With humanity coming together to contain the coronavirus, many people are having to work from home for the first time. We’ve put together some tips to help whoever is with us on this!
A home office, in English, is a workspace within the home, such as an office or an adapted room. In Brazil, the expression “doing home office” has become synonymous with working at home. With the advancement of telecommunications, the home office is increasingly inserted in the professional context.
Working from home, until recently, used to be a matter of choice for professionals in some industries. make a home office for a day to concentrate better, for family or health reasons was a benefit offered by some companies. Others allow continuous remote work, a challenge of modern times. For many people, this context changed completely with the coronavirus pandemic, or Covid-19, in early 2020.
The post you are reading was written in this context. In some time, when this all passes, it will be updated and we will remove the mentions of the disease. But now Blue World City understands that we need to help our customers, partners, and the general public better deal with teleworking. Let’s bring good sources and our own expertise, as RD has teams in different cities and many home office professionals. We hope the content is useful for you!
Before we continue, one more context in times of coronaviruses is worth it. We here at RD are aware that we are privileged to be able to do home office. You, at this stage of events, if you are in the same situation, must have already realized this too. The fact that we can work remotely should be gratefully received, and we should do what we can to lessen the risks for people who don’t have the possibility – and they make up the vast majority.
Anyway, we’re all in this together, and we’re all going out together too! Keep reading the post and, at the end, leave your home office tips in the comments.
What is the home office?
A home office, in English, is a workspace within the home, such as an office or an adapted room. In Brazil, the expression “doing home office” has become synonymous with working at home. Maybe we should rethink some unnecessary Anglicisms, but that’s a subject for another post.
It is noteworthy, however, that “ remote work ” – which we even used in this post – would not be a perfect translation. That’s because a home office is specific for working at home, while remote work can be done in different places – like a cafe, a coworking or that friend’s couch that has the internet faster than yours. Do not abuse the friendship!
We associate the advancement of telecommunications and internet technologies to the home office. After all, in general, jobs performed remotely today are almost all done by computer:
- Text production;
- Graphic design;
- Digital Marketing Strategies and even sales.
But are they really just modern things?
It is quite possible that, in your family’s history, there is a grandfather or grandmother who made a more “root” home office. Maybe even your parents. It was very common for seamstresses to work at home or the “sale” on the lower floor of the house – the famous “little shop”. Nowadays, the kitchen is the “home office” of many people who produce food to sell.
This is so as not to pull back to an even more distant past, like the medieval blacksmiths, artisans and apothecaries who created their products and served their customers in their homes. Then came the Industrial Revolution and changed everything.
In other words, a home office is another topic in which our generation considers itself pioneers, but which already has a history. So call your grandparents for some tips and ask how they’re doing in this age of coronavirus, which is even more frightening for them.
Home office statistics in Brazil
To better understand the context of working at home in Brazil, we can look at the statistics. The most recent figures from IBGE are for 2018, released at the end of 2019. The historical series of data began to be collected in 2012. During this period, the growth of the home office was 44.4%, reaching a total of 3.8 million people.
This number corresponded to 5.2% of the contingent of workers in the country, excluding public and domestic servants. As we said at the beginning of the text, this is a minority. Also at the opening of the post, we talked about the privilege of being able to opt for the home office. According to IBGE, the Brazilian reality is much more due to informality.
In 2018, 41.1% of the workforce performed informal activities. Many of these people ended up carrying out activities directly from home. If you’re in a moment like this, even if out of necessity, take a look at the tips we’ll give you below. Maybe they will help you reach your goals faster!
Finally, relevant data from the IBGE survey: the biggest leap for home office in Brazil was between 2017 and 2018, with a growth of 21.1%. Again, this does not necessarily reflect a choice of workers, but it is indicative of a trend of modern times, of our generation.
So you’ll also have something to tell your grandparents on the phone call! By the way, give them a call now, then you come back here and continue reading the text.
Advantages of Home Office
We know that in practically every situation there are advantages and disadvantages. However, as we are living a unique moment to forward Covid-19 and slogans include responsibility and adaptation capacity, we are aware that the home office is one of the most efficient and outputs necessary in the current scenario.
So, let’s talk about the advantages of this working model and focus, in other words, on the positive side of the situation. After all, we all need a breather, let’s go!
Flexibility and convenience
The flexibility of schedules is one of the biggest advantages of the home office, after all, you will organize your own time and tasks.
If your company operates during business hours, of course, it’s important to be online at the same time your colleagues are. However, if you feel more productive at night or at dawn, nothing prevents you from moving forward with the next day’s work in these periods – it’s just not worth leaving the current date’s work for the next day’s dawn, huh?
Also, think about the time you will save. After all, it won’t be necessary to travel to the workplace, that is, no hours in traffic or unforeseen events such as accidents and traffic jams – whether on the bus, on Uber, or in your own car!
