I’ve worked from home for over 16 years. I started working from home as a writer for a well-known digital marketing company, after that, I worked remotely as the director of marketing strategy for a global software company that was headquartered on the other side of the planet. Then just under 6 years ago, I became the CEO of an international web development company with staff working from home, all over the globe. In fact, we don’t have an office anymore. We’re entirely remote-based.
I’ve learnt a number of things about working from home over the past decade, from managing a remote-based team of multi-lingual staff to keeping communication channels open with clients. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to do. Mistakes will be made, and emotions will rise and drop faster than the empires of old. That’s no different from running a traditional office-based company, except the challenges appear in different forms.
- Invest in a standing desk.
No, I’m not one of those people that tells everybody “I use a standing desk” – because I rarely use one myself. Many of my team members use one though. They help alleviate lower back and hip pain. Sitting for long periods of time can restrict blood-flow through the body and can lead to serious health problems as you get older, Arthritis being the number one.
- Take walking meetings when you can.
Got a meeting coming up, but don’t need to be in front of your PC screen? Grab your headset and take a walk. It’s great for your heart, your muscles and your general well-being. We have weekly walking meetings with different teams, it’s good to get out of the house, take a walk around the garden or up and down the street.
- Eat. Prepare Meals and Snacks.
I fall into the trap of not having enough time to make breakfast, which is silly – I work from home, 15 feet from the kitchen. I used to just snack on whatever I could find the grab in the cupboards or fridge, because I was busy and tunnel-vision takes over, all I saw is what was right in front of me, on my little screen, my little world. Now, I like to have some pre-cooked proteins in the fridge, something healthier to snack on – your brain needs energy to keep you going through the day.
It doesn’t have to be a substantial meal. I’m not suggesting you plate up roast dinners a week in advance. Keep fruit and chopped vegetables on hand.
- Select your tech with family in mind.
Most of the time (especially during lockdowns), working from home will mean rubbing shoulders with the rest of your family. Your kids have after-school activities, your significant other has things to do, you might even need to run some errands. I recommend choosing technologies that are available on multiple platforms and devices.
Cloud based phone systems enable you to take calls and meetings whilst also taking your kids to Karate. Office 365 gives you access to important documents and business schedules whilst your shopping around in Asda.