Working remotely for the first time?

With the pandemic in full force, we all having to work from home.

Since our organisation is operating from the comfort of our homes, it’s an interesting adjustment to get used too for us all. There’s been good days and bad ones and, it’s a constant struggle to stay in a routine.

Here a few essentials tips I found are currently working for me:

Take Care of YOU

Wake up the same time

Now that we are at home, it’s easy for us to get a late start to the day.

It’s best to wake up the same time and prepare for the day ahead. You will feel refreshed and energised to get the day going.

Get dress like you’re going to work

Even though I’m not leaving the apartment, I make sure to dress as if I’m going to work (obviously different if you work in a corporate environment), brush my hair, and wash my face.

I found that if I don’t do this and stay in my pajamas all day, I’m not productive and become lazy in completing my tasks.

Find an office area in your home

We don’t all have the privilege to have multiple rooms in our space but don’t let that discourage you.

Create a space you can convert into a home office whether it be in the corner of the living room, using the dining table, or even your breakfast nook, just make sure you have somewhere comfortable to work from.

Manage your time

This is extremely difficult to do; especially for someone like me who suffers from procrastination.

What worked for me so far is blocking out time on my Google Calendar on each task I’ll be working on during the course of the day. Also, make sure to work within your normal working hours.

Take breaks

It can be tolling to sit behind a desk all day and just carrying on working.

I make a point to take two 15 minute breaks to stretch my legs and grab something to drink, and then an hour-long lunch to do something that’s not work-related.

Breaking up the day and moving our bodies enables one to refresh and can increase your productivity when you return to your work. 

How to Communicate

Know the remote work policy

This might be new to many organisations or not even exist at all but with everyone now having to work remotely, ask your manager what is expected of you when working from home.

We don’t have a policy. However, management sent us an internal communication mailer about how to conduct business and what is expected from the employees moving forward.

Online is key

In a team of 20 people, it needs to be clear how we will communicate with one another now that we’re working remotely.

As an organisation, we make use of Zoom to conduct our formal meetings as well as for use of Microsoft Teams meeting with clients and, conducting webinars. We use Skype for informal daily checkups and quick check-ins with everyone.

How to share important documents

If you don’t already, now would be a good time to consider Google Docs, or Dropbox to share files. Don’t scatter team files across email, or your personal hard drive. Consolidate.

Note your project progress

It’s going to be difficult to keep up with everyone’s’ project progress so make sure to use the correct tools.

We use Trello as our mail tool to stay informed about every team’s task. For huge client projects, we use and for time tracking, we use Freshbook Projects.

This is a huge adjustment to get used too so don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling to find a routine with this new reality. Any change takes time to get used to, and everyone’s specific work situation and team dynamics are different.

Till the next chat.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog