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Catch up on the latest industry marketing news, dive deeper into marketing strategies and best practices, and get our best digital marketing insights below. We post often, so come back regularly to continue learning!

Tried And True Tips From A 100% Remote-Based Company

Tried And True Tips From A 100% Remote-Based Company

Do You Suddenly Find Yourself Working from Home? Let Us Help You Ease the Transition

In 2020, many employers find themselves quickly shifting the majority of their workforce to the online realm in order to maintain social distancing — keeping staff and clients at least 6 feet apart in the interest of public health. There may be a few bumps along the way with this quick shift to working from home, but luckily there are many companies before yours that have made the switch and you can glean helpful tips from them, so you don’t have to make the same blunders.

At One Firefly, we’ve run a virtual-based team for the last five years with employees distributed in Mexico and across the U.S. During that time, we’ve tried a variety of tools, and we’ve come to a few standards that work exceptionally for us.

In this blog we’ll share some of our favorite remote working tips, and we hope they help ease the transition to remote work for yourself and your organization.

SEE ALSO: How to Improve a Team’s Customer Service Skills


1. Have a Designated Workspace

As enticing as it may be to work from your bed, wake up in the morning and go to a spot in your home that you’ve designated as a workspace. Even if you use your kitchen table as a desk, this designated space places you into a work mindset, and allows you to walk away at the end of the workday to enjoy your personal life.


2. Schedule Your Workday

If you don’t respect your personal life and clock out at the end of the day, your workday never ends. The line between personal and work life can blur when working from home if you aren’t careful. Determine at the beginning of the week when you will be “in office” each day, then let your colleagues know; if a personal matter pops up, tell colleagues so they aren’t left waiting for a quick response. Transparency about your availability is crucial to a successful remote work environment.

For those of you that have quickly shifted to work from home life from an office setting, communicate openly with your supervisor about your needs. If your kids and spouse are suddenly home as well, then the traditional 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. workday may not work well anymore. Maybe a split workday, a late start, or an extended lunch break would allow you to produce your best work, remotely.


3. Over-Communicate

Besides telling your coworkers when you’ll be available, go out of your way to share as much information as possible. Follow up on tasks you're working on and let them know you haven't forgotten about them. It’s all too easy to become siloed when working from home. Jump on a quick Slack or Zoom call to avoid the pitfalls of email or text communication that don’t have any body language or vocal intonation cues, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Also, please don't be afraid to ask others for things that you need. Some may say they don’t want to pester anyone but it's not pestering — it's communication! Everyone is working on a different project, and it’s easy for anyone to drop the ball sometimes and need a reminder.


4. Get Dressed

There are a few schools of thought on this subject. Many people say getting dressed in “work clothes” as you would for the office is imperative. Others say you should be comfortable but at least change out of your pajamas from the night before. Either way, find what works best for you.

Your organization will likely have video calls on the regular, so be sure that you look presentable and professional. Brush your hair and look put together. Hooded sweatshirts are probably out of dress code while company branded t-shirts are likely encouraged. Managers should set any dress code expectations early as the office transitions to remote work.


5. Take Breaks

As enticing as it may be to power through a workday and leave early by skipping lunch, avoid it. Breaks are good for your mental and physical health. Even if you prefer to snack at your desk, make a dedicated effort to take time away from your work desk to do something for you.
That could be reading a book, eating a homemade lunch, taking a nap, or enjoying a quick walk around your block. Time outdoors and some Vitamin D does the body — and mind — good. Once your break is over, you can return to work with a clear mind and healthy spirit, all the better for your productivity, clients, and colleagues.


6. Silence Notifications

You’re human and can generally only work on one task at a time if you want to produce good work. Designate times during your day that will be used for checking email, returning calls, or checking Slack notifications. Turn off the desktop popups and red notification bubbles, because they are a quick way to derail your productivity.

Once you complete a task, check your notifications and handle any situations that arose while you were away. New tasks can be prioritized and delegated as needed. Until you’re in the mindset to deal with a task, don’t check your notifications. If it's an emergency, someone will call you. If you need help focusing on tasks as you work, look into the Pomodoro technique.


7. Use Smart Communication Tools

At One Firefly, we’ve adopted several tools to help us communicate effectively with each other and our clients. Slack is fantastic for employee communication, ensuring everyone is informed and it allows for open communication with everyone. Google Drive helps us draft and share documents with clients and staff.

Basecamp allows us to communicate with our clients in an open way; our staff can see the communication, and everyone is on the same page. Workfront allows us to manage our projects effectively, providing informative Gannt charts for each task related to any given project. We’ve also adopted Bookafy, a scheduling system that allows clients and staff to book time on another staff member’s calendar. Bookafy handles time zone conversions and there’s no need for the seemingly endless back and forth email exchanges asking what meeting time is best.


8. Pet Cameos Make Everyone Happy

When we work from home, sometimes our pets or kids will try to make cameo appearances — it’s life! Lean into the unexpected and enjoy the mood-lightening entertainment. A cat walking across the desk or a dog’s tail flicking at the side of the screen is sure to make anyone smile and we could all use that right now. Of course, ensure your microphone is muted when you’re not speaking on a call to avoid any unexpected barks and squeals during the CEO’s video presentation.


Let us know some of your favorite work from home knowledge! Also, be sure to browse our site to learn how to maintain an online presence while your brick and mortar store is closed during this time of social distancing.

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