Many small business owners have had to transfer their business to their homes. Work-from-home is the new normal for many businesses. Owners are looking for ways to continue operations from their home offices, with often limited staff and resources. If this is your first time working from home, especially running a whole business from your home office, it’s good to have some pointers so everything can go smoothly. Read on to see how to run your small business out of your home office.
Keep Your Routine
Going to work every day means you have a set routine. You get up, get ready, and go to work prepared for that day. When you work from home, that routine disappears. It feels so easy to just roll out of the bed into your office chair. Try your best not to give into it. Even if your office is next to the room you sleep in, keeping up with your daily routine will get you in the right mindset and prepare you for that day. Get up every morning at the same time, have breakfast, put on some real work clothes, and go to your desk. End your workday as closely to your regular routine as well.
Communicate with Your Team
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from your co-workers. Your team is who helps your run your business, and they are also working by themselves at home. One option is to communicate via email, but it’s easy for emails to get lost, and they don’t provide the necessary communication and organization. You will need a team collaboration tool. Collaboration tools offer easy messaging and communication with your team members. You can stay on track of every task and easily share ideas.
It’s easy to get lost in a pile of projects when you don’t have live interactions with your co-workers. Deadlines are missed, changes are forgotten, and you end up with no projects done. Project management tools are made to help businesses, especially remote ones, to communicate better and always have a good track of every project. You can assign projects to every team member, create groups and board-like projects, and more. If you are feeling swamped with the amount of work, use project management tools to help you.
Find Appropriate Space
Space is the major change in this situation. It is an integral part of any business, so you should give it much thought. Working from home means you need to find proper space to create your home office. Ideally, it will be a separate room from the rest of your home. A separate room will give you the needed space and privacy to run your business, as well as peace and quiet to focus. Working in a high-traffic area, especially if the whole family is in an at-home situation, can slow you down and make it more difficult to focus.
Define Your Workspace
You have picked out a spot for your home office, but is it separated enough from your living space? You need to communicate with your household, whether it’s family or roommates, that your space is a workplace. If sharing a space is inevitable, try to visually separate the workspace with panels, tall house plants, and similar. A plastic office chair mat has multiple purposes – you can visually separate your workspace, and you will prevent damage to your floors. Furthermore, decorate your space with other office supplies to get a feeling of a regular office.
Separate Work and Personal Time
It’s quite common for business owners who work from home to overwork themselves. Boundaries between work and personal time are less visible, and you can easily end up working the whole day or night. Create a schedule for yourself, just as you would in the regular office. Be diligent and stick to the scheduled time for work and stop when your office hours are done. This way you will have control and create a balance, so you don’t overwork yourself. Find other tasks to occupy your time so you can get to work the next day with a fresh mind.
Remember that there is no set way how to run a business from home. Every business owner, as well as the business, is different, so find out what works from you. Be focused when it’s office hours and create a balance with your free time after work. Don’t isolate yourself too much. Communicate with your co-workers as often as needed.
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