for you

Try to create a real working place for keeping your routine. 

We know it isn’t easy. Maybe you won’t have anything better than your dinning table for working. Anyway try not to stay at bed or on the coach: you back will thank you!

Being sited in a place where you have a support for you computer and papers similarly as you’d have at office increases a lot your productivity – it always keep you from feel sleepy

Keep your normal working time with a proper starting and ending time to work.

Do not fall on the trap to sleep until late or snooze you alarm clock 50x. Try keeping a routine similar as if you’d still go to office and take a good shower to wake up. The temptation of going back to bed and keep solving things over the mobile phone is big. Because of that try your best to keep a normal routine, as if you’d going to office.

Do not miss interaction with your team. Carry on meeting via video conference for instance.

One of the main challenges of home office is loneliness. So keep having meeting with your team via Skype, WhatsApp or other communication tools (we’ll talk more a about it below).

 

Have your to do list and specify dates for each deliverable

Do a list with things which need to be completed during the week and distribute the tasks along the days. Define deadlines to make it easier to organize yourself.

Leave space in your agenda also for answering customer inquiries, place requirements and organize deliveries.

Have breaks when necessary, but do not extend it for too long.

Another trap doing Home Office is working all the time. Or worst, procrastinate all day long and have to work at night for recovering the wasted time. So, not only try to keep your normal working time routine, but also a routine for your breaks so you brain can rest a bit.

Important tip: Do not check your WhatsApp groups all the time with news about the virus.

Avoid staying in your Pajamas! Dress up as if you’d leave home for working. 

No pajamas! Show to your brain it’s time to focus and concentrate – not sleep or relax. Changing the pajamas over working clothes helps your brain to understand the moment has shifted. Do not worry, it can be more comfortable clothes, as long as it keeps you away from going back to bed.

Home Office

& Family

How to deal with working with kids at home?

Gather all the family and explain the situation in a rational and objective way.

Talk to your partner, dad, mom, kids about the your need to keep working from home, at that is not a holiday or moment for relaxing. .

If possible, define physical limits.

A separate room or the corner of your living room will be dedicated to your office, where people may respect space and allowance for enter.

Have ground rules for interruptions.

Also define the time you’ll be able to be with everyone, helping with housework and having quality time together.

Have ground rules for relaxing time and family time.

Also define the time you’ll be able to be with everyone, helping with housework and having quality time together.

If you and your partner are at home with kids and both need to work

Plan time rotations and inform also your companies about which times you should be available.

Understand your kids needs and gear up.

Kids have their routines too and we need to adjust our working time to them.

Take advantage of nap times and their favorite TV show for instance. But be careful not to leave them all day long in front of TV. Kids Movies, crayons, modeling clay, role plays: have an arsenal of activities for entertain your kids for longer without the need of supervising them all the time. This way you’ll be able to focus on tasks which takes more time to be completed during these periods.

Special care to teams’ communication online while working from home

Warning: Do not introduce to many tools at once.

It’s clear that adding some tools may help you and your team to be more productive. Nonetheless be careful since any change require times for adapting. It may generate more stress than productivity.

Avoid having Whatsapp as main communication channel.

We don’t have only group with colleagues from work on Whatsapp. It’s possible that everyone will get distracted and get even more anxious with so many news about coronavirus circulating.

Be careful about unnecessary sense of urgency.

Avoid to avoid excessive pressure. It’s natural that productivity get reduced a bit in home-office, so do not demand your team to be 100% of time online. This may generate unnecessary conflicts. Be sympathetic because the situation isn’t easy on anyone. More than pressure and demand results do define reasonable deadlines and leave your co-workers to plan their deliveries. Do not abandon anyone but do not suffocate them either.

End information overload.

Reduce the distribution of news about Coronavirus. Everyone got by now it’s dangerous and that many things will change for a while. The basic cares to take are: constant cleaning and hygiene, self-isolation and overall care with own health.

A lot of information (which aren’t that positive) spoil productivity and leave people more anxious and in panic. That doesn’t help at all, does it?

Tips about tools and communication online.

Some tools that might help:

For meetings: Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts

For documents management: Google Drive and Dropbox

For notes: Evernote and OneNote

For communication between teams: Slack and Teams

How to hold good online meeting

(and F2F, as soon as situation is back to normal)

  • Schedule a standard time for the meeting when everyone can attend. If not possible for everyone to attend, ensure the information is delivered by other ways afterwords;
  • Have a proper agenda (wich are the topics to be discussed);
  • Do a “warm up”: ask how is everyone (and do listen), preferable register people’s comments (this is important for motivating them to talk knowing they’ll be heard);
  • Present the topics in the agenda;
  • Assign someone for taking the minutes of meeting and send it to everyone by the end of the meeting;
  • Review what happened during the week, evaluate what has been done, or not and what.
  • Plan the next steps;
  • Have someone responsible for eah activity, explain how they are supposed to be done, which are the quality standards and when applicable a deadline for final validation and final delivery;

BONUS TIP: Incentivize people to write their responsibilities and tasks for the incoming week on a piece of paper and share it to you (online ?)

In case you need to scold someone or correct some behavior:

For individual cases: talk to the person individually and not in front of the team.

In case you need to address it during a metting, there are some attention to be taken:

 

  • Focus on facts – not on the person;
  • Avoid judging using adjectives – only present what has happened;
  • Explain that certain behaviors or attitude aren’t desired for the team;
  • Ask what can be done for avoiding the situation to happen again ( and listen the answers);
  • Determine the next stops with the people;
  • Ask if anyone has anything to add and if they agree with the decisions;
  • Circulate the agenda and decisions via WhatsApp or e-mail in the sequence;

We hope you enjoyed our guide.

We know this is a delicate moment, and that’s why we developed this guide for strengthen our businesses and help everyone to pass by this moment the better way possible.

If you liked this article and think it may be useful for other people, feel free to share it to anyone that might take some profit of it.  ?

Take care of yourself and your family – We´ll overcome that!