At Magneti, working from home (affectionately deemed WFH by the youths) has been a part of our company culture for a long time. We’re not newbs. Many of us rock the work-from-home life like the Dude rocks cozy loungewear. It’s part of everyday life, man.
Now, that’s not to say this newer, mandatory WFH situation doesn’t have us shook. In fact, some of our team members are doing this for the first time too. We feel you. It’s a tough adjustment.
Luckily our team has found success by developing our own unique WFH habits, and we’d like to share with others who are learning the lifestyle.
Watch below for some of our favorite WFH tips and tricks, and read on for some of the essentials to consider as you settle into work from home life.
The WFH Essentials
BOUNDARIES – Find concrete ways to create boundaries that start and end your day, shifting you in and out of work mode. It’s easy to work long hours when your laptop is sitting there calling you back like a seductive siren. Close your computer, log out and disconnect more intentionally than you have before.
ROUTINE – Routine in your work day is key. Try and shower, get ready, and even put on shoes to put yourself in the work mode mentally. The human brain is very gullible. You can trick it into believing you’re headed to work with these simple cues. Your brain will thank you when you finally kick off your shoes at the end of your day. Netflix mode – engage.
PRODUCTIVITY – Start off your day with a task that will be easy to accomplish. Giving yourself an early and easy win will make you feel productive right away and launch you into the GSD (get stuff done) mindset. Whether it’s a few solid emails or wrapping and sending a bigger project, you’ll feel ready to rock.
SOCIAL LIFE – WFH means you have to take ownership of your communication. Ask more questions. Take charge. Be proactive. You won’t bump into that person in the office later, so go out of your way to work through challenges and nourish relationships. This takes practice.
Also, just say ‘Hi’ for fun! It’s important not just to reach out to teammates when you need something in crisis. Take time to slow down and “socialize”. Send GIFs. Wear funny hats to your internal video call. Connecting virtually should be fun, not a chore.
MOVEMENT – Physical movement is a must. The human body is not meant to sit still for hours on end. There’s a reason that recess exists. We all need it! Set timers to get up and move around, or even walk or pace when you’re on phone calls. Stretch and drink LOTS of water.
TOOLS – Obviously face time (not necessarily FaceTime) is key. Skype and Zoom have been our lifeline. They are a great way to get business done, but also help us be social – sending articles, memes, jokes and casual communication. Then there’s project management tools. These aren’t unique to WFH life, but they’re even more important now to stay organized, track progress, and keep all the pieces together. Other cloud platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive help us do this too.
BTW, we get asked often — but we don’t use Slack. We have a simple IT philosophy: new tools should be able to replace, not just add. Because Slack doesn’t do multi-party video like Skype does, it would add to but not replace Skype.
GEAR – You could be spending lots of time in your new “office” in the coming months. Invest in some equipment to help you be efficient and support good posture. Extra monitors, a laptop stand (get it eye level), a mouse, a bluetooth keyboard, and a decent chair! The couch seems great in the short term, but your back, neck and shoulders will hate you if this becomes the norm.
To sum it all up – We’re not robots. We need friends. We need to get up and move. Breathe fresh air. Feel inspired. All that jazz. It’s okay to take a walk or phone a friend. Give yourself permission to be even more human now that you’re working from home, just hold yourself accountable for the work that does need to be done.
This is the new adulting. Autonomy, authority, and self-leadership are now yours to command. Own it, give yourself grace, and keep being flawsome in the WFH world.