Coronavirus & working from home in Nigeria
Elvistech are strong advocates of the ‘work from home’ model and in this blog we take a look at the benefits of letting your employees work from home, as well as a few considerations on how to make it work.
First up, we should definitely acknowledge that working from home isn’t for everyone – both individually or as a company. There are a ton of industries out there that survive on face to face contact (I’m not sure how well my hair cut would go over Skype!). There are also alot of individuals out there who thrive off the structure that an office environment or workplace will bring. So with that in mind, the first thing to think about is whether you can complete all your day to day tasks without face to face interaction, and whether you’ll be able to do those tasks in a way where you stay productive. Even if you can manage some of those tasks from home at the moment, it could possibly benefit both yourself and your company in the long run. Here are our ‘pro’s’ for working from home:
The benefits of working from home or working remotely:
- Work when you’re feeling productive: This is a big one for us. When you have a set work day, you assume that every individual will be at their most productive during those set periods. In reality that just isn’t the case. When working from home you quickly figure out when you are starting to lose productivity and the ability to pop out for a jog, or just put your work to the side for a little while can DRAMATICALLY increase your productivity on the other side. In our industry, developers and creatives in particular seem to be real night owls – and who are we to stop them sleeping in and starting late if they are getting the work done well.
- Feel comfortable: From your lazy sweatpants to the air con being set on YOUR temperature, you can set yourself to be in an environment that is spot on making sure you are working at your best.
- Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency: When everyone is working from home and you no longer have in person meetings, you become ruthlessly efficient with your time. You can still keep in touch with your clients and colleagues, but when it’s over the phone or on Skype you seem to get to the point much quicker. Office politics evaporate, and everyone seems to be more focused on the collective goal.
- Keep on top of the rest of life: Having that nagging feeling that you need to hang the washing out shouldn’t be underestimated as a distraction at work. If you are working flexibly at home you can keep on top of all of the little things, easing stress levels, and ultimately making you a better worker.
- No workmates – no distractions: One of the biggest pros from having a home office is the lack of colleagues being nearby for a ‘quick chat’ or distraction. There are plenty of different distractions, but at least you won’t get pulled away from what you are doing on someone else’s whim.
- It’s a cheaper day to day: How much was that sub you brought for lunch yesterday? Or that coffee you grabbed mid afternoon. When you’re working from home your cost of living will inevitably dip – with your fridge nice and handy, last nights leftovers are that much more appealing.
- Save time on the zero minute commute: Inevitably, if you are working in an office you have at least some sort of travel time to work. It’s incredibly satisfying being able to wake up, sit at your computer in your PJ’s and bang out an hour or twos work before anyone has even got to their office. That time saved up front is time that can be used on other work projects, or on your own personal activities later in the day.
- Working remotely doesn’t have to mean working from home: If you love the travel life, then remote working lets you take your laptop and your work wherever you want to go (with an internet connection!). The satisfaction of having a regular income, completing tangible work, and being able to see the world is something that really helps people develop individually and as employees.
- Stay healthy: This isn’t something we ever think about – but it’s one we just had to add on here given the current happenings globally!
How to work from home – and how it can be tricky
- It’s all about that internet connection: This goes without saying. You need a solid internet connection and a well setup home office to be able to work well. That home office may be different for industry to industry, but it’ll include a laptop or computer and all the software you need.
- Learn to love your phone: There has been a bit of a tenancy in recent years to vilify the idea of ‘taking work home with you’. We certainly know people who hate having a work phone, because it just lets them be contacted about work in their own time. You need to make a conscious shift when working from home and love that phone. Why? Because it means you can duck out to the shops in the middle of the day and still pick up your emails. It let’s you do your exercise mid afternoon, but stay on top of your work in the evening if needed. Your phone is your friend.
- Be disciplined: They say the biggest enemies to working from home are the fridge, your bed and the TV. You have to set yourself some boundaries, acknowledging that when you are working, you are working. These don’t have to be super strict, but personally we tend to at least work within a set of hours each day. Sometimes when the creativity is blown and our productivity slumps, those distractions end up being a benefit for a half hour or so, but you’ve got to be careful not to slide down the slippery slope of procastination.
- Set your goals: This is something that you should be doing in an office setting anyway, but it’s even more important when working from home. Have your to-do list – and do it. The sense of achievement you’ll get from that while working from home and also keeping on top of your home life is HUGE.
- Find the right software: As a business, the biggest jump we had in productivity was finding the right software to manage workflows and keep up communication. From Slack to Monday.com, to Skype and GSuite, there are a ton of cloud based software options that improve your ability to keep a team on track while the work from different places.
- Figure out what works for you: The last, and probably most important tip from us is to try all the above, but to find what works best for your company and for you. You may want to hold a daily Skype meeting to make sure all your employees are on deck at a reasonable hour. You might need them to work between certain hours for certain reason. There are a plethora of individual considerations that you’ll want to think through before committing to working from home.
Above all else, in this chaotic time, business needs to keep rolling. Working from home might help your company just stay afloat, or it could end up being a way to see it flourish and become more profitable. Keep focusing on your online advertising, and remember your website design and web presence in a time where more and more people will be doing business from there computer and online.
If you have any questions at all – don’t hesitate to contact us!
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