Tips for Working From Home: From a Virtual Team

Melissa Hoppe

Small Business

Working from home has it's perks. Actually, it has A LOT of perks! You can wear sweatpants every day, start when you decide to start, get to an appointment when it works for you, cook up some lunch, let the dog lay outside while you work, the list goes on. However, some of those wonderful perks can be quite distracting in terms of getting work accomplished. How do virtual teams keep up with deadlines and work efficiently?

We asked the Brainchild Studios team how they balance the flexibility and distractions of working from home. Here are some tips from myself and the virtual experts on achieving a productive workday from home.

Working From Home

Set Your Boundary Lines

"Set priorities and hours for yourself. Know what hours you are going to dedicate to work each day and stick to it. Find a room in your house where you won’t get distracted and is your workspace so you feel like there is a clear line between work and home." - Keri, Account Manager

Big Important Meeting with Yourself

Schedule a work meeting with yourself at 7 AM every Monday morning. Yes, 7 AM. Prepare for the meeting the day before so you're ready to get straight to it. Pretend there are major consequences for being late and dress like you're heading to the office.

Set meetings with yourself.

Develop a Work Flow

Begin to analyze your most productive time of day, and discover the tasks that get you in the zone. Make sure you're not doing both at the same time. If you're most productive in the morning, work on something you tend to avoid. When you slow down in the afternoon, work on tasks that you enjoy and that make you focus. This can be applied to days of the week, also. Never leave a job you're dreading for Friday afternoon- just get it over with by Wednesday.
Block Out Your Calendar
"It might sound silly, but I literally block out times on my calendar to eat lunch, shower, check my email, etc. If I don't, it might night happen (not the email part though). I color coordinate my calendar so I can quickly see at-a-glance when I have blocked out times for meetings, client work, training, leadership events, etc. It helps to remind me to carve out time for everything that's important and try not to get sucked down the endless email tunnel." - Kiley, Owner & CEO

Set a Timer

"Turn on music, make yourself a cup of coffee, get yourself comfortable which helps stay focused.
You’ll be tempted to shop on Amazon, text a friend outside of work about something non work-related, but tell yourself, 'I will do that as soon as I take a break.' I set a timer to keep track of how long a task takes me because I bill by 15-minute increments. Knowing the timer is running keeps me from doing anything outside of what is billable." - Andrea, UX/UI Designer
Use a timer when working from home

Leave Your House

Once a week, work from your favorite library. It has free WiFi and nobody expects you to purchase anything. Libraries are much more peaceful than coffee shops. Take a walk when you're feeling sluggish. Get some fresh air, don't think about work on the route away from your house. When you start walking back towards your house, start making a mental checklist and set your intentions for the rest of the day. Working from home can be lonely. Have lunch with a friend, client, coworker, or your mom once a week.

And by far the most popular response:

"Lists. Lists. And more lists." -Christine, Account Manager & Email Strategist

"To-do Lists. I use WunderList and create Daily To-Do Lists, which makes it easy to move things around day to day if needed, but it's a life-saver." - Kiley, Owner & CEO

While working from your home can be convenient, and accommodating to our day-to-day life, you have stay ahead on your time management to keep up with tight deadlines. Develop a work flow, don't miss your meeting, block out your calendar, have your lists and timer nearby, and don't forget to get some fresh air! What are your favorite tips for productivity from the home office?

Melissa Executive Assistant

Melissa has helped run large organizations for close to a decade and is excited to bring her mad organizational skills to the Brainchild Team. Melissa helps keep Brainchild’s engines running smoothly behind the scenes. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys playing with her three kids, and occasionally finds time for some gardening and indulging in binging on BRAVO television shows. Don't judge.

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