Here at Content Cucumber, we’re pretty big fans of working from home.
Why, you may ask?
Because we all do it, all the time, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on.
Working from home is a big change when you’re used to going to an office! Whether you’ll be working from home for a week or for a significant chunk of your career, there are things you can do to make it a better experience for everyone. We’ve existed as a remote team for a while now, and we’ve learned a few things during the process that could make your transition a little easier.
So, let’s dive into the Content Cucumber team’s best tips for working from home.
Build a routine
This is a big one. Part of the struggle that many people have with transitioning to working from home is that it completely upends your previous routine: driving to the office, picking up a coffee, settling in at your work desk… all of that looks completely different. Here are a couple of ways our team builds a routine even when working from home.
Have time to yourself before you start working
The temptation is to simply roll out of bed and into your office chair each morning, but do not do this. While we’re all for getting a good night’s sleep, it’s not worth losing your sense of having a life. We recommend getting up 2 hours before your work is scheduled to begin, and taking that time to do some things for yourself! Read a chapter or two of a book, make some music, get a workout in… whatever makes you feel like yourself and sets your day up for success. Plus, that will give your caffeine some time to kick in before that first conference call.
Use time blocking to separate work and home tasks
You’re sitting at your workspace, about to kick ass and take on your day… and then you see a dirty dish out of the corner of your eye. You take it to the kitchen, and then realize there’s a sink full of dirty dishes. You decide you’ll just go ahead and load and start the dishwasher, but then you realize you’re almost out of dishwasher detergent, so you go to update your grocery list, but realize you don’t have one. Also, the sink is kind of dirty, you need to clean that, but when you go to look up how to clean it you realize you have a text from your mom, and suddenly it’s 2 hours later and you’ve done everything and nothing.
Don’t let that be you.
To skip the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie scenario, and give yourself some peace of mind, use time blocking to maintain a relatively normal work schedule. Choose a chunk of time, like 9 AM until noon, to focus on work, and if anything that isn’t work-related comes to mind, make a quick note of it and dive back into work. Then, take some time during a break after that chunk of time, like from noon until 12:30, to quickly knock out the tasks that came up. The specific times can be tailored to your unique schedule and work needs, but the point is that there is still a set time for work and a set time for personal tasks. You wouldn’t try to finish up a load of laundry while you’re at the office, would you?
Communicate with your team
Stay in communication with your team, and not just when things go wrong! Schedule some calls, send a message to coworkers whenever you have something you need from them or want their input on, and use features like Set Status on Slack to let people in your workspace know when you’re at your desk and available, working on a project, or clocking out for the day. By keeping the lines of communication open, you’re able to maintain your team’s culture and maximize productivity as a team.
Oh yeah… put on real pants, please.
Especially before a Zoom.
Don’t be that person who shows up to a Zoom meeting in a robe (or less).
Spare yourself and everyone else some embarrassment and put on at least something that resembles real pants. It’ll boost your productivity and help you feel more confident too! Even if it’s just a pair of shorts or some workout pants, it’s still something that isn’t pajamas, and that’s an important step.
You can do this, and we will all get through this, together.
So, tell us: what are your favorite work from home hacks? Any funny stories to share? Head over to our Instagram and let us know!