Is your small business team still working from home? Without the right procedures in place, it might be time to adjust your business policies. Top CPA Firms have demonstrated excellent qualities in work productivity. Clear, consistent communication to your people can foster trust and increase overall output month after month. Here are the top ten strategies you can use to boost your work from home productivity today:
- Limit Distraction
- Define Boundaries
- Create a daily schedule
- Dedicated Space
- Low Latency Connection
- Regular Break Periods
- Proper Posture
- Balance Work and Home
- Limit Social Media
- Morning Routine
Top CPA Firms Limit Distraction
Encourage your team members to keep distractions to a minimum. This includes pets, instruments, desk toys and anything that might otherwise divert attention away from valuable productivity. Without several distractions, your team is much more likely to increase their productivity while experiencing less stress. If your team is having trouble staying on task, take time to discuss one by one and create a game plan to minimize distractions.
Define Boundaries as recommended by Top CPA Firms
While limiting distractions, it can be beneficial to define boundaries as part of your work-from-home policy. This could include making a dedicated space, limiting work hours to certain times of day, or restricting access to certain resources and websites while working. While no strategy is one-size-fits-all, you may have to experiment with your team. Find what works, then plan to stick to it. Make sure you know what your startup needs to focus on.
Create a Daily Schedule
Critical to the success of each member of your team is staying on top of schedule. Speaking with each member of your team about their daily schedules can help them make sure their priorities are proper. Don’t have them set big blocks of time. Instead, help them break up their schedule bit by bit, so that they are ready to go ahead and crush the day with high output levels. Taking frequent breaks, followed by spurts of intense focus can significantly boost each of your team member’s potential day in and day out.
Dedicated Space like the Top CPA Firms
If you haven’t already, make sure you go ahead and establish norms for dedicated space. Whether a front room, back room or even sunroom, this needs to be a place where each of your team members can decide to focus and dial in their work. Don’t worry too much about partitions or doors. Instead, make sure they have a quiet place to work for hours at a time that doesn’t hinder their productivity and instead boosts their ability to make things happen at a high level. This dedicated space also reminds each team member that they have a job to accomplish.
Low Latency Connection
Maintaining high-speed, low latency connections between team members is essential in effective collaboration. When working towards a goal in real time, it can be cumbersome to communicate if one or more team members experiences challenges keeping up with the conversation. Instead, make sure that they can communicate effectively while keeping on top of their work. Any remote resource they might use could be much more useful with a connection that yields low response times.
Regular Break Periods
While there are differing opinions about the amount and length of breaks, there is proof from time splitting techniques like the Pomodoro method that breaks increase productivity. In cases of focus, it may be easier to maintain focus over longer periods of time when your mind is allowed to take a reprieve, allowing your subconscious mind to continue processing the information. In contrast, choosing to not take breaks can make work for you and your team members seem more taxing and less engaging. This mental perception can lead you and your team to experience bouts of burnout, where productivity is severely hindered. Once a burnout is reached, it can take hours or days before normal levels of productivity are restored. Top CPA firms make sure their employees are taken care of before experiencing burnout, and you should do the same for your team.
Practice Proper Posture like those at Top CPA Firms
Ergonomics also play a key role in the productivity of your team members. If, for example, they have trouble sitting for extended periods or struggle with back pain, then it may be beneficial to suggest sitting at different angles. They need to be able to work at full productivity and stay focused. Without keeping proper posture, they may end up losing focus more easily or worse yet, fall asleep during their workday. Encouraging your team to improve ergonomics can be effective towards increasing peak hour performance.
Balance Work and Home
Before beginning any work from home, make sure to have a candid conversation with each of your employees about balancing work and home life. If they have doubts or concerns, address them up front and right away. Don’t wait around for these problems as they may eventually snowball into something much worse than as it started out. Invite your team members to solve these problems one at a time. The faster they come up with solutions, the more likely they are to stick with them and maintain solid habits of going the extra mile.
Limit Social Media
While certainly a powerful tool for communication, social media also has several downsides. Chief among them is the inherent tendency for people to spend countless hours without any real productivity. This must be kept to a minimum, reducing waste and unproductive time. Replacing this time with productive tasks can be hard without a plan. Talking with your team members in your small business, make sure you all agree and stick to something. Planning doesn’t have to be complicated, keep it simple and your team will be more likely to stick to something.
Create a morning routine where you and your team are on the same page. Find the right balance between communication and productivity. You and your team will be able to use time more efficiently when questions are asked at the beginning. While reducing waste this will give each member of the team more confidence as they meet deadlines.
Some morning routines can include a morning video conference, weekly group exercise, or a weekly one-on-one check. Scheduling a morning video conference, especially if all members of your team are collaborating back and forth on several projects at the same time. Weekly group exercise can be effective in both awakening your team members while fostering the feeling of camaraderie. Making time for a one-on-one check in may be worth your time if your team members need occasional guidance to keep making progress.
Make sure your people are taking care of themselves and keeping proper hygiene even while working from home. Not paying attention to their own needs, a member of your team may become more susceptible to getting sick or otherwise incapable of maintaining regular levels of output.