The events of the past year and a half have put many of the world’s small business owners in a tough spot. Many jobs were declared non-essential by local, state, and federal governments, and by the thousands, people started working from home. While every industry faces unique challenges, there are a few common tips and tricks to make things feel more normal.
Keep it Professional
One of the best parts of working from home is being able to wear comfortable clothing, but it’s important to maintain a sense of professionalism. With video chats and teleconferences becoming more common, at-home work doesn’t mean looking like one has just rolled out of bed. Maintain regular office hours and a professional appearance when interacting with clients and answering phone and video calls.
Set Boundaries Between Work and Home Life
As many small business owners have already discovered, it’s crucial to delineate between work and home. Office jobs come with an in-built sense of routine, but it’s easy to lose that when working at home. Try writing a to-do list each day, as small goals will break up the boredom of staying in. And, once the list is done, remember that it’s okay to clock out.
Take a Break and Work Up a Sweat
When someone is self-employed and working from home, a little break during the day can make all the difference. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and even a virtual fitness class may be enough to get those workout endorphins flowing. It’s easy to let work spill over into other areas of life, but with clear breaks between work and leisure time, at-home employees will be much happier.
Stay in Touch with Others
Changing from a busy office with lots of customers and co-workers can be quite isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Zoom, Slack, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and other tools facilitate natural, quick workplace communication. Set aside some timeit doesn’t have to be muchto communicate with co-workers. It’s good to get into a rhythm, whether or not there’s a need for regular updates.
Maintain the Corporate Culture
When business owners serve their communities, it’s important for them to try to continue doing so in spite of world events. For instance, when companies can’t provide services due to local restrictions, it’s important to find a way to keep connecting with customers.
Maintain a Support System
To adapt to changing circumstances, join some online small business groups and listen to other owners’ stories. Industry-specific groups are full of good advice on how to access state and local support systems, and they also provide a feeling of community. After all, it’s easier to deal with tough times when one realizes that others are going through the same thing.
Enjoy the Flexibility
If there’s anything a home business owner knows how to do, it’s helping when needed and wearing multiple hats. Working from home takes a certain degree of flexibility, especially when everyone’s on a different schedule. By sharing knowledge with others who are in the same industry, home workers can stay ready for whatever happens next.
Enjoy Working from Home