Although many organizations are accustomed to flexible and remote work, this marks the first time that we have seen virtual teams operating on a global scale. And we’re not talking about the traditional home offices we once knew.
Team members are quarantined, which means they are working with their spouses and kids nearby—and sometimes even babysitters, nannies, and home maintenance staff are part of that equation
While there are lots of advantages to being based at home, it takes a while to get your space set up effectively.
Here are five of my tips for creating a home office space where you can run productively and effectively and stay in touch with your team:
1. Get good lighting
If you’re going to be doing a lot of video calls, think about how you can light your face. It’s beneficial to people on the other end of the camera to be able to see your expressions—and no one is going to be able to connect with you if you look like a dark shadow.
2. Use a headset
Remote work still requires you to talk to people, and I quickly found out that I got neck ache and arm ache from using my phone. Get a hands-free kit for your phone and a headset for your computer.
Earbuds might look cool when you are jogging, but over-the-head earphones with a built-in microphone are more comfortable for the longer term.
Going hands-free leaves your hands for other tasks like typing meeting notes during the call.
3. Put a sign on your door
Working from home means less privacy, so think about how you are going to signal to the other occupants of the house that you can’t be disturbed.
4. Check your connectivity
Web conferencing only works if you have a decent internet connection. Test out your connection in different parts of the house.
Test your connectivity from various devices and in various places so if you have to join a call in a hurry, you’ll know where to go!
5. Get up and move
In the shared office, you would have been moving around. There are meetings or people to see. You even have to walk to get a coffee.
When you work from home, life is more sedentary. You work on your laptop. You have meetings on your laptop. You talk to colleagues from your laptop
Find a reason to get up and move around. If you take a call, pace around the garden. Stand up during your online meetings—just move your camera higher so your face is still in shot.
Find ways to keep active. Your body will thank you!
Bonus Tip: Make the office a nice place to be. Perhaps your office would feel more homely with a plant or a particular scent. Or maybe you want to go minimal and clear out everything else. Make whatever personalization you want to your working space so it feels like somewhere you can do your best work. You could be spending quite a lot of time in your home office over the coming weeks, so make it an environment you enjoy working in!