Your Last-Minute Guide to Working at Home

Your Last-Minute Guide to Working at Home

April 13, 2020

Wow… Where to begin? The past month has brought on a lot of changes for absolutely everybody– regardless of where they work (or whether they work at all). 

One of the most massive shifts within the American workforce has been the mass exodus from office buildings back to employees’ own homes and apartments. Now, more people than ever are working from home. Some of us have some experience, most of us don’t, and sometimes it can feel a little crazy to imagine integrating into the remote work sphere.

That’s why we’ve decided we want to break some great news! There are plenty of easy, actionable ways that people working from home can set themselves up for success. Considering half of your coworkers are probably three steps behind you and your boss’ computer can’t even run a modern operating system, you’re really not alone. The key to success working from home today is– at its core– about cooperation.

But you learned about cooperation in kindergarten! So we don’t really feel like we need to explain that. Play nice with your coworkers, give everyone some leeway (including yourself); and, as always, make sure your kids are happy. That’s half the battle. 

Working From Home Without Losing Your Mind: Our Best Tips

Make sure you’ve got the tech

If you used certain software at work or relied on employer-supplied tablets and computers at the office, you’ll need to find a way to translate it to your home. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t replicate a literal thousand-dollar set up in your guest bedroom– your boss will get it. Just do your best do make sure that you have the literal tools you need to work comfortably.

You’ll also probably need to add some new work-from-home tools to your arsenal. That might mean better bandwidth or finally downloading all those useful programs like:

  •  Zoom
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Teams
  • Etc.

Get plans in place for the kiddos

If you have kids, you love them– and they’re home with you right now while you try to work. No matter how close your family feels, it can feel way too close when you need to finish up some work.

It’s important to make sure that you already have things with the kids down pat before you worry about yourself. It frees up your mind. Get all those exciting distance learning plans into place, figure out a schedule with another caregiver in the house (if there’s one available), and be realistic with your expectations. Don’t forget that entertainment can be planned, too!

About managing your expectations…

Since we just mentioned it, we’ll say it again: manage your expectations. Try to be sure that everyone else’s expectations of you are fair, too.

That might mean a discussion with your boss or some clients about what can realistically be accomplished at home. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Everybody is in a position pretty similar to yours right now– your boss is probably wrangling kids off of her back while she tries to respond to your apologies anyway.

Stay connected

Humans thrive on interaction. Even though we can’t get together in-person, people need to stay connected to keep energized.

Lots of coworkers are taking steps to “fill the gap” by scheduling online social time. It’s an easy way to talk to the people you work with without any agenda. Slack chats are a great platform for this if you start to miss real-time interaction.

Stay on top of progress, be prompt, and resolve issues quickly

Progress might look a little different right now than it normally does– and that’s okay! But it’s important to monitor work and projects so that you can plan accordingly. If you aren’t realistic about your progress, it’ll be difficult to get much work done.

It’s also important to be prompt– within reason– when questions come up. It’s not about pressure. It’s about a collective effort: if everyone tries to respond promptly and most people can, then most people in that chain can continue to work effectively. Don’t get yourself anxious, but get back to the people who need you once you can!

We really advocate for the phone call if you find yourself in a tough spot. A lot of us may not have much experience communicating through email. If you can get a second to hop on the phone, it could really help you communicate more effectively. Sounds boring? That’s because it is boring. Are you trying to have an adrenaline-filled conversation with your coworker? You could probably email them and let them “misunderstand your tone” for that. 

Schedule formal time for lunch and errands

It can feel difficult to remember what sorts of advertisements and news we were all looking at a year ago; but, if you can recall, self-care was super popular before we all got stuck at home. Everybody was supposed to find time in their days just for them to escape reality and take a breather.

Now, that looks like dipping out to make a bi-weekly grocery run or eating lunch peacefully on the back porch. We think it’s still self-care! Taking time to plan these things in advance gives you a respite from the uncertainty that can plague some of our worse days. It also keeps you from getting off-task while you try to work. A schedule makes it easier to track the time while you’re at home and keeps you active and engaged.

Contrast Logic Can Help Smooth the Road

Listen– we know there’s already plenty on your plate. We can help you sort out some of the rough patches in your brand’s marketing department.

With the whole world at home, everyone is online. It’s a little tough to capitalize when you feel like your herding sheep. We rely on a predictable and profitable marketing process to ensure that our clients experience success. If you’d like to learn more about our process, watch this video about the four quadrants of social media