The past few weeks have radically transformed the way Americans work. Working from home has been steadily increasing in popularity as internet infrastructure improves and increasing numbers of employers accept the idea as a way to decrease overheads, retain talent and boost morale.
U.S. Census data indicated that about 5.2 per cent of Americans worked from home in 2017. Of course, it’s not possible for everyone. Statistics from the Department of Labor, calculated during 2017-2018, indicate that it’s really only possible for 29 per cent of the population.
Adjusting to working from home
We don’t yet have any available statistics to share about the number of people who have started working from home since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.
However, we’ve seen a spike in the number of our friends, co-workers and customers who are doing their best to run their businesses from home. We feel confident in assuming that, at this stage, everyone who is capable of working from home is doing so as they follow the latest public health advice.
Working from home is vastly different to working from the office.
Sure, you still communicate with your team members every day. You still generate new leads. You still meet your deliverables. You still start and finish at the same time.
But it’s different.
In many ways, it’s positive. No commute! Work in pajamas! Abundant snacks! Unlimited cuddles with your cat! Unlimited cups of coffee! The last one, at least, explains all the exclamation points.
It can also be challenging. You may be feeling lonely and isolated. Perhaps your motivation has taken a dip. You might find yourself getting distracted frequently or hitting mental blocks.
Need help? Here’s a remote working survival guide for small businesses.
Looking for a way to help your business pivot? Have questions about digital marketing in a crisis? Simply feeling a bit isolated and looking to connect with others in the same boat? Join our new Facebook group.
Setting up a home office
The Beacon Media + Marketing team has offices in Reno, NV, and Anchorage, AK. However, we’ve been set up to support remote working for a few years now. We’d love to share some tips and tricks, as well as glimpses of some of our own home workspaces, to help you find your working from home mojo.
1. Michelle, Account Manager:
“To keep myself productive, I’ve kept my schedule the same as if I were still going to the office. That means waking up early, getting my workout in and keeping my morning routine that I love! Also, I sit on a ball to keep myself comfortable. My dog loves sitting next to me and helping.”
2. Jake, Videographer:
“Trying to keep a very regular schedule has been big for me. I also make sure my family knows my work hours so I can get things done without distractions.”
3. Ken, Director of Sales + Marketing:
“I make a list the night before with the timelines I’d like to achieve or work on throughout the day so make sure I stay on track and get everything done.”
4. Sarah, Social Media Manager:
“Having a warm beverage, like coffee or tea to sip on, and usually some music or video playing in the background really helps me stay focused.”
5. William, Account Manager:
“Setting boundaries between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ has helped. Also, letting others know when I’m ‘on the clock’. Lilly Grace keeps my soul happy – she’s the best work aid I have!”
6. George, Google Ads Specialist:
“Staying hydrated and taking a short walk whenever I hit a roadblock really helps me get back on track, especially when I’ve been feeling tired or unmotivated.”
7. Beth, Art Director:
“When I have a lot of things to do, I find that turning off text messaging and turning off alerts for social media helps make sure I get everything done on time.”
8. Sara, Bookkeeper:
“I’ve only worked this job from home, never from the office. I try to have fairly set times that I dedicate to getting work done. Mostly, my mornings are work times, then after that I try to stay off the computer as much as possible.”
If you’re interested, you can meet everyone in #TeamBeacon here.
Working from home tips
It’s really important to acknowledge the fact that your day at home will flow differently to you day at the office. Some days, you might find yourself super-focused and free of distractions, burning through your whole day’s work in four hours. Other days, you might find yourself side-tracked by snacks, laundry, your neighbor’s obnoxiously loud weed whacker, or literally any of a million other things.
That’s okay. You will have good days and bad days, just like you would in your normal routine.
You never know, you might have a flash of inspiration and end up starting a movement like this local business owner in Anchorage, AK. We’re finding a new norm, so let’s not rule out any possibilities.
One thing we wholeheartedly recommend is making sure you collaborate with your co-workers. Reach out to them frequently via instant messages and emails and schedule time for phone calls or video calls when you can, just to touch base and connect with someone.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference.
For more stories about businesses finding ways to pivot, as well as crisis communication tips, digital marketing advice and a sounding board for ideas, join our Facebook group.