The ability to work from home can be a perk, but it comes with challenges. Explore how to stay productive and connected while on the clock at home.
Stay on top of work-from-home productivity.
The brave new work-from-home world.
Ever since workers could telecommute, they’ve been setting up shop at home, in coffee shops or in flex spaces. Recently, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown made many office workers into remote workers for an extended period of time. Working from home went from an occasional short-term situation to a full-time fact of life for tens of thousands of workers.
The opportunity to work from home offers many benefits. It’s flexible, especially for tasks that don’t need to be done in an office. But it can also be challenging. Remote work over time means that boundaries between work and life can blur and workers can miss the camaraderie that comes from chats in the break room or around the water cooler. While face-to-face communication can’t be replaced, there are many ways to stay productive and ensure work-from-home communication is smooth.
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Work-from-home productivity tips.
Have a schedule.
If you work from home it’s easy to start too early or late or let your workday drag on into the evening. Stick to the kind of schedule that you would at the office. Log on and off at a set time each day, just like you would at an office and make sure work hours don’t bleed into home life. Take lunch and coffee breaks. You’re still at work, even if you’re not commuting.
It’s easy to let things get casual while working from home and at first it might feel good to log on while in sweatpants. However, if you have a video conferencing appointment with your team, you still need to present a professional version of yourself. When working from home, approach your workspace the way you would any other office. This can help you to maintain work-life balance and care for your mental health and well-being.
Create a home office.
If possible, designate a specific part of your home for work and treat that as your work environment. Post your schedule outside your home office so other members of your household know when you’re available and for what amount of time and when you’re not. Use the physical separation of your work from the rest of your home as a way to enforce work-life balance.
List your priorities.
Remote work means fewer in-person check-ins with managers or colleagues. Because you’ll spend less time around them, you need to be even more clear with everyone involved about what you need to do and what you expect from them. Have a clear, concise and easy-to-understand list of everyone’s tasks, subtasks, priorities and expectations for each day and each project. If you can’t make things clear in person, they have to be clear in your project management system. Supplement with video calls to ensure clear communication.
Work from any device.
Life happens and sometimes it will take you out of the home office during working hours. When it does, make sure you can stay connected with your coworkers via a mobile device and be available for things that might need your immediate attention. If you’re an employer, make sure that your employees can manage documents from any mobile device and read, add to, sign and collaborate on projects from anywhere.
Funding education with better communication.
The Iowa State University Foundation has been supporting students, faculty and staff since 1958. They brought their organisation into the 21st century with Adobe Document Cloud and were able to power a 30% reduction in printing, which lowered costs and helped eliminate paper waste.
The ISU Foundation shortened their turnaround time for transactions with digital signatures and other solutions, getting donations into the hands of parties who need them 13 days faster.
Stay connected while working from home.
Remote employees, business partners, team members and other collaborators still need support while telecommuting. Adobe Acrobat supports the kind of remote collaboration teams require when everyone’s in a different place.
Acrobat is also ideal for independent contractors and small business owners, many of whom have made working from home a fact of life. Acrobat is industry standard and it’s interoperable with other major forms of business software, making communication with clients and partners faster and easier.
Team members can upload PDFs to Adobe Document Cloud and send them for review and then collect feedback all in one place. Even when members of a team are all miles apart because they work in home offices, Adobe can help to create a virtual office environment.
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