Does your team need more effective remote work? While the world has recently caught up with the virtual trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been working from home for the last 10 years. In that time, we’ve learned a thing or two and want to share some of our tips with you.
#1: Communicate with your team virtually
We are big fans of using Slack for communication. If you remember the days of instant messaging, it’s similar to that. However, you’re also able to build channels about certain topics, clients, or projects. That way you can share all the updates in one place to make sure your team sees them.
You can even give a teammate a quick call or send them a message if you need a fast answer. It’s better than bombarding people with emails because you’ll keep everything in one place for reference instead of trying to follow a long email chain.
#2: Use a Project Management Software
If you’re used to planning projects out on a whiteboard or through brainstorming sessions with your team, you might be struggling to be productive while working virtually. That’s where project management software comes in handy. There are quite a few to pick from like Basecamp, Asana, and Monday.com.
Monday.com lets you assign tasks to individual team members, add due dates and priority, and gives you project overviews so you can tell where things might be going wrong
#3: Set aside a specific spot to work
When you’re working from home, it’s hard to separate home life from work life. That’s especially true when you’re bouncing around from the bed to the couch and back. Instead, set up your desk for more effective remote work. Treat it like your office and shut things down when you’re done for the day. It doesn’t have to be a specific room, it can even just be a desk in your bedroom or living room, but make sure it’s dedicated to just work.
#4: Take your accounting virtual
If you haven’t already moved your payroll and accounting into the virtual space, you’ll definitely want to do it now. Instead of keeping receipts in a box or notes scattered around your office, consider using these two software programs: Quickbooks and Gusto. Gusto is great for managing payroll, paying contractors, and managing other HR-related tasks.
Quickbooks, on the other hand, is the tried and true accounting software that we’d recommend. There are different versions but you’ll have plenty of options for invoicing clients and tracking your expenses. You can even use Quickbooks for payroll as well. If you’re working with an accountant or a VaVa virtual bookkeeper, Quickbook also allows them to have free seats in your account to monitor things for you.
#5: Build a strong email list
When you can’t attend networking events, conferences, or even in-person meetings, you’re going to need an email list to reach your clients and prospects. If you haven’t been utilizing this before, we highly recommend that you get started.
We really love OptinMonster for lead generation. It allows you to add bars and popups to your website to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or download a freebie. It even integrates with your favorite email management platform so that you can keep building your list even when you aren’t out collecting business cards like usual.
#6: Create a schedule for your day
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home. You might get up to start a load of laundry and realize you’ve distracted yourself from work for far too long. It’s helpful to create a schedule for your day when you’re working at home.
Don’t get us wrong, you should absolutely still schedule in times for breaks and lunch but make sure you’re intentional about those breaks and that you know when they end.
We also like the idea of time blocking your day. It’s not right for everyone but you can block out times on your calendar to work on specific projects so that you know what to expect from the day and can stay focused.
#7: Connect with customers on social media
Increasingly, social media is an extension of your customer service. If you’re not able to connect with customers or clients face-to-face, then social media is the next best thing. You can show your face and your life behind-the-scenes to build that personal connection.
Getting people to visit your website more through social media is also a great way to connect with people when remote. You might want to consider using a platform like Pinterest to get more traffic on your site, especially if you have a blog. We love using Tailwind for Pinterest management because it lets you schedule things out and also connects you to Tailwind tribes of people who are looking to share the same kind of content that you’re sharing.
#8: Maintain a consistent routine for more effective remote work
When you’re working remotely, it can be tempting to wake up later than usual or work later in the day to make up for it. If you really love sleeping in and get more done in the evenings, that’s great! However, we know that for some people working in the evenings makes it feel like work never ended. If that’s you, set up some boundaries with yourself and stick to the normal workday. That helps you know when you want to start and when you want to end the day so that you have dedicated free time to relax.
#9: Reduce distractions
There are a lot of things that demand your attention when you’re working at home, especially when you have kids. It can be difficult but do your best to reduce the distractions around you.
That might mean keeping your kids on a schedule too so that you know when you have some uninterrupted time to get work done and when you need to take a break to be with them.
You’ll also want to fight the urge to put on the TV in the background. There are some tasks you can do with distractions but most projects will go faster if you’re focused. If you want sound in the background, consider putting on some noise-canceling headphones. That will help you stay focused on what you’re doing and not what’s going on around you.
#10: Give yourself some grace
Working from home isn’t for everyone. With these tips, you can make it a bit easier but it’s not going to be the best working style for every person and every project. Do what you can to make things work smoothly but keep in mind that there’s still going to be a learning curve.
If you’re finding that virtual life is a bit harder for you, you might want some help. We’d be happy to chat with you about getting a virtual assistant to get your life organized and help you have more effective remote work. Get a free consultation for our services today.
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