If you didn't catch our blog post, at the beginning of June the BentoSMB team went digital. Some of our team are working remotely in other countries, some in great local coworking spaces and others have chosen to work from their home office.
A recent Shopify blog post about staying productive while working from home was a great resource for our team when settling into this new way of working so we wanted to put our own Bento spin on the topic.
These are recommendations from the BentoSMB team and what works for them. Some you may find helpful, while others will be the exact opposite of what works for you. It's all about finding what makes you most productive.
Staying in your pyjamas all day can sound really appealing to some when they think about working from home. However, we have found that it really doesn't prepare you for the day ahead. Even just changing from your night attire into some comfortable leggings, jeans or sports pants can make all the difference in your attitude and state of mind. When we make getting dressed an integral part of our routine in the morning, we always feel more productive.
Removing distractions can include turning off the TV, limiting your time on your personal social media or keeping pets in another room (or in some of our cases, providing them with a bed so that they don't attempt to sit on your lap during conference calls). Some of us also find that making sure there are no house chores in our line of sight (laundry, dishes, etc) can be helpful. It can be very tempting to take care of household tasks when they're sitting right in front of you and you're feeling like procrastinating.
In the Shopify blog, we referred to above, this was one of their recommendations that we feel is a must. It can be so tempting to save some money and try to work while also taking care of your children - but it can be extremely difficult to get anything accomplished. Find a local childcare provider who is as flexible as your work schedule and is understanding of your situation.
This seems simple enough but many people who work from home end up sitting on the couch or at their dining room table because that's where they're most comfortable, but not necessarily where they're the most productive. Many people find that having a designated workspace (a desk) helps them stay productive but also allows them the opportunity to walk away from "work" and revisit that area when they're ready to focus again.
Much like working where you're productive - you need to recognize what works best for you and your business. If your schedule allows you to, don't worry about keeping traditional business hours. If you're more focused in the evenings - work during that time. Working when you feel motivated and productive allows you to be more efficient. Ensuring you take breaks when you feel like you need one and giving yourself a scheduled lunch break can help bring you back to your desk with fresh eyes and renewed energy.
Many of our team have useful items that they feel help them stay productive and also makes work easier and more efficient. Noise cancelling headphones with a built-in microphone help our team stay focused on the task or call they're on without being disrupted by noises beyond their control.
When in the "zone" it can be easy to lose track of time and end up reheating your coffee time and time again. It may seem silly but a coffee warmer can be a big help when you're trying to limit the number of times you leave your desk.
In an ideal world you'd have a designated workspace away from the distractions in your home, but for some people, this isn't possible due to space. We recommend trying to set up a small work area with a surface large enough for your computer. After that, there are many gadgets, shelves, and desk modifications that can make the space more efficient for you. Find what works for your space and don't stress if your home won't accommodate a large private office.
Working from home doesn't mean you have to sacrifice productivity. It's all about finding what works for you and your lifestyle. Have we missed something that keeps you productive when working from home? We'd love to hear it!
Earlier this year Shopify launched the Shopify App Challenge. The brief, create an app that helps solve a challenge amplified by COVID-19, but that would also have staying power beyond the pandemic crisis. We knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to be a part of this challenge. So, our small team set to work building our second public Shopify application, Recipes.