Our office has officially made the decision to operate what we've dubbed as "remote-first". Meaning that while our office space can be used as needed, our main office spaces will continue to be - well, remote.
We started our remote journey back in March of 2020 when most things started shutting down, and since then we've learned a lot. In order to stay productive, connected, and balanced, there are a few things that we recommend. Read on for what we're taking forward with us as we continue working remote-first.
Create a Workday Routine
Those of us who work from home know how distracting it can be at times. The laundry is staring at you while you're trying to focus on work or the dog wants to play in the middle of a meeting. We have found that creating a workday routine is the quickest way to a productive and focused day.
Have a dedicated "Office" Space
A routine separates your "work time" and "home time" and can be both in your tasks and in your space. If you're like me, you may need a dedicated workspace that is separate in some way from the rest of your home. This could be as simple as putting up a room divider or taking over a whole room. I know not everyone has the space to create a whole office for themselves at home but even the placement of your workspace can make a big difference.
Bookend Work with a personal practice
Starting and ending the day with some kind of personal practice has been a game-changer for some ArcStonians. Rather than just waking up and jumping right into work or finishing work and jumping right into social time, bookend your workday with a practice that acts as a sort of transition. Because home and office are now one, it's easy to blur the lines and allow work time and personal time to overlap. Taking a walk or getting outside before and after work can help to signal the start and end of the workday.
Be conscience of "After Hours" Communications
Make clocking out a part of your routine. Once your work is done, try to step away from notifications and messages so you can be fully at home and away from work.
It's so easy to communicate with coworkers outside of work time since the main form of communication now is virtual. If you do message someone outside of typical work hours, make sure to them know that you aren't expecting a response until they're on the clock so to speak.
Switch Up Your Work Environment
As important as it is to have a dedicated space, it's also important to switch it up sometimes. Go to a coffee shop, sit in a different chair, work outside (when it's not 100 degrees), and change it up depending on the type of work you're doing.
Move Your Work When it Suits You
When I'm writing I like to be sitting in my home office with classical music on, it drowns out all of the random thoughts that pop in my head and it helps with writer's block. I also have all of the things to keep myself focused and productive there; a second monitor, a door to keep the pets out, all the charging devices.
But I like to move to other spaces to keep from becoming stagnant and to suit the work I'm doing. Sometimes collaboration or just being around others is helpful. Going to a commonplace like a cafe with coworkers or even alone serves as a little refresh and a way to be around other remote workers. Gone are the days where coffee shops housed only aspiring writers typing away at their laptops.
Monthly or Quarterly In-Office Meetings
Here at ArcStone, we have quarterly ArcMoots to get the whole office together and run through goals for the upcoming quarter. They shifted to virtual when the pandemic started, but now that we have the go-ahead to gather, they're back in the office and it gives us a change of scenery and a chance to connect.
Our mission at ArcStone is to do what we're good at to help nonprofit organizations meet their goals of bringing more good into the world. Learn more about us and the ArcStone team here.