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10 tips from CEOs on how to work effectively and happily from home

April 21, 2020

10 min read

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

According to Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco Software, “ Coronavirus is accelerating work from home , a trend that was already existing for many businesses and companies. According to our 2019 Modern Workspace Report , 41 percent of bosses offer some form of remote work, and we believe this number will be even higher in our next report to be released in April. ”

10 tips from CEOs on how to work effectively and happily from home10 tips from CEOs on how to work effectively and happily from home

Statham continues: “New technology has enabled companies to offer their employees this flexibility, and that means that even in the midst of the global crisis, businesses can remain productive with limited impact, safely and collaboratively. Threats to businesses come from many areas, but those companies already using technology to maximize their productivity , including the ability to meet virtually online or with meeting spaces from a remote location, will find it easier to get out of the disruption. ”

I have been working from home for almost 14 years, remotely as CMO of a sports company and while launching and growing my marketing and public relations agency. My priority has always been to educate people to live healthier and happier lives through movement, nutrition, attitude and communication. I also think that the balance between work and personal life is silly, so I find ways to balance everything with a few barriers. Beyond the obvious of removing your pajamas in the morning and learning how to use the mute button in calls, here are three tips that have worked for me to focus on healthier habits:

1. Invest in a standing desk

This will help alleviate hip or lower back pain and better health. This does not mean that you should be standing all day. Move around the house, and I'm not just talking about walking to the fridge. Take time to sit down throughout the day, and be sure to roll your shoulders back for good posture. Move around and use different locations within your home to spark your creativity, have different ergonomic positions, as well as sight and sounds.

2. When you can, walk during your meetings

If you have a call where you don't need to be in front of your computer, grab your headphones and jump. It is great for your muscles, your heart, your happiness and your general well-being.

3. Prepare your meals and snacks

Too many times I had to say “I have nothing to eat” and grab the first energy bar or anything I saw in the pantry. Although you don't need to have very elaborate meals, you do insist on having your fridge full of fresh fruit, chopped vegetables, boiled eggs, and protein like chicken breasts, tuna, or whatever you like. You can get creative with eating habits that work as brain food or help you be more productive.

For those who are starting out in this work from home, here are seven other tips that successful CEOs have applied to make their businesses and teams as productive and enjoyable as possible.

4. Apply the ROWE mindset

Tim Jones, CEO of Precision Nutrition, a digital training company in nutrition and healthy lifestyle, applies the ROWE: results-only work environment mentality, and Jones encourages it because it helps eliminate worries that the bosses can have on the productivity of the employees. “We don't monitor hours or care how you do your job as long as you get results,” said Jones. “By focusing on goals and metrics, the old idea of ​​the amount of time you spend sitting at your desk becomes obsolete.”

5. It's okay to mix work with life

Terry Traut, CEO of Entelechy, a company that develops leadership, management and customer experience development training programs for Comcast, National Grid, Thermo Fisher Scientific Sprint, DIRECTV, Constant Contract and more, asks its people to “go with the flow ”and try not to be so rigid when it comes to separating work life from home life. Traut explains: “Instead of trying to force yourself to be productive when you are not, or to relax when your mind is focused on something, you better let it flow. Don't feel bad about that time you got up at 3 in the morning to document a brilliant idea. And in the same way, do not feel bad for that morning that you went out for a walk longer than you imagined. You will feel much more productive and happier. ”

6. Choose and prepare your technology strategically

Working from home can involve crossing paths with other family members and their activities and schedules. Andrey Khusid, CEO of Miro, a platform for team collaboration, encourages having multiple devices enabled with all work applications. This allows you to be as flexible as possible. “For collaborative and complex work, connect your laptop to a longer monitor so you can more easily navigate between the tools of videoconferencing, messaging, project management and the whiteboard,” says Khusid. “Trust your tablet or smartphone, with a good battery and camera, to give quick answers on Slack or have calls on Zoom.” Khusid tools for working remotely are:

  • Zoom for video conferencing
  • Slack for instant messaging
  • Confluence for internal wiki
  • I look to make presentations, project planning, strategies and ideas.
  • Google Suite for spreadsheets and simple documents.

7. Have fun with your colleagues

DJ Haddad is the father of four children and Prime Minister of Design and CEO of Haddad Partners, a creative agency that has more than 65 employees and works with international brands such as Microsoft, Capital One, Citibank, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Sallie Mae and HBO. He has a mantra of never taking yourself too seriously. “I am fortunate to be able to work with the best team on the planet, and somehow we have become friends and created incredible chemistry remotely with Microsoft Teams . Just like if we were in an office, we laughed, we made fun of others, we shared photos from high school or from vacations, we chat live while watching the Oscars, etc. We have chats for everything: book club, employees with children, employees without children, competitions, etc. This makes it easier for us to have fun and social talks during the day.

8. Transfer your transfer time to intentional rest time

John Fitch Max Frenzel, co-authors of the book Time Off Book (which comes out in May) suggest that we calculate the time it would normally take us to move and spend it in time to give ourselves “rest”. This is time to disconnect from work. Instead of starting the day stressed about getting somewhere, invest that time for relaxation rituals that lead to a calm and clear state of mind, or invest it to go off, so as not to get into the habit of working very late at night. The authors explain that this commuting time can be used to intentionally separate work from rest time at home.

9. Remove distractions and set a schedule for these distractions

What distractions do you have around? Nettie Owens, a Certified Chronic Disorder Professional Organizer and founder of the Momentum Millionaire Network, invites us to think about these distractions and plan work around them. For example, will noise be a problem at home (while the children are also there)? If yes, you can wear headphones. Set a schedule to let your family know that “I'm going to be working from 8 am to 12 noon, and then I'm going to take a lunch break.” This helps you focus without being interrupted. In addition, you may have to establish activities for your family or work as a team with your partner. Are social media a distraction? Then download a tool to block them and put your “work schedules”. Are you hungry? Set specific times for eating. Do you have dirty clothes? Plan to do your household chores before and after work, and decide how much time you will spend on these chores.

10. Try a calendar with zeros

Cathryn Lavery, co-founder and CEO of BestSelf Co, a company that makes planning and productivity tools for personal development, believes that, especially with remote work, zero is the way to go . This means that you budget every minute of your day to help you stay focused and monitor your progress. Lavery explained to Well + Good that you don't need to skip your favorite activities on this type of calendar, but you need to make sure to schedule them in a specific block of time. In this way you do not leave out the activities you enjoy due to lack of time.

By mail, it reinforced my idea: “By adding all tasks to your calendar with specific time blocks, you start to become more aware of the time it takes you to do certain activities. Having fewer 'open spaces' on your calendar can protect your free time and increase your productivity. ”

Working from home offers flexibility, freedom, and opportunities to create healthier habits while remaining productive. As Slack, Zoom, Trello, and Basecamp continue to help us operate more effectively as a team, make sure that as an individual you take to the streets, see people in person when you can, and follow a lifestyle that allows you to protect your personal time, especially the time you spend with your family.

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