Managing a remote team from the comfort of your home can be truly rewarding. For one, you get to continue running and growing your business without sacrificing quality time with your family. However, it also comes with significant challenges.
I’m sure you’ve struggled with maintaining boundaries and preventing burnout while working from home. On top of that, there’s also the inevitable interruptions that come in the form of barking dogs, crying children, or both.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Millions of employers and workers around the world still work remotely, so separating “work” from “home” remains a challenge. Hence, we’ve prepared four tips to help you maintain a clear sense of professionalism, leadership, and formality – no matter where you work.
Indicate You’re At Work
Meeting clients virtually or leading regular team meetings can be draining. Add the usual household interruptions and you’ve got a recipe for a stressful day.
One way to prevent this is by letting your family members or housemates know when you’re in work mode. You can start and plan your day with a virtual commute and then catch up with your kids or spouse. While you’re at it, inform them about the best time to talk to you later in the day – and when they shouldn’t.
You can also use creative signs or signals to let your family know about your busy schedule. If you’re working in a separate room, make sure that it’s locked. Otherwise, you risk the “BBC dad” experience.
Work As Though You’re Still Going To An Office
Simply put, don’t wear pajamas to work. I know it can be tempting to answer urgent emails as soon as you get out of bed. However, this is a slippery slope as you could easily end up working in your pj’s all day.
Instead, try to wake up early and take a shower. By getting up and preparing to go out (even when you’re staying in to work), you’re conditioning your mind to switch to “work” mode. Dressing up is a great way to boost your confidence and energy. Also, you won’t get flustered in case an emergency video meeting comes up.
By the way, you don’t need to don a three-piece suit or an expensive dress. A casual yet put-together look ought to suffice.
Work With Others Who Are Also Working At Home
Yes, you read that right. Working alongside your spouse or housemate can be comforting compared to just staring at the four corners of your home office. Although you see your spouse everyday, it can be energising to work beside each other.
You don’t even need to chat or interact often. The point is to share the same space while working on individual tasks to make things feel less isolating.
Having a flexible arrangement also helps to keep the peace. For example, if you want complete privacy when attending a Zoom meeting, you can always move to a different location. Ditto if your spouse needs to take a confidential call.
Expect That Home Life Will Intrude Eventually
Let’s face it. Try as we might to keep boundaries clear, there will always be times when your dog won’t stop barking or when an emergency arises at home. And that’s okay. After all, working from home means that home life will get in the way every now and then.
When that happens, just keep it cool. Acknowledge and do what needs to be done. Then just go straight back to work. While you’re at it, give your remote colleagues the same grace. They’re likely to encounter the same, especially if they have toddlers at home.
So, when a kid randomly shows up behind one of your colleagues at a Zoom meeting, just smile and say hi. It would make things less awkward, certainly.
We’re now in the digital future and having a competent remote workforce can make a huge difference. Fortunately, the remote work set-up here to stay.
Remote Staff has been assisting AU SMEs and entrepreneurs like you grow their businesses with the help of our Filipino remote workers. Aside from hiring, we also take care of the onboarding process so you can focus on more important things – both at work and at home.