Quality of life and economy
Speaking of time saved, it can serve both to improve your productivity and investments in quality of life. Here are some options for the remaining hours:
- Practice physical activities (although at home, several exercises can be performed);
- Putting that special project – personal or professional – that was left out in practice;
- Spending more quality time with the family, participating more actively in the children’s lives, paying attention to pets, having meals together, among other activities that would not have been possible before;
- Studying another language, taking online courses, reading books, the possibilities are many!
In parallel, the company also offers, consequently, another benefit for employees, providing these moments and captivating them even more!
Whether for employees or for your business, the savings are also significant when the home office is adopted. Various expenses can be reduced, including food, transport, reduction of wasted resources, etc.
As a bonus, your stay at home will still be helping the planet. With fewer people commuting to work, we consequently have fewer cars on the street/use of public transport.
Therefore, this implies a reduction in the consumption and burning of fossil fuels and a significant reduction in the levels of air and noise pollution as well. Could it be that you had already thought this way? In addition, companies also save water, electricity, and other resources.
Whether your home office is permanent or temporary, it will be sustainable!
5 Home Office Challenges and How to Beat Them
Still, in the wake of following the bright side or, in free translation, the “bright” side of things, we list 5 home office challenges with tips to get them out of the picture!
1. Have a proper place to work
It is common knowledge that not everyone has an office or place to work at home, especially when the home office is adopted overnight – as is the case for many professionals today.
The office’s ergonomic reclining chair, built-in electrical outlets, and workplace silence are missed, we know. However, with some adaptations, it is possible to get around the situation in a very fun way!
First, choose the place at home where you feel most focused and able to carry out everyday activities. Then, with what’s at hand, try to adapt this place to serve you in the best way – even if here some workarounds are needed, such as extensions, the lamp that was in the bedroom or that furniture with wheels that used to be in the bathroom. Creativity rules, this is your chance to create your own workspace.
2. Distractions of the most diverse
It is a fact that at home there are many distractions: family, roommates, dirty dishes, possible noises, television, and even our beds – by the way and honestly! So, how to concentrate and focus on the work amidst the “chaos”?
Well, whether for social interactions or other distractions, you need to set limits. Agree with yourself to finish that most tedious task in one fell swoop and then take a relaxing bath – or some other kind of reward that doesn’t take up too much time.
If you are constantly being interrupted by other people, talk to them and ask for their understanding; say that you have set aside that time to work and that, afterward, they will have plenty of time to talk and interact.
For those who have children at home, a support network is everything: share responsibilities equally with your partner and other caregivers. Right now, we’re almost all in the same boat and mutual aid is simply an indispensable pillar.
The lack of routine can cause a very big break in healthy habits – even more so for those who just landed with a parachute in the home office. At first, it’s tempting to use that extra time we talked about earlier to sleep, sit on the couch, or eat junk food.
However, do not fall into temptation: to continue delivering satisfactory results, you need to be well-rested and well-fed. It’s a little obvious, but it’s worth remembering: we all need fuel to live and earn, right?
But what about the solution? Try to have different foods at home, which can be transformed into different meals and snacks. Thus, the benefit (and pleasure) of your breaks will be even greater, since you will be eating correctly and creating your own menu.
(But keep in mind that you leave the house only when necessary, right? ).
4. Communication vs. loneliness and misunderstandings
For some of us, working in isolation, away from other people and face-to-face communication can be a challenge. We are social beings, some more than others. And staying away from colleagues physically and relying on emails to communicate can really be a big blow!
So, have technology as your ally. The tools for video conferencing are increasingly modern (we will treat them later). This week we, from RD, held a meeting with the entire Marketing team remotely. Some brought their children close to the camera, others the pets, and we managed to communicate satisfactorily. Even at a distance, we laughed with each other and shared the same day-to-day victories and challenges, as we always did “live”.
Take advantage of moments like these and, if you wish, in the future, you will definitely be able to work as a face-to-face team again. With a little patience and adaptation, we believe that it is possible, yes, to get this challenge out of the way.
5. Overworking is not the solution!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember: it’s not because your home and office are now the same places that you have to work long hours just because you can. Just as too much distraction can be bad, too little distraction can be too, and to the same extent!
Don’t forget to give and receive attention, exercise (even if it’s just a stretch, right?) and eat right. With a healthy body and mind, you’ll continue to deliver excellent results, at your own pace and time: the same ones you’ve already found at the office!
If you need help to adapt, ask, it’s something supernormal. Your colleagues might be going through the same thing and want to talk about it, right?
And for companies, continue (as far as possible) promoting the meetings that they normally would do between employees remotely. Here at RD, as March is Women’s Month, we have prepared a mentoring schedule every week for our RDoers. And now with the adopted home office model, we have not canceled them: our employees continue to meet, talk and exchange through videoconferences.
