Working from home can seem an ideal proposition. But without planning and a dedicate spot in which to work, it can quickly become a stressful exercise – particularly in the so-called bubbles New Zealanders are expected to live and work in during the four-week lockdown.
All of a sudden, our working lives and business phone calls are open to everyone in the household.
Strategi, a provider of compliance and best practice and consulting services to the financial services industry, has provided a guide to help people succeed when working from home – particularly those who have had to make this change at short notice.
The firm’s Executive Director David Greenslade says life has changed – but business needs to go on.
“We need to quickly get structure and routines in place so we can maximise the time in our family bubbles,” he says.
“There is no denying that things will be difficult from a personal and business perspective – but the quicker we build routine and focus on positive things, then the easier it will be to get through the coming weeks and months.”
Greenslade’s home-working tip sheet is based on what his firm has adopted and has been published to help everyone else in a similar situation.
There is no denying that things will be difficult from a personal and business perspective…
“Everything we are doing is test and measure,” he says. “Nothing is perfect on day one, so we are constantly reviewing and amending as we go.”
Among his home office tips are:
- Build a desk in a quiet a space
- Use home wifi to access work network – relying on your mobile phone hotspot may result in high mobile phone charges
- Have multiple computer screens
- Have a comfy work-type chair
- Have around you the things familiar from the office environment
- Become overly conscious of scams, phishing, virus etc
- Read your company cyber-security policy
- Ban anyone other than you from using your work devices
- Client information is private and not for dissemination to other bubble members
Greenslade recommends home-workers set themselves daily, weekly and monthly goals.
“Build a productivity measurement framework to track how you are progressing with handling normal business workloads and your project plan,” he says in his tip sheet. “There’s an old saying ‘it’s difficult to manage what you don’t measure’. Don’t force measures on your staff.
Focus on leading indicators and not lagging indicators…
“Instead, include them in your initial discussion. Staff will come up with some innovative ideas and when they contribute there is personal buy-in which results in better uptake. Get your staff to help build their own measures.”
He recommends focusing on quantitative and not qualitative measures.
“Focus on leading indicators and not lagging indicators. For example, just focusing on revenue, cost or profit is a lagging indicator as it takes a lot of time and other work is usually required before these measures are calculated,” he says.
“Instead focus on leading indicators such as the number of online sales, website visits, enquiries, phone calls, emails, video calls etc – that can be easily tracked via technology such as Google Analytics and your CRM.
“These leading indicators ultimately result in good client outcomes which can result in revenue and profit.”