Due to recent events, more of us are now working from home than ever. So how do you uphold a work/life balance and remain productive in a transitioning work environment? Ashley Maydak, our Brand & Creative Manager, offers suggestions for remaining productive.
Like many of you, I began working from home this week. When you’re used to working together in a face-to-face setting, being thrust into a remote working environment is certainly a challenge. Here are my tips for surviving—and thriving—in a new remote working environment.
Stay in touch – The best outcomes always occur as a result of collaborating with others. But interactions with humans isn’t only about collaboration for the sake of work—working in a silo can take a toll on your job satisfaction and emotional well-being. Don’t allow working from home to force you into isolation. Organize regular video conferences to ensure you continue to feel connected to others.
It’s also important to stay connected to avoid miscommunication. A situation where relying solely on email could put a project at risk. This is another reason why it may be necessary to schedule more frequent conference calls in order to keep everyone on the same page. Since I’m managing what’s now a fully remote team of creative professionals, more frequent check-ins to gain alignment with various aspects of projects and deadlines has become imperative.
Create a dedicated workspace – If working from home is new for you, make sure you create a workspace that’s both functional and fun. If possible, try to choose a space that’s as free from distractions as possible, is comfortable and has adequate lighting. Make sure the space has everything you need to stay productive. In addition to your computer, this might include reference materials, your phone, paper and a desktop printer.
Also, even if your work-from-home situation is temporary, make sure it’s a fun place to work. Include the fun things that keep you inspired on any given workday, such as photos of loved ones, mementos of achievements and reminders of fun moments.
Be Extra-organized and Considerate – Without the ability to engage in face-to-face interaction with co-workers at a moment’s notice, it can bring to light how thinking through a situation before immediately reacting can make collaborative projects move quicker and easier.
If you’re the organizer of a conference call, but sure to create and send out an agenda prior to the meeting. If you’re sending an email in regards to a project, spend a little time to think through a project and consider the various questions and considerations you might have to better organize your questions or feedback. Moving forward in this way and sending one well-organized email with several questions and bullets, instead of sending several emails with questions concerning one project, will keep the project running smoothly and require less work on your co-workers’ behalf to create a response.
Take Breaks – If you’re like me, the shift in environment from office to home is an activity that helps me “turn off” work at the end of the day. When working from home, it’s still important to maintain time off to recharge and be productive for the next day at work. It’s also equally important to continue to make time for the other people and activities in your life that you love and enjoy.
One of the tricks that I’ve found is to signal the end of the day with some sort of physical activity—such as jogging or yoga—to trigger a transition in my brain and release the energy I’ve built up from sitting at a desk all day. From there, it’s easier to focus on loved ones and home matters without work projects sitting in the back of my mind.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread…on Paper – Without face-to-face interaction, your written words become a more elevated representation of your personal brand. Make sure you thoroughly proofread emails before hitting send. Before attaching other documents to emails or uploading to collaboration tools, it’s a good idea to print a copy on your desktop printer.
Printing out a document to proof is easier to read, allows the reader to catch more errors and helps you stay more focused on the content during the review process. And, if you choose to print on a paper from a North American paper manufacturer with Sustainable forestry practices (like Domtar), you can rest easy knowing that the paper is manufactured at paper mills dedicated to the health of the land and the communities where they reside.
Looking for an office paper to keep the momentum going while working from home? The Xerox® and EarthChoice® brands from Domtar Paper are two national paper brands that both businesses and individuals depend on every day. Read this blog to learn more about office papers from Domtar.