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Tips on how to effectively work from home

Mar 18, 2020

With governments and companies doing all they can to halt the spread of COVID-19, more and more people are beginning to work remotely either by choice or company policy. Our Founder + CEO, Jo Scard, goes through her tips and best practice on how to effectively work from home and stay connected.

Fifty Acres has been working this way for more than 10 years, so we know a thing or two about remote work and how effective it can be!

Build these remote work tips into your organisation’s working from home arrangements to ensure a smooth transition, continue productivity and feel like you’re still connected to your team and co-workers.

Here are our top 5 tips for working remotely:

Use a communications tool

This one’s important to ensure lines of communication stay open and the team feels connected. It saves having to pick up the phone for things that can be resolved relatively quickly and ensures your email doesn’t get overloaded too. Our favourites for team chats are Skype, Skype for Business, Slack and the chat function within Basecamp.

Have video virtual meetings

At Fifty Acres, we all like to coordinate our cup of tea (or hot beverage of choice) and gather for our team meetings like we would if we were in an office. We use Skype video group chat and Zoom for our meetings. There’s also GoToMeeting. We love the screenshare options on these platforms so we can all make sure we’re seeing the same slideshow or document that we’re working on.

Set some boundaries
The thing is, when you’re working from home there can be an elusive line that is very easy to cross, even when you don’t mean to or want to. Work at home can morph into longer hours and forgetting to take breaks when you’re used to everyone in the office going for lunch at a certain time. Set definite break times and when it’s time to stop work, try to close your laptop and go do something for you!

Use an effective project management system

We use Basecamp at Fifty Acres which allows us to minimise email traffic but also keep across all our client projects, timelines, budget, hours tracking and ensure documents are easily found and saved in the one place. Other platforms we’ve heard good things about include Trello, Monday and Asana.

 

Get out of your PJs

As tempting as it may be, working in your PJs can have a serious effect on your mindset. Getting dressed each day as if you’re going into the office (perhaps minus the heels – unless you really want to) will help you get into a work frame of mind and you’ll find yourself more productive and in less of a slump on the couch mid-morning.

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