We’ve been doing this work from home thing for quite some time at this point, and throughout all the challenges and winding roads we’ve encountered along the way, we’ve found what works too. As a high performing hybrid team we have experimented with the different strategies and techniques for working from home and have come to discover a few core principles that keep us on track.
The entirety of our work from home strategy is built upon a foundation of our Work From Anywhere philosophy that we discuss in our new book. This philosophy is made up of performance, culture and autonomy.
How to work from home effectively and efficiently
Create a routine
Routines are the bedrock of a good day. Having a set structure can help guide your workday and ensure you achieve repeatable, positive results day in and day out. For organisations moving from an office-only to a Work From Anywhere model, it’s critical to have clear expectations around workday routines in order for teams to thrive in this environment.
Take regular breaks
Your work from home routine should include a morning and evening break as well as a full lunch break. We know it can be difficult for people to remember to take breaks and the temptation of eating lunch over the desk is strong, but these recovery breaks are critical for high performance. Without them, you will never be able to achieve your full potential in the workplace, so it’s critical that these recovery breaks are taken and used wisely. Fuel yourself for the day ahead and take time out to do things that are important to you, they’ll boost your mood and productivity when done.
Make space for creative thought
All of us are different in our own ways, including the way we approach creativity. For some, we feel most creative in the mornings after having a fresh cup of coffee. For others, creativity is hard to come by and needs to be approached in well structured creative ideation sessions.
Regardless of the approach, making time in your work from home workday for creative thinking is imperative to your long-term success. Play around with different creative techniques and see what makes the most sense for you. Then, rinse and repeat.
Engage with team members regularly
Working from home can get lonely without ample social connection. Collaboration can also suffer if we do not take the time to improve our losada ratio by engaging in water cooler conversation with our teammates.
In order to work from home effectively it’s important that you take time out each day to connect on a personal level with at least one of your colleagues. Whether it’s a quick Slack conversation or a 15 minute chinwag, taking time to connect with your colleagues is crucial so don’t see it as a waste of time. Connection is the bedrock of strong hybrid teams and working relationships.
Use project management tools for a motivation boost
While project management tools have historically gotten a bad wrap, there’s actually quite a lot of good they can bring when used well. For our hybrid team we use Monday.com. Its templates are easily customisable and highly impactful. Individuals in our team can use Monday to create private or public boards to manage their day-to-day tasks, which helps them to achieve true autonomy in their work.
In order to work from home effectively you need to have the right tools and structure to achieve autonomous excellence. That’s what we prioritise and encourage at Pragmatic Thinking, and it’s something we’d encourage you to prioritise in your workplace.
Master your systems
Speaking of tools, let’s talk more about the systems that you’ll be using as you work from home effectively and efficiently. In order for all this efficiency to happen you need to agree on four key categories of tools that your hybrid or work from home team will be using. These categories are Social, Operational, Conversational and Speed. It’s something we discussed heavily in a previous blog post but at its core, this approach is about simplifying and clarifying the methods of communication between team members.
At Pragmatic Thinking, one of the best parts about our SOCS framework is how it has allowed us to clearly articulate what we need from each other in terms of communication. If there’s something urgent we need from a team member, we know that phone calls are for speed.
Now you’re ready to work from home effectively and efficiently. Take these tips and discuss your ideal work from home structure with your team; the more you’re on the same page, the better. And if you’re keen to learn more about our Work From Anywhere philosophy and the strategies and techniques we use to support high performance in hybrid teams check out our new book, Work From Anywhere.