The work from home movement has always been led by small businesses, but now its influence is growing – as a matter of urgency. The worldwide spread of the Novel 19 Coronavirus (Covid-19) means remote working is set to surge in the next few months, as major corporations and small businesses alike eye up plans to help ensure the well-being of its employees.
Google Ireland has already tried the work from home model with its 8,000 Dublin employees, as has JP Morgan. Other companies will rapidly follow suit, in a decision that may soon be driven by a national-level policy in governments around the globe.
The workplace as we know it now stands on the cusp of a pivotal shift. Whether the work from home move is temporary or becomes more permanent, it’s vital that teams stay cohesive and effective in the way that they interact. As companies scramble to put contingency plans into play, good communication becomes more important than ever.
Here’s how to win at working from home without derailing your business – all with the help of Spike:
Create an Environment of Focus
Part of creating a great remote work environment is creating an environment you can focus in. Some people work best with music. Others work best with silence. If you require silence, you might consider a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If you enjoy music, creating the perfect playlist for focus might get you in the right headspace each morning in order to do your best work, knock out your tasks, and keep your projects moving forward.
When working from home, one “trick” you can implement is creating routines that get you moving towards your goals. One idea is to start each day with a cup of coffee, some quiet meditation, and then a workout.
By the time you’re ready to start your day, you’ve done what you need to get your brain focused and ready to work at maximum efficiency because you’ve given yourself time to think, breathe, and exercise.
Keep a Clean Environment
Regardless if you work at a desk or the kitchen table, you’ll want to maintain a clean workspace in order to keep your focus on work and not what else is happening around you. You’ll want to avoid having old newspapers, bills, and magazines sitting around.
Take the time to personalize your workspace, clean it up, and make it a place where you can be happy to sit down each morning.
Schedule Screen Breaks and Have a Tech-Free Lunch
Staring at a screen for 8 hours per day is hard on your eyes, so it’s vital to take breaks. If you have a dog, take the time during the day to take a lunch break and go on a walk. If you don’t have a dog, then make sure you at least have a screen-free lunch. Don’t close the laptop and then pull out a tablet or smartphone while you eat. Find a good book or a magazine and enjoy a tech-free lunch
Stay Visible and Connected
One of the biggest fears of remote working, even if you have a part-time work from home gig, is how to stay in the loop. It’s not without reason, either. When you’re working from home, you’re one step removed from the epicenter of your workplace.
Even if you run your own business, or your company is entirely remote, you still miss out on the little nuances that come with being with people in the real world. You need technology that mimics those water cooler moments you might get in the office every day.
Luckily, Spike can help.
Spike strips out your inbox clutter and transforms your email into an easy chat format, with real-time replies to keep the conversation moving.
This real-time awareness fuels a real sense of community and connection between Spike users. When you’re both on Spike together, you can see when the other person is online and when they’re typing a reply to you, which gives a feel of a natural, real-life conversation between the two of you.
You can instantly see when someone has read your email, and when they’re in the process of replying. But more importantly, you can feel their presence, too: it’s a tool for remote working that mirrors the sense of being together in person as closely as it can.
There’s no need to download new software or multiple apps for team communication, either – everything you need is in your inbox. You can email in a more formal and traditional way to new clients. Or you can use real-time chat to fire off quick messages, doodles and voice notes to your colleagues.
In this way, Spike exactly imitates the flow and pace of real-life conversations. It’s the best of email and chat in one place, making it the smart solution to stay present while working from home.
Be a Collaboration Hero
With remote working jobs, you have to go further than you ordinarily would when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. You’re making up for not being physically present in person, and the oceans (figurative or literal) that stand between you and your team.
So when you’re looking at how to work from home online, this really means how to make everyone in your team feel heard and connected.
Spike oils the wheels of this process with collaborative work tools that are integrated into your inbox. You can create a Group Chat for any team, project or client, then follow ideas and updates in real-time. And you can do this all within your inbox, without the added hassle and distraction of having to swap between messaging apps.
Spike’s conversational email format also helps with bouncing ideas around. With the best of email and messaging in one place, free-flowing dialogue is easy: you can fire away with quick casual chats, or spend your time crafting a formal email pitch. You can also share and preview files inside your email, and pin your most important chats to the top of your feed.
All this makes teamwork more efficient, but it also paves the way for real-time rapport. With Spike, even if you’re not physically present in person, you can still communicate as if you were. Everything you need for live collaboration is readily available in a shared cloud-based workspace that syncs instantly across all devices.
What’s more, you don’t need a special backstage pass to access these tools. Unlike Slack or Microsoft Teams, there are no silos in Spike: it’s not a closed-off space. You can use it to collaborate with anyone in the world who has an email address, regardless of whether they too are using Spike. It’s a universal app for remote teamwork that is open to all.
Zap the Distractions, and Make Communication Work for You
Working from home can be distracting and draining. Under pressure to be present, it’s easy to spend a huge chunk of your time responding to notifications in different apps. You feel like you have to prove your worth by responding instantly to everyone, which means you’re dealing with constant interruptions. You end up wired, without the bandwidth for actual work.
This pain point is remedied by Spike, as asynchronous communication is one of its specialties.
Spike’s tools are all based out of a single ecosystem: your inbox. That means you can manage your entire flow of communication – from email to team chat and video calls – from one place.
There’s no need to jump between apps, because all your email accounts and calendars are synced into one space by Spike. The same goes for all your tasks and events: they all exist on a single feed. Everything you need lives in your inbox, so you don’t need to break focus to manage it all. Even something as simple as previewing a file or placing a video call can be done directly within your email, without the need to switch screens.
This achieves two important things at the same time. First, one system means it’s easy to stay on top of everything. You can set reminders to your tasks to pop up in real-time, so you’ll never miss a task again. You know when all your appointments and meetings are taking place, at a glance, without leaving your inbox.
Secondly, you put yourself back in control of all your essential communications. Instead of pinballing between apps like a madwoman (or man) in a frantic attempt to seem “on it”, you run everything out of one remote working control center – your inbox. And in that way, you dodge all the distractions, and create the conditions for deep, focused work and seamless workflow.
Working from home is a reality that’s getting bigger by the day – but with Spike, the transition is easy.
If you currently work from home, or plan to do so now due to the current worldwide health situation, tweet us @SpikeNowHQ and let us know your hacks for staying connected. Check out our blog for more on how to power up your work from home routine.
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