As I write this, companies are beginning the process of considering the ways their staff can work from home to delay COVID-19.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve had the privilege to work from home for nearly 15 years now. From time to time I meet face to face with clients, but the lion-share of my work and communication is done from my home office, sometimes in my comfy slippers, sometimes in casual Tuesday attire, and sometimes I’ll admit – still in my pajamas.
I like being comfortable.
I had someone ask me last week about our team, and frankly my whole team is virtual, too. Even the ones that are just a mile away.
In this virtual office world, it’s not too hard to pull off. And I think I get way more done in a day than I ever did when I worked at a corporate HQ.
So I thought I’d share with you the communication tools I use to make it work for me and my team.
Slack – it’s our inter-office chat system. I’d use this even if we were in an office setting. We can have a quick confab and go back to our projects.
Zoom – screen sharing, video conference, and webinar software. I use it to go live on my Facebook page, too.
Webcam – for video recording and face to video conference work. I use a Logitech, others have camera built into their laptops. (Pro Tip – I hung these led lights on my wall and they make a huge difference in the video quality. )
Internet – most folks have that 🙂
Redundant Internet – in case Xfinity is down – I have a plan from T-Mobile that allows me to use my phone as a 4G Hotspot. I can tether my phone to the computer and voila – I’m back on the internet. In this mode you’re not going to do video conferences, but it keeps you connected to email and slack.
Activities for the Kids – From time to time my nephews are with me during normal business hours – but I still have to work. I don’t give them free reign of the digital devices. So I keep a craft and project box handy filled with ideas, models, legos, and other toys to keep them busy for more than 5 minutes at a time.
Laundry – So much Laundry LOL. All I can say is thank goodness for Alexa, she reminds me (when I remember to ask her). I try to keep up with laundry during the day to maximize our solar energy.
Meals – I often forget to eat, leaving me feeling quite peckish at dinner time. The best gift I’ve given myself is a meal plan – it’s the structure that helps keep the dinner rolling here. I check the list in the mornings, take out the ingredients to the appropriate waiting places. Then when my workday ends, its a no brainer to put it all together.
Breaks – Take some. Get up and stretch. If you’re not fully quarantined to your home, go outside. My neighbors are far enough away we won’t accidentally bump when I go out the door.
Juggling. Yes, really. Juggling your whole day around meetings (Google Calendar and Calendly). Keeping the kids some what corralled. Prepping meals if that’s on you. Feeding the cats (that’s not on me). These all can be distractions to the day. If you plan your day around your MUST DOs, it will help you make the transition to working from home a wee bit easier.
My secret weapon is Bruce the Unicorn Tape Dispenser. A gift from a friend, but it makes me happy to have a little whimsy while I work.
Much Luck to you! Please add any suggestions in the comments below!