A lot of workplaces in South Africa are preparing their workforce to work from home. For those who have never worked from home it can be tough to get into a routine and be productive. From distractions to using the correct web tools, here are some tips.

Setting up your workspace

Dedicate a space in your home as your workspace. Have a look at the natural light and airflow. A  dark or stuffy space can hamper your productivity. It is also important that the area is separate from the rest of the house. Try not to work from your bedroom, you will be tired of working and sleeping in the same environment 24X7. If you are able to close a door for privacy it will prevent distractions from family, pets and children. There will also be video calls, so a quiet, secluded area will help with distractions. 

Productivity Tools We Recommend

Here is a list of a few productivity tools we recommend to ensure your team are unified and on the same page. 

Zoom vs Skype

We use both Zoom and Skype. Both have improved their service and software drastically. Both offer group calls, screen sharing and seem to use low bandwidth. If you have a problem that needs to be addressed, Zoom allows support to be provided anyone remotely. With your approval, your screen can be taken over remotely and an error or advice given. We use this internally and find it very helpful.

Trello

This is a great tool for listing tasks and organising teams. Boards can be set up for various segments of a project and within each board. A team leader is able to list tasks to be carried out. Each team member can then comment on the status of each task and they can list how far it is from completion.  The benefit: it is an online tool and allows participants to monitor progress and comment remotely and everyone is up to date with the project status.

Slack vs WhatsApp

One of the advantages to Slack is that it can be used to automate tasks, such as automatically sending a meeting invitation, updating your away status or sharing new tasks into Trello. But we feel businesses should not move teams over to Slack just yet. Many South Africans are familiar with WhatsApp and are already using it. WhatsApp groups still remain quick and easy to use to communicate. So don’t forget about creating WhatsApp task Groups. The groups allow for group calls, pdf sent and received, and video and audio calls. WhatsApp for web is also convenient where you can use Whatsapp on your desktop browser. If you need more info please contact us. 

Calendly

This is a convenient meeting planning app. It syncs with your calendar so people can book times with you. You can block out hours so that you can choose when people can book a call with you. Sometimes this software is easier than going back and forth asking when would be best to meet. 

Loadshedding prep

If you’re using a laptop, investing in a UPS for your router will ensure you stay online when the power goes out. A UPS is certainly essential for desktop computers too. 

Preparing your animals in case they are seen in video calls

It is important to keep up a professional image with clients in video calls. Here are some dress code suggestions:

Productivity Tools and Tips for Working From Home 1
Productivity Tools and Tips for Working From Home 2