Some of the new norms we’ve been getting used to are temporary. Others are here to stay. With many companies extending their work from home arrangement well into 2021, or even indefinitely, it’s becoming clear that work from home is not just a short-term measure.
Whether you love WFH or are yet to be convinced, we’ve got some actionable advice on how to make the most of it. Plus, a bonus chapter on how to avoid work from home burnout!
Keeping teams connected and engaged
Have frequent check-ins
Staying aligned can be a lot more difficult when everyone is working in their own WFH bubble. Schedule recurring 1:1s and team meetings to update each other on progress and share challenges.
Make time for fun
Without watercooler talk, office yoga classes and team happy hours, the daily grind feels even more taxing. Plan a virtual lunch or coffee break with your colleagues, try playing online games in the next team sync or simply set aside five minutes at the beginning of each meeting for chit chat.
Trust your team
People tend to be more engaged when they take ownership of their tasks. Keep the team accountable with milestones and deadlines but don’t micromanage.
Smile, you're on a video call!
Show your face
If you haven’t been to the office in weeks, it can make all the difference to see some friendly faces! And let's be honest, it's a lot easier to zone out in a video call. Keeping the camera on motivates everyone to stay engaged.
Create a dedicated office space
Carve out a dedicated office space in your home and keep it free of all the non-work-related stuff — at least during business hours. Natural light does wonders for productivity so try picking a spot by the window. If possible, investing in a comfortable chair and a big screen can go a long way.
A dreamy view from a Klooker's home office in London
Have a plan
It’s a lot easier to get distracted and lose track of time when working from home. Optimize your day by planning out everything you want to achieve in advance. Make a to-do list or block timeslots in your calendar for each task.
Communicate with your household
Got some important meetings coming up? Make a simple “Do Not Disturb” sign and put it on the door whenever you’re on a video call. If you work in the same room with your partner or a roommate, use headphones to signal that you’re in the zone and can’t be disturbed.
Create a schedule for your kids
Start the day by making a schedule with your kids: plan out when it’s time for schoolwork, screen time, meals and play. That way you can keep your older kids occupied and set clear expectations on how much time and when you’ll have for them.
The balancing act of work life balance
Set working hours
Set realistic working hours and stick to them. If you find it hard to peel yourself away from work, try scheduling a call with a friend, booking a live stream fitness class or making date plans with your partner. Having plans at your clock out time will hold you accountable.
Take a lunch break
If you tend to skip lunch while working from home, block a timeslot for a lunch break in your calendar. And no, eating hunched over your laptop doesn’t count as a break!
This Klooker's homemade Buddha bowl is giving us lunch envy
“Leave” work at the end of the day
If you have the luxury of having a home office, simply stay away from the workspace during your downtime. If you had to carve out a workstation in your apartment, turn off your laptop and put it out of sight to mentally clock out.
Turn off email and instant messaging notifications outside your working hours and on weekends. As one Klooker said, “If something is really urgent, your team will find a way to contact you. Just relax.”
Managing projects effectively
Align expectations across the team
Always start a new project with a project kickoff meeting and make sure the team is aligned on the following: What's the goal we’re working towards? What's the scope of the project? What's the project timeline? Who's responsible for what?
Track your progress
Set clear tasks for each team member and determine a realistic deadline for completion. There are dozens of tools to help you track progress, some of the popular ones being Trello, Asana and Jira.
Have regular check-ins
Regular check-ins let you track progress, identify pain points and keep the team accountable. These don’t always need to be video meetings. Quick status updates on your internal project chat work just as well, it all depends on your project and your team’s needs.
Setting milestones helps your team stay on track but also gives them a sense of progression and achievement as they reach these goals. Even a simple shoutout can go a long way in reigniting the enthusiasm in the project!
Careful, don’t get burnt out!
Take time off even if you can’t travel
If you’re saving your annual leave until you can travel internationally again, we feel you. We’ve been spending a lot of time at home so it's frustrating to use the precious time off to… sit at home some more. But not taking time off is a sure recipe for burnout! Even if you can’t travel far, or at all, give yourself permission to take a holiday for the holiday’s sake. Relax, recharge and get back into it with new energy.
Be serious about your boundaries
Remember all those boundaries we talked about in the work-life balance section? If you’re starting to feel burnt out, maybe it’s time to do some soul searching. Have you been keeping work and leisure separate? Are you allowing yourself to mentally clock out in the evenings and weekends? If the answer is “no”, you already know the solution.
When you’re feeling down and unmotivated, picking up new responsibilities is the last thing you want to do. But a new challenge really does wonders to get you out of a rut. Learning new skills, brainstorming solutions and working with new people will inject fresh energy into your routine and help you feel motivated again. If you’ve been putting off that one project, now is the time to get into it.
Ready to put all this advice to test in a new role?
Posted by Klook Careers