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Working from Home Productively

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

You may find yourself suddenly working from home due to COVID-19.   Working from a home office is not necessarily an ideal set-up. The reality is that you are most likely trying to figure out how to juggle a number of balls such as: making space in your home for video calls and meetings, keeping yourself productive, keeping your kids occupied so you can work will trying to maintain a grip on your overall mental well-being.

 

Below are a few more tips to assist you for working at home productively from your new home office, and help you maintain your overall mental well-being:

1.) Setup a Dedicated & Separate Workplace:   

If you are used to going into an office every day, the separation between your job and your home is physical separation. Working from home removes this separation.   It is important to your productivity to recreate separation with a designated physical workspace in your home. If you do not have the space for a dedicated room, a quiet corner of a least-used room will work. This space just needs to feel as separate as possible from home life.

 

Tips for a good home workspace:

  • Make it as comfortable as possible
  • Make sure it has good lighting
  • Make sure you include every item you need to perform your job (printer, computer, phone, paper, pens, etc.)

 

2.) Establish a Clear Routine & Stick to It:

You and those you live with need to understand when you are working and when you are not. Staying close to the hours you normally worked from your office is a good plan. Working from home places you in charge of your environment and your work schedule. This means that you will have to hold yourself and be disciplined.

 

3.) Know When to Stop Working and Actually STOP:

Once you have established your work hours, you need to make sure that you stick to them and stop working at the “end” of your day. Do something at the end of your designated workday that helps you mentally shift from work mode and unwind such as a walk, yoga or reading.

 

4.) Organize Work & Plan Tasks for Each Day:

Regardless of where you are working, it is essential that you not only set a regular schedule for your day but you need to also keep track of all of your tasks including both pending and completed ones. You can use a variety of methods for this but here are some free online tools to consider:

  • Tasks and project management: Air Table, NovaTools, Trello
  • Sharing documents: Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, GoogleDocs
  • Video conferencing: Skype, Zoom, Google Meetings
  • Team communication: Whatsapp, Slack

 

5.) Take Regular Breaks:

Working from home may isolate from some interactions you would normally have each day. Make sure that you take regular breaks from work as you would if you were in a traditional office. Grab a cup of coffee, take a quick walk, make a personal call.

 

6.) Stay Connected with Others:

Make sure that you schedule regular talks with coworkers or managers, even if these chats are only a couple of minutes long. You need to be sure that you are still properly communicating with your coworkers and managers as issues or challenges arise and avoid problems.  Never hesitate to reach out to the same people that you would normally turn to for help. It is also a good idea to schedule informal chats with your coworkers  such as a virtual happy hour after work for a catch-up session.

 

7.) Consider Those in Your Home:

If you are suddenly working from home, you are probably not the only one in your house who is facing this new work-life balance. You may find yourself at home with your spouse, children, other family, roommates, etc. It is best to establish clear boundaries and share them with the other people in your home. Set times or queues for others so they know when you cannot be disturbed. Clear communication keeps your home happy!

 

Remember to be easy on yourself and others. We are all navigating a whole new way to work and live during these unchartered times. These tips should help you to setup your home office and keep your day flowing smoothly.  It is more important than ever to communicate, reach out, connect and take care of one another.

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter
Advertise your business:

In order to build customers, they need to be cognizant that you exist, and they need a reason to engage with you. Advertising allows new customers to discover your brand and reminds current customers of your offerings. Your competitors are advertising and if you are not, you may lose business to them. Depending on your business and your offerings, you may want to go with traditional print ads in newspapers or magazines or online ads with search engines and social media platforms.

 

Create a professional brochure for your business:

Even though this seems like an outdated marketing strategy, it is still a good idea to have a strong, professional brochure created for your business. Brochures are cost effective and provide a lot of information while simultaneously personalizing your small business. They help your customers build trust in you and build awareness with your brand.

 

Send press releases to relevant media outlets:

Press releases are a great way to highlight important company events, new products, or awards you’ve received. Press releases allow you build brand awareness and communicate directly with your audience.

 

Host an event or open house:

Hosting an event or open house helps publicize your business, bring awareness to it, and allows you to show it off. You can sponsor your own even or join with other local businesses to showcase specific products, introduce your staff, or even provide free samples.

 

Offer a deal or discount:

Everyone loves a good deal, especially if they get something for free. Offering a coupon, discount, or some other special deal helps your business in multiple ways. It can help increase the number of new customers you receive, increase sales in general and for specific products, increase brand awareness, provide rewards to loyal customers, promote your social media accounts, show customer appreciation, increase your market influence by motivating customers to travel for your deals, and even help move inventory that has been sitting on your shelves.

 

Offer a Referral Fee to Existing Customers:

Referrals are golden and there is nothing better than a customer referring you to someone else because they hold a high opinion of your products and/or services.  Perhaps offer clients a special discount or referral fee to tell their colleagues and friends and spread the word about your business.

 

 

Regardless of the type of business you are running, whether you offer products that are tangible or intangible or series, you can make it successful right from your home. Just make sure that you spend the time researching your ideas and target market thoroughly, put together the right environment, build a strong team, and market your brand effectively.   Using a combination of online and other marketing is a recipe for success.

 

We encourage Veteran and Military Business Owners to join VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association.   There are not any dues or fees charged to our members.  Here is a link to join:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

 

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