We know that it is a new experience, and thus an adjustment, to working from your new office in your home at the kitchen island, dining room table, or guest room. COVID-19 pandemic requires many of our clients and partners to move into this new work-from-home lifestyle, so we put together some of the top tips for working remote.
Here at BigSquare, we have the processes, practices and infrastructure in place to provide uninterrupted business and support operations from home. Our commitment to our clients remains unphased. We have a long history of working remotely with all of our customers, partners, and employees, since we incorporated nearly 10 years ago with great success.
If you are new to the work-from-home lifestyle, whether due to coronavirus or because you've managed to find a remote-based job, you'll need to change some of your habits and routines to make working from home a success.
1. Set an alarm- Pick a time, and everyday, wake up at that time. It probably doesn't need to be as early as you normally would wake up to travel into the office, but don't sleep the morning away and wonder where the day went.
2. Follow a morning routine- If you have a great morning routine, stick to it, some sense of consistency in our life helps to calm the chaos right now. If you don't have one, it's a great time to start! Before you grab your computer and phone to check your emails, do something for you. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a book, listen to a podcast, get a workout in or take the dog for a walk. Whatever you decide, make sure it serves you. You can't pour from an empty cup!
3. Get dressed- You don't need to put on your suit, but change out of the clothes you slept in. Getting ready for the day will help you START your day.
4. Set up shop- If you don't have a home office create a working space in your home. Working in bed or at the couch sounds comfy, but can lead to distracted work or accidental snoozing.
5. Schedule your day in time blocks- This helps you to be sure you are productive, but do not burn yourself out. Make sure every hour you stand up, move your body a little bit, get some fresh air. Even if its just 5-10 min, then get back to work.
6. Set ground rules- If you have other people in your home that share your space when you work it is important to have a conversation about what they can and cannot do during that time. Make some boundaries for children, spouses, significant others, and family members.
7. Don't forget to move- More than likely, we take for granted how many steps we take in the office simply to grab water, coffee, or use the restroom. You are likely to have fewer steps when you work from home, so you will need to be more purposeful about moving a bit more.
8. Stay connected & utilize technology- It can get lonely quick when you're at home everyday. Now is the time to take advantage of the technology we have! Video conference or call your coworkers to get some human interaction rather than everything via email or text. Encourage everyone to stay in touch more frequently. There are endless options for technology to keep your company running smoothly. At BigSquare we are grateful for the opportunity to serve the legal community in such a way that law firms continue to have insights into key data at the firm utilizing our business intelligence applications while working remote.
9. Communicate and be positive- Working remotely requires you to over-communicate to be sure there is no miscommunication. This does not necessarily mean you need to write a 3 page email to explain every move, but it does mean an extra email or phone call since you don't have the option to swing by someone's office. With that being said, its nice to have concise and clear messages, but with less face time, the less people know how to interpret your tone in writing. When working remote, be positive, embrace the exclamation point!
10. Unplug- Pick a time every night to unplug. 10 minutes before your work day wraps up take that time to write down your reflections on how the day went: What you can improve on for the next day? What is on your to-do list for tomorrow? This provides great closure and a way to be focused on the day ahead when you open everything up in the morning. It can be easy to end up working from sun up to sun down when you are home. By setting an end time for yourself and having a way to wrap up the day this allows you to not get burnt out. Computer gets put in another room, you decompress with a good book, Netflix show, and spend time with your family. You deserve it.
Above everything else, figure out what works best for YOU. Sometimes the answer is clear, but other times you may need some extra inspiration from other people in the same boat. A supportive community and company culture is vital.
If you have any additional tips for working remote, please tell us in the comments below. Now more than ever is the best time to help others to make this necessary change as productive and as enjoyable as possible.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post! We will discuss the technology best used in the legal industry to help stay connected and continue business as usual during these times. The right technology can help you run your law firm efficiently, serve clients better, and work remotely when necessary!
BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations. We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics.