5 tips for making the transition to working from home

As the world gets to grips with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, with virtually every part of our lives now in “lockdown”, making the transition to working from home will likely be on your agenda.

And whether you’ve worked from home in the past or it’s your first time, the truth is, it can be daunting to make the switch, and it can wreak havoc on your productivity.

Below, we’ve put together some top tips that will help you get to grips with remote working.

Head to the cloud

Let’s start with the obvious one: making the switch to cloud computing is critical in today’s times.

As a small business, the chances are that you’ve completed a lot of your work on your desktop and manually email files and folders to your colleagues.

Switch to Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive so that all of your documents are accessible to all of your key staff, and use collaborative tools like Dropbox Paper and Google Sheets to work on projects in unison.

Keep in touch with the team

With everyone sitting at home working from their living rooms and home offices, it’s natural to feel isolated from the rest of your staff.

Make sure you keep in touch; we recommend that you host a weekly catch-up call via Zoom or Skype so that everyone can touch base, and use a tool like Slack so you can communicate throughout the day in one centralised location.

The best part is that these tools are free, and they will make sure you’re all A) motivated, B) working on important projects, and C) feel like you’re a teammate rather than a solo worker.

Have an expert on speed dial

Though most of us know how to operate a computer and manage our files online, the truth is that sometimes things go wrong.

What’s more, not all of your staff will be as digitally-savvy as you; for some, lockdown will represent the first time they’ve ever worked from home or used a particular piece of software.

As well as making guides and directing staff to YouTube tutorials, we recommend reviewing IT support companies close to you who can offer remote support.

Some even offer remote desktop services; they’ll tap into your screen and show you what you need to do to fix your issue, helping you get back to the grind as soon as possible.

Use the opportunity to shake up your business 

Though the uncertainty and guaranteed recession that will follow the coronavirus is enough to make any business owner tighten their purse strings, it is important that you reconsider what is important for your business.

If your staff are using old and sluggish laptops, now is the time to invest in new technology; if your software requires lots of training, now is the time to look for an alternative. Sure, that means more upheaval and expense, but it could give you a competitive advantage and allow you to increase productivity and drive more sales.

Do you have any other tips for coping during lockdown? Let us know on social media and check back soon to Startup Heart for more advice on running a business from your bedroom.