5 tips for your workspace during the home office
In order for the routine during the home office period to be productive, it is necessary to keep some care in relation to the work environment.
After all, the structure of our houses, in general, was not prepared to have a space for work. Therefore, organizing a favorable environment to carry out your activities is one of the most important factors to maintain the level of productivity.
To help you prepare the best space possible, we’ve listed 5 tips that will help you do your homework in a comfortable way!
1. Create an exclusive space to work
How to create a space that ensures a productive working atmosphere where you won’t be interrupted during your home office? This is an important concern that needs to be the first point of attention in workspace preparation.
It is common for some people to think that doing home office work is the same as having the freedom to work on the couch or even in bed. It can happen, yes, as long as you use these spaces for short periods and at specific times. The ideal way to keep your concentration and focus on activities is to set a fixed work environment.
Start by thinking about the purpose of your home office. If you’re going to be working on it daily, create a different feel than the rest of the rooms to help you understand that this space is the ideal place to focus. So the tip is: choose the most comfortable space possible, where you can spend your daily work time.
In that case, the first thing to think about when designing your home office work is where your office should be located. Also consider your work style and everything you need to do it, as well as the needs of the people who live in the environment.
With a dedicated workspace where you can focus, it’s easier to enjoy the benefits of telecommuting we listed earlier. And an additional tip for family members to respect their space: use a visual cue in the environment, such as a “do not disturb” sign – especially when participating in audio and video calls!
2. Don’t forget about ambient lighting
Our workspaces in companies are always designed to deliver the best possible environment, whether talking about ergonomics, equipment or lighting. And during the home office, it can be difficult to concentrate if you don’t have the right lighting.
But if your home is small or your windows don’t let in as much light, how do you configure your space for optimal lighting? In practice, looking for a solution that has natural light input is the main way to illuminate the environment to improve productivity and concentration. If you tend to work a lot of time in front of a computer screen, staying close to a window is a good choice.
For those with a darker environment, consider using light during the day. But it is better to avoid lighting with fluorescent lamps, especially in small environments. Instead, choose lamps that look natural, with warmer tones.
What happens if I get my lighting wrong?
Inadequate lighting can cause eyestrain and drowsiness, which makes productivity difficult. Therefore, the tone of the light is also a factor to be taken into account. Warm color temperatures boost productivity, while cool color temperatures, as long as they’re lower, are calming.
In summary, make sure you adjust your lighting so that it doesn’t get so dark, that it makes you drowsy and causes eye strain, but don’t overdo the light either, because you’ll probably have a headache in the end. of the day.
3. Choose your desk and chair well
In your company’s environment, the tables probably already have an adequate structure for the work. But for the home office, this needs to be a point of attention.
Choosing the best table for your environment involves the amount of space available in the area. It needs to be big enough to accommodate your notebook or desktop, while still having space to take notes or accommodate other objects.
Speaking of your chair, even if you can’t use a more typical office model, make sure it’s comfortable for you to sit for hours. Always choose a model that is the right height in relation to your table position.
It’s not easy to find an ergonomically suitable set for your space. But always place the comfort of your space as an essential item to do your job well during the necessary period of time.
4. Decorate the environment with things that make you happy
One of the benefits of working from a home office is that you can create a space however you like. After all, productivity grows in environments where creative thoughts arise more easily.
If for you to achieve this means filling the place with plants, hanging pictures around you, filling the shelves with books and whatever else you can imagine – like keeping your pet by your side to pet whenever you want – don’t miss the opportunity to surround this environment with things that are good for you!
The happier you are in the environment you are in, the better you can work and produce throughout the day. Just remember to keep all of this in a way that doesn’t get in the way of your focus on the activity you’re currently doing.
In that case, you don’t need to run to the internet and search for examples of home office environments to try to replicate. Only you know how to create a setup that works well for your routine.
5. Always keep the organization
Clutter can make a home office space, which is usually small, seem even smaller and even a little chaotic to do any kind of job. That’s why keeping organized is a tip you can’t help but follow.
When your workspace is free of clutter, your mind can think more clearly. And to be able to act in this direction, there’s no mistake: the first step to cleaning up the mess is simply getting rid of the items you don’t need. Before starting your daily routine, make sure everything is in the right place and remove any objects you don’t use.
As for items that are not used every day, use boxes or drawers to organize them. Grouping your items into groups also helps you find each one when you need them because it’s easier to remember where they’re grouped.
5 types of tools for home office work
Now that you know how it works, what are the advantages, challenges, and tips to prepare your space, let’s not forget to bring the indispensable tools for your home office work.
After all, it is during this period that we need to have solutions that connect different people to work together on projects and activities. During the Coronavirus pandemic, Google itself made a number of free tools available to help everyone working at home.
But in practice, there are solutions for several different purposes. We’ve listed options for 5 different types of situations that you’re sure to go through, check it out!
