Yesterday, we activated our work-from-home policy at Ajar in response to the increasing threat of COVID-19. This was the first time many of our team members were experiencing remote work, and it occurred to us that there might be other first-timers out there too.
So we put together a few tips and best practices for keeping the same energy and hustle you’re used to at the office, while working from the safety of your home.
Make it out of bed
The idea might seem appealing at first, but turning your bed into an office will likely lower your productivity and even affect your sleep. Your surroundings activate different signals and states in your brain, so watch out for where you station your work.
Opt for the couch or dining table if you don’t have a dedicated office space, or even work from the garden if that’s accessible. Just make sure to get out of bed every morning so you give your muscles some movement and start fresh.
Change out of your pyjamas
The simple morning routine of washing your face, brushing your teeth, and changing out of your pyjamas triggers your brain to wake up and energize. Don’t break this routine while working from home. You don’t have to dress business casual while sitting in your room, but make sure you’re ready for a Zoom video call at any moment.
Get a dose of fresh air & sunshine
Being indoors for extended periods can really take a toll on your energy. Stepping outside for a quick stretch in the sun or even choosing a work station that’s next to a window can boost your energy levels and help you be more productive.
Set some boundaries & take a break
Be clear about your working hours. It’s easy to forget the time of day while working remotely, especially if you have a lot on your plate. It’s important to be aware of your off hours and when you need to take a break. Make sure your family, roommates, or housemates are aware of these hours and respect them too.
Make sure you’re reachable on all channels, and use tools to simplify your communication.
At Ajar, we use Slack and Zoom to stay connected. We start every morning with a feel-good morning message on Slack, and a 9AM video call check-in. Such practices keep the team connected and ensure that the entire team starts their day on the same page.
We’ve also set up a permanent open Zoom room that team members can access at any time to view our business dashboard or have a quick (or not so quick) discussion. Team members are encouraged to turn on their Slack notifications, and update their statuses whenever they’re taking a quick break or are in a meeting. These small queues are important in setting expectations while working remotely.
Stretch, move, and stretch some more
Check your watch – how many steps have you taken today? Your movement will likely decrease while you’re working from home so make sure you add a workout to your schedule, and regular stretches while you work. You’ll feel good, and the movement will even boost your mood.