Working from home habits and strategies

jennysowyrda
Community Manager

Hi all,

 

As we move into a new season of working from home (or starting to work from work), we want to hear from you on what you've learned while working at home. 

 

Whether your plans are to work from home for the foreseeable future, or you're already back in the office, your opinion matters! 

 

What is one strategy or habit you’ve discovered while working at home that you are looking forward to implementing when you go back to the office? Share your thoughts on this topic here for a chance to be featured in our next customer newsletter.

11 Replies 11
jetta
Participant

Seems simple, but stepping away from my computer during lunch is a habit that I wasn't able to implement when I was in my office due to meetings and always seeming short on time. Since being home during lunch means prepping food for my kids in addition to myself, I can't take meetings during lunch. 

I have found that taking time for lunch helps me reset, and I have a more productive afternoon. 

 

I'm looking forward to continuing this when I'm back in the office. I also plan on going out to lunch with team members, as you get to learn more about people in a restaurant or cafe than in a sterile meeting room.

jeyso10
Member

I am looking forward to implementing some of the task management systems I've set up during my time working at home. Before I started working at home full time I didn't have a central place to keep all my 'to-do's' when I was running between meetings. My task management consisted of drafted slacks to myself, emails to myself and a notebook that had frantic notes scribbled on random pages. 

 

Additionally, when we were all in the office, I was able to see what my team was up to / how their projects were going by walking up to their desks and asking. 

 

When we all moved to working at home, I realized I needed a better solution (partly because my 'to-do's' notebook was quarantined in the office). Hoping from Zoom to Zoom all day meant needing to switch gears quickly without forgetting what I had just talked about. Writing something down in an organized place went from a 'nice to have' to a 'need to have' immediately. I also needed a more organized way to see how my team was doing, see what projects were progressing fine for them, and what projects they were stuck on that I could help with. 

 

I tested out a few different platforms and am currently using Airtable as it allows me to have my own tab for my projects and tasks, and also collaborate with my team. 

 

Having everything in one place has made a world of difference, and making it a team habit has also been really helpful. 

MarcoV
Contributor

Hey @jennysowyrda 

 

This is really interesting, I think everyone had to adapt to the "new normal". For me at the beginning was a bit challenging because I really like to go to the office and I had my workflow set up, however, after a few days, I was able to "create" a new dynamic. 

 

I've blocked on my calendar a few periods to focus on specifics tasks that are the most important during my day- Also, I found a really useful tool to list all my "to-do" stuff on a daily basis (Airtable has this cool section just for tasks). So I feel I'll keep using this as long as I can. 

 

I learned to focus on my own space and rhythm, which has been challenging in the office, as usual, you have the casual chats with your colleagues (which I miss).  

 

Another thing that has been helping a lot is having those "quick catch up" online every morning with the team just to see how's everyone is going through and not really work-related. I think this has made the team stronger.

amanda_p
Participant

Hi everyone,

 

Really interesting to read what other people learned.

Personally, I learned that remote work is not for me. I find it really hard to separate work and private life. I had to learn to leave my laptop closed after finishing work and I'm not always successful with this.

Apart from that, I miss my team and I'm really looking forward to going back to the office.

 

The only good thing about working from home was that I saved time on not commuting to the office which I now use to do sports and prepare meals. Something that I definitely want to keep up in the future.

 

Also, we leveraged slack way more than before and I learned about loads of new functionalities.

 

VanessaR
Participant

Hi Jenny, thank you for making a place to share everyone's experience!

 

I struggled in the beginning to work alone. Because of the nature of my role, I didn't have many scheduled meetings during the week and I started to feel very very isolated. This caused me to lose my focus easily and it started to take longer to complete my tasks. So I changed my work style. I started to join relevant meetings more often and started to have one on one catch up with colleagues (both professional ones and casual ones). It doesn't seem a big deal but it helped me to plan my day more organized and also I've been learning more about my business from my colleagues.

 

It was definitely a challenge but at least I learnt somethingSmiley Wink

walterw
Contributor

So glad to hear I'm not the only one not loving WFH life! 

 

My team and I have leaned heavily on HubSpot during this time. Records (contact/company/deal) have become the source of truth when we're working on deals, talking to customers, etc. It's interesting how minor things were going undocumented before, but now having everything written down, and available for the whole team to see, has created some pretty interesting ideas and projects.

 

We've been able to upgrade customers and find some new marketing opportunities simply because of our new "over communicating" style - hoping to keep that up even when we can all turn around our chairs and talk to each other in person. 

Suzanne147
Member

I am definitely digging my new at-home remote work and have never been so busy and got so much accomplished and happier in this role.  I already had a home office set up (for personal reasons like doing bills, etc.) but changed it to have one side work-related and the other personal.  I work much better independently without distractions from others, from the hustle and bustle of an office setting, I need "lite" music on in the background, and, I'm a loud talker and to be able to "be myself" on calls and not have to lower my personality for the sake of co-workers ears around me is the best.  Plus my dog is in his glory that I've been home!Grey.jpg

ashhoffman
Participant

Like others here, one thing that I've started doing while WFH is actually stepping away from my desk/computer for lunch. My partner is used to doing that and has encouraged me to do so, and we spend 30 minutes together catching up on our days and discussing random things. It's a great way to take a mental break and go into the rest of the afternoon being productive!

 

Additionally, we've also tried keeping our typical wake-up time, even though we don't have a commute. We will use that extra hour as our "commute" time before work and just read a book, watch something, write, or just do something else to mentally wake up & start our day. This has been really helpful, as the tendency when working from home is just to get straight to work as soon as you're ready! 

JanelleD
Member

Working from home has been rewarding for me.  Fewer distractions, a quiet atmosphere, consistent temperature, and my dog make working from home a breeze.  I'm more focused and have started using the Pomodoro technique which I will implement if I return to the office.  I use tomato-timer.com to set a 25 minute timer and I focus on one task for that time period.  The timer also has options for short or long breaks.  I might take a short break to make tea or let the dog outside.  I highly recommend the Pomodoro technique to anyone looking to find a way to stay focused on their work and blast through projects.

cchristiansen
HubSpot Employee

I work remotely from Oregon and one habit I have started implementing now that the weather is nicer is working outdoors! It is quite literally a breath of fresh air to get my work done outside of the house once or twice a week. 

 

One other big piece of advice applies to anyone who has other people in the home while you are working. It has been crucial for me to communicate my working hours and working style to those in my household. I didn't do this effectively when I first shifted to working from home last year and it definitely caused stress for the both of us.

 

I determined that it is just as important to communicate how you work best to those at home, just like we do while in office. This involved communicating when my lunch/breaks were, when I would be on the phone or in a Zoom meeting, and even how I prefer the tempature to be in the house! The little stuff matters. 

AmyLou
Top Contributor

As I read the original post, I also immediately thought about taking time away from your desk. One forgets how much you move around when you interact with other people. During my first week, I really battled with back and neck issues from sitting still for so long. As someone who has meetings, I often drove around and met clients. Now I have Zoom meetings and the sitting really got to me. So my advice would be to make sure you have a proper office chair and take regular breaks that include physical movement away from your desk. If you're anything like me, once you get into your work, you forget about everything else. So I've now set a reminder or two just incase I forget. This has really helped me stay healthy as well by having water breaks too. Stay safe!