1. Online meetings
During the home office period, the planned meetings can’t stop happening. Even the quickest alignments, which take place in the workplace between people working side-by-side at the same desk, need to continue online.
Therefore, it is important that teams communicate frequently using tools to conduct online meetings. With video conferencing solutions, it is much simpler to do this in practice.
The main tools on the market allow you to create a room for free and, through an access link, all participants can enter to participate in meetings with audio, video and screen sharing. The main ones you can use are:
The Zoom is a tool to create a videoconferencing environment to share multiple desktops simultaneously in the room. In the free version, it allows a maximum duration of 40 minutes.
Zoom allows participation from any device connected to the internet
The Hangouts Meet – old Google Hangouts – Google is the tool to make online meetings. Because it is fully integrated with G Suite, Google’s suite of tools, you can join meetings from an event created in Google Calendar or from an invitation sent via email.
2. Real-time communication
Keeping the focus on sharing and collaboration between teams, one of the ways to work well in the home office is to maintain clear communication with your team and leader using tools that allow this exchange in real-time.
Most people spend their days always close to their co-workers in the shared environment of the company, which means that communication is much easier and effortless. With the home office, it is important to define how the structure will work.
Therefore, communication tools are essential at this time. And the main ones you can use are:
Slack is a collaborative space for exchanging messages. It is the preferred tool for companies to keep all teams communicating in one place. Participants can create channels, which function as message exchange groups, ideal for concentrating communication between teams.
A big difference is its integration with Zoom, Google Drive, and several other applications.
The Rocket. Chat is a chat server with similar functions to Slack. It’s a great solution for communities and businesses that want to create their own individual or group communications environment. The detail is that this tool is open source.
3. Activity Management
In addition to solving communication points – whether through videoconference, chat or group conversations – it is necessary to manage activities during the home office period.
It is important to have solutions that make it clear what activity each team member is currently performing and what next priority actions need to be taken throughout the day or week. For this purpose, you can use:
In order to have an experience that is close to what we found in the physical office, the Engineering and Product team at Resultados Digitais developed an open-source tool called #matrix.
It functions as an online office that allows people to view their coworkers and interact through virtual rooms.
The tool is available on an Open Source platform for companies that opt for home offices. The implementation has simple configurations and in just two minutes it is possible to create the virtual office. The entire project is published on RD’s GitHub and can be run by following the steps in the README.md file.
Trello is the simplest tool possible when it comes to project management, but this simplicity hides incredible organizational and task management power. It uses the concept of tables, where each one can represent a project or the distribution of a team’s routine.
Within each board, teams create lists, which are filled with cards. Cards can be assigned to specific team members, labeled, and with a deadline for delivery.
4. Management of Marketing Actions
During home office work, one of the areas of any business that needs to keep running very well is Marketing. And with all the possibilities that the internet and forms of online communication offer, all businesses are already focusing on their Digital Marketing work.
Thus, it is important to have a tool that works very well for managing all Digital Marketing activities, even working from home. To take advantage of the digital environment and be able to expand your sales volume, see a tool to use, such as:
RD Station Marketing
The RD Station Marketing is a Marketing Automation tool that brings together all the features that your business needs to attract, convert and relate to contact and to analyze the results of your actions in one place.
It was the winning tool at the B2B Awards 2019, a B2B Stack award that points out the most highly rated software for companies in Brazil.
With it, you can perform the actions you need to expand your results, such as:
- Schedule publications on social networks;
- Create and send Email Marketing campaigns;
- Create Landing Pages for a Lead generation;
- Generate automatic nutrition flows for your contact base;
- Analyze results, from visitors to sales, and more!
5. Execution and Management of Sales Tasks
During the home office, the sales process also needs to continue at full steam – as far as possible, of course. And with the evolution of Inside Sales work, where salespeople close a new sale remotely, the management of activities also needs continuous control to not let any opportunity pass.
Therefore, you need a solution for executing and managing sales tasks. And nothing better than having a CRM!
RD Station CRM
The RD Station CRM is a tool that enables you to control the entire business process of your company, centralizing all information deemed most important for managing the sales funnel and flow. It also allows you to do all communication by email and phone with each contact, recording everything afterward.
In addition, when integrated with RD Station Marketing, Marketing and Sales information is aligned from the beginning of the Lead’s journey, avoiding communication gaps and improving the relationship with the customer.
What is your home office tip?
We hope all these tips will help you during your home office work period. Who knows, when the coronavirus crisis is over, you’ll realize you enjoyed working like this and keep going. The important thing now is to follow the guidelines of Organs competent bodies and overcome this moment together, even if at a distance.
We would like to reinforce the invitation for you to leave a comment on your home office experience in the comments. It can be a tip about productivity, organization or even something of a personal nature, such as the relationship with children who are also out of school. We are together!