How to work efficently from home – Sharing best practices

Filed by team twago on March 31, 2020

With the whole twago team working from home for the last 2 weeks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought that we could share the practices and tools that have helped us the most in our remote-work journey. That is why we are compiling our four best practices for working from home into a no-bullshit guide for you to implement immediately.

1. Establish a proper work environment for yourself

This includes multiple aspects: Our co-workers shared that having a dedicated physical space, preferably a room where the door can be shut, helped them get into a productive mindset. Some recommended dressing up as if you are going to the office, even going as far as wearing shoes inside to have the mental transition from being relaxed to working effectively.

2. Create structure and schedule your day

Structuring your workday can boost your productivity considerably and ensure that you’re not getting lost in tasks while being in a different environment. Team members shared that doing a to-do list as the first thing in the morning can help bring overview over the day. Each day can be broken down into actionable tasks that keep you engaged.

3. Be conscious of your health, mental and physical

The most common mistake shared by our co-workers was to neglect their health, physical and mental, in the first days due to the uncertain situation. 

Tying in with number 2, while scheduling your day, remember to consciously schedule time slots for yourself to disconnect during your workday. Time spent in front of screens is increasing due to social distancing, so it is vital to create time for a digital disconnect. This could be taking a walk outside to catch some air but also reading a few pages of a book to engage your mind and get it out of your work routine for a while.

Although gyms and sport clubs are probably closed where you are, there are still opportunities to take care of your physical health. Aside from running outside, home workouts are seeing a rise as a content form with plenty of available free resources on youtube.

Our company has formed a group called twago fit, where our Crossfit enthusiasts post sporadic home workouts for everybody to enjoy. Other companies have decided to hire professional personal trainers to stream home workouts and work out together as a company but also together with their customers (talk about customer engagement).

Aside from your physical health, losing the routine of going into the office as well as being isolated for extended periods can lead to deteriorated mental health. Staying in touch with your family, friends, colleagues is one remedy against the feeling of loneliness and solitude.

4. Communication is key

The biggest change that we perceived in our personal and organisational workflow was the way we communicate. On an organizational level, this means meetings have to be done via video conferences. The frequency of these meetings was ramped up substantially to stay connected to each other. That is why we introduced daily standup-meetings within our teams where we share what we have been working on. On top of that, we increased the frequency of “Start of the Week” meetings from biweekly to weekly to get updates about how every team is performing as well as organisational updates. 

In general, if you have the feeling of over communicating, you probably are communicating just the right amount. With everyone being isolated, it is very easy to lose overview over who is connected, who does maybe not know what to do and so on. That is why these checkups ensure the performance of each member as well as the alignment of the team.

Currently, we are experimenting with having one or two weekly meetings, where we are consciously not talking about work, but rather just socialize and share stories of our daily experience with this crazy situation. So far this has received a lot of positive feedback, as it preserves the social aspect of working together as a community.

Tools to improve your remote-work experience

Managing Projects: Jira, Trello, Confluence

Clouds: Google Drive, Dropbox

Video Meetings: Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom

Time Management: Forest, Focus Booster

To-Do Lists: Trello, Google Keep

Miscellaneous: Noise Cancellation Headphones or Earbuds to stay focused

Forgot something?

Would you like to share your Home office experience or tools, that improved your working from home? Write a comment and we will gladly add your input to the article

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Comments (3)

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  1. Robert Smith says:

    This is all fairly standard “working from home” advice. It doesn’t address the typical case for the current situation which is rather “working from home while spouse also working from home and children doing 6 hours school work from home and mostly indoors for a further 8 hours of which both which requires interaction and monitoring.” Given reports of increased domestic violence during home isolation and increased divorces filed after it, actively maintaining good relations requires further effort.

  2. Amit says:

    Hi Felix

    Good read. I appreciate that you highlighted some important tasks. But in reality it is very hard for the young families to keep the door shut and work when kids are around. When lockdown was announced – many people used to show themselves very happy at the beginning and used to post a loads in LinkedIn or in Facebook that how productive they were. Slowly they disappear. We always like to show ourselves ”super productive” and ”happy-to-go-around” when we post about ourselves in social media – be personal or business. I think it is like wearing makeups when someone goes out in public. But the reality prevails as soon as you are back to normalcy.

    However – I appreciate that you wrote about tools to make someone very productive. It helps us.
    Thank you once again. Take care and be safe.

  3. dwfwqfwq says:

    nice post

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