If you run your own business, it’s fair to say that some changes are probably in order. As more and more of the world goes into lockdown, working communally has become untenable. Offices and business installations across the globe have closed their doors and their workers have retreated into their homes. If you run your own business, it’s perfectly understandable that you might be concerned about productivity right now. Still, with the correct tools and acumen, there’s evidence to suggest that your employees could actually be more engaged and productive when working remotely.
You can share the secrets with getting the most out of your working days at home with them. But you first need to lead by example. If you’ve been working with your laptop on your knee surrounded by dirty dishes and kids toys, things have got to change. Here we’ll look at some ways in which you can transform your home into a maximum capacity business installation that keeps your focused, productive and happy under lockdown. With a little luck, this could be a brand new chapter in the long and successful history of your business…
Insist upon a dedicate workspace
It’s impossible to be at your most productive when you’re sharing a living space with your partner and kids. There’s too much propensity for distraction. Furthermore, you can find yourself getting angry or resentful if your loved ones break your concentration. It’s important to have a dedicated workspace. Ideally a whole room but if not, a corner of a room will be fine.
This space should be sparsely decorated with a few little flourishes which personalise the space or make it more conducive to inspiration. Art and photos of loved ones are always a safe bet. If you’re able to soundproof this space, so much the better.
No, we don’t mean install a coffee maker in your home office (although that’s actually not a bad idea). We’re talking about your broadband connection. The reason so many businesses are able to function with remote workforces is because we have the kind of digital infrastructure that we could scarcely have dreamed of a few decades ago.
However, there’s a great deal of difference between a home network and an office network. You’ll likely be sharing a network with your family who may also be working from home, video chatting with friends or streaming content to keep themselves entertained.
All that strain on your network could result in a slow or interrupted service which hampers your productivity. You can mitigate this by ensuring that you use a wired connection when working instead of relying on your home’s Wifi. This will keep your connection faster and more secure, even if others are also using your network. If this isn’t practically possible, you should at least invest in a more powerful router.
Rethink your phone and broadband plans
Speaking of connectivity, you’ll want to revisit your home broadband plan and make sure there are no impediments to remote working in your contract. If you chose your tariff on the basis of cost, you may find that there are download or bandwidth limits which might bottleneck your performance at work. While it may mean taking a hit in terms of cost, it’s the only way to ensure that you remain productive. Businesses can lose up to 40 minutes a day to poor connectivity.
Furthermore, you should also rethink your phone tariff if you’re likely to be making a lot of outgoing calls. The last thing you want is to run up a 5 figure phone bill this month.
Improve your cybersecurity
No business is small enough to fly under the radar of cybercriminals. The sad truth is that some will be using the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent change in IT infrastructures to exploit weaknesses in security setups as employees migrate home. As such, you need to invest in cybersecurity measures such as a VPN for yourself and your team as well as greater reliance on secure cloud based services.
Invest in a space to relax and unwind
Stress is an inevitability for every workplace. However, working from home can exacerbate stress because it’s so much harder to put distance between yourself and your workplace, even after your working day draws to a close. Make sure you have a space in which you can relax and unwind when the pressures of work get too much for you. If you have a garden, this can be the perfect place to get away from your screen and relax amidst the humbly beautiful sights and perfumes of your own little slice of the great outdoors. Investing in new plants, flowers shrubs or custom sheds can help you to organise and beautify your space and make it more relaxing to spend time in. Of course your chosen space doesn’t have to be a garden. It can simply be a room in which you read a book, listen to music or play some video games. Whatever form it takes, your own wellbeing is worth investing in.
Give yourself the number one office perk- natural light
If you’re able to work in a space that has a window or skylight, this is definitely advantageous. A 2018 study by the Harvard Business Review revealed that natural light was deemed the ultimate office perk, boosting moods and increasing productivity. So make sure you have easy access to some.
Set alarms to keep yourself on schedule
Finally, one of the potential perils of running your business from home is that you’re always at work. Unless you manage your time effectively, you could be faced with endless working days and mounting stress.
So use alarms throughout the day to remind you when it’s time for lunch, time for a coffee break or time to get the heck away from your laptop and enjoy some quality time with your family.
There are actually numerous advantages to you and your team working from home on a full or part time basis. It can help to reduce costs, increase productivity and insulate your profit margins. Not to mention improving your green credentials. Invest in making your home a workplace now and you might just find that it continues to pay dividends for years to come.