10 Tips From CEOs on Working From Home

 “Coronavirus is accelerating working from home, a trend that was already happening in many businesses and organizations. According to our Modern Workplace 2019 report, 41% of employers now offer some form of remote working, and we expect that figure to be even higher in our next report due to be released in April.” –Paul Statham, CEO at Condeco Software

“New technology has enabled companies to offer employees this flexibility and that means that even in the midst of a global crisis, businesses can carry on productively with limited impact in a secure and collaborative way. Threats to business come from many areas but those companies that are using technology to maximize their productivity already, including the ability to meet in a virtual meeting online or book desks, workspace or meeting spaces from a remote location, will find it easier to ride out disruption.” Paul Statham, CEO at Condeco Software

  1.  Invest in a standing desk. 

Not only will a standing desk help to alleviate lower back or hip pain but it can also promote better health. That this means you should be standing all day either. Making sure that you have a good mixture of the two and find time to go for short walks to keep your body moving.  Move around and use different locations throughout your home to inspire creativity, encourage different ergonomic positions and have different views and sounds. 

2. Walking meetings 

If you have a phone call that you don’t need to be in front of a computer to take, pick up your Bluetooth headphones and get outside. It’s great for your muscles, your heart, your happiness and your overall well-being. 

3. Meal prep

Too many times I used to get caught in the “I have nothing to eat” scenario and just snack on energy bars and anything else I could find in the house.

How many times have you opened your fridge complaining about having nothing to eat only to order a takeaway? Take this time to stock up on fresh fruit, cut up veggies, hard-boiled eggs, greens and proteins such as chicken breasts, tuna or whatever you love. You can get creative with your eating habits and really get into learning new recipes.

4. ROWE mindset 

Tim Jones, CEO of Precision Nutrition, an online nutrition and healthy lifestyle coaching and certification company, applies the ROWE mindset. ROWE stands for “results-only work environment,” and Jones encourages it because it helps remove concerns managers may have around employee productivity. “We don’t track hours or care about how you do your work, as long as you’re getting the results,” Jones said. “By focusing on goals and metrics, the old-school idea of how much time was spent sitting at a desk quickly goes out the door.”

5. Work and home life 

Terry Traut, CEO of Entelechy, a company that develops leadership development, management, and customer experience training programs for Comcast, National Grid, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sprint, DIRECTV, Constant Contact and others, urges people to “just go with the flow” and try not to be so rigid with separating work life and home life. Traut explains, “Instead of trying to force yourself to be productive when you’re not, or to relax when your mind’s whirling, just go with the flow. Don’t feel guilty for that time you got up at 3:00 a.m. to document a brilliant thought. Likewise, don’t feel guilty for that morning walk in the woods. You’ll find yourself more productive and happier.”

6. Setting up your tech effectively

Working from the comfort of your own home can lead to it overlapping into your personal life, this can be ok with a whiteboarding platform for team collaboration, encourages having multiple devices enabled with all of your work apps. This helps you be as flexible as possible. “For complex and collaborative work, connect your laptop to a large monitor so you can easily navigate between tools for video conferencing, chatting, project management and whiteboarding,” says Khusid. “Rely on your tablet or smartphone — with their long battery life and webcam — for quick Slack responses or hours of Zoom calls as you’re on the go.” Khusid’s remote tech stack includes:

  • Zoom — for video conferencing
  • Slack — for chat
  • Confluence — for internal wiki
  • Miro — for ideation, strategy and project planning, central project hub, presentations
  • Google Suite — for spreadsheets, simple docs

7. Have fun with it 

Making sure that you are constantly staying in contact with your work colleges, whether that is sending over some work for opinions, sharing a joke or just calling for a chat can dramatically improve morale. Working from home can feel lonely sometimes so staying in touch can aid this.

8. Transfer your commute time to intentional rest time. 

John Fitch & Max Frenzel, co-authors of Time Off Book suggest that we calculate the amount of time we normally have to commute and translate that time to our “rest” allowance. This is time for us to detach from our work. Instead of starting our day off by stressing out about getting somewhere on time, invest that time into either a relaxing ritual that gets you to a calm and clear state of mind or invest it into winding down your day so that you don’t form a habit of working into the night. The authors explain how this commute time can be a time to set an intentional container for separating work and leisure at home.

9. Remove distractions 

Have a think about what distractions are around you, radio, netflix maybe even a dog nudging your feet. Nettie Owens, a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and founder of Momentum Millionaire Network, tells us to think about these distractions and plan your work around them. 

For example, will noise be an issue at home (while the kids are possibly home, too)? If so, noise-canceling headphones are a must. Set a schedule to let your family know that you can’t be distracted between certain times. Is social media too tempting then downloading a social media blocking tool and set your “work hours” may help.  Are you hungry? Decide on designated snack times. Unwashed laundry? Plan to do chores before and after work, and decide how much time you will dedicate to these tasks.

10.  Zero- based calendar

Cathryn Lavery, co-founder and CEO of BestSelf Co, a company that makes planners and productivity tools for personal development, believes that especially with remote work, zero-based is the way to go. 

This means you budget every minute of your day to help you stay on track and monitor your progress. Lavery explained to Well+ Good that you don’t need to skip out on your favorite activities with a zero-based calendar, you just need to ensure you schedule them with a specific time block. This way you won’t push off the activities we enjoy due to a lack of time. 

Working from home offers flexibility, liberty, and opportunities for you to create healthier habits while remaining productive. As Slack, Zoom, Trello and Basecamp will continue to help us operate more effectively as teams, make sure that as an individual you get outside, see people in person when you are able, and follow a lifestyle where you can protect your personal time — especially family time like dinner and evening routines.