8x8 Employees Share Tips and Best Practices While They Work from Home
Like many other companies, our 8x8 employees are sheltering in place and working from home as we do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and prevent its spread.
Here are some tips and best practices we’ve learned from our experience getting our work done while staying safe and healthy. We hope you find these tips useful!
Are your kids home with you while you work?
“If you have a home office, let your kids know when the door is OPEN, they can come in and play quietly as long as they do not distract calls and meetings. If the door is CLOSED, kids cannot enter.” - Quynh
“Kids need structure and this isn't spring or summer break. Create a plan of activities for them that blend learning, play, exercise, and collaboration and communicate that to them at the beginning of each day.” - Jeremy
“Children often look for distractions or reasons to be doing anything except their school work. When taken out of the norms of the classroom, learned behaviors can quickly revert to the wild. By having my kids help to build their own work from home workspaces they took ownership. Defining the perfect chair, speakers, headset, etc. they were much more engaged.” - Jeff
“I have a red LED light that hangs over my office door. When I’m in a meeting, I turn the light on so that the rest of my family knows I’m in a meeting and shouldn’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency.” - Chad
“Whenever possible, use this opportunity to not only have dinner with your family but try to have lunch and breakfast together as well. It’s a refreshing break from work, a rewarding experience as a parent, and an effective way to reduce distractions when you’re back at your desk.” - Jamie
“Have a notepad and pen at the side of your desk so your kids or spouse can write down questions that inevitably only need immediate answers when you're on a video meeting with multiple people including your boss and/or clients.” - David
“When meeting with colleagues who are also at home, make a mental note as to whether or not they’re wearing headphones. If they’re not and have kids, keep in mind that any adult language will be broadcast loud and clear to those little ears. Best not to be known among your colleagues’ kids as the guy who swears a lot, or worse, to their spouse as the one who taught their child how to effectively drop an f-bomb” - Andy
Is your spouse or significant other also working from home with you?
“Your spouse/partner/kids can't read your mind. They don't know when you have a phone call or video conference coming up, or that you need some space to finish working on something. Communicating what's going on in your day, such as an upcoming meeting or an impending deadline, so everyone can adjust accordingly (put on headphones, run an errand, grab a book to read quietly), can help everyone get on the same page and avoid ruffling feathers.” - Michelle
“Six years ago at the beginning of my first work-from-home job, I was on a video call with my boss when she suddenly got a weird look on her face. After I continued with the call she pointed and said: "I think your wife is in a towel behind you." That was the day we instituted the "Fully clothed during business hours" rule in my house.” - Chandler
“In my household, my wife's workspace is as far as possible from mine to limit distractions both from phone calls but also because we would joke around too much” - Brian
“While working from home with other remote workers, it is important to schedule space. If there are spaces in the home that are optimum for specific activities (ie. video meetings, phone calls, or writing) it is good practice to coordinate the use of those spaces between those using them. This could be done via a shared calendar or other means to ensure that each individual can work with minimum distraction from others' phone calls or meetings.” - Jared
“Say goodbye to your spouse when you head down the hall to the office and joke about the commute. This helps create your mental state of going to work.” - Jim
Looking for other recommendations?
“If you are too distracted by your surroundings, set a timer for 1 hour at a time. Focus on work for just that amount of time. Reward yourself by taking breaks in between timed sessions.” - Carla
“Keep the same routine you would as if you were going into the office. If you have to get up at 6 am in order to get to the office at 8, get up at 6 am. Use the time you would normally spend commuting to ease into the day (make coffee, read, breakfast, etc..) then plan out your day before you power up your workstation. I'm a bit old-fashioned so I use a paper-n-pen checklist of the top tasks that I need to accomplish by the end of the day. Then when you boot your workstation at 8 am you will be good to go!” - Dik
“Move around regularly. Find a different spot to work every so often, either inside or outside (backyard, porch). It allows you to pause and refresh while also providing a little exercise and keeps you and your spouse/partner sufficiently far apart so you can both get work done.” - Alain
“I had the chance to have a bathroom close to my home office, so what I did was to put a piece of tape on the floor of the hallway and set up the following rule: I could go back and forth crossing that piece of tape at any time, but if I do, I had to wait there doing nothing for the exact same duration than my commute to work (i.e., same time in each direction). Obviously, that requires to really plan these virtual trips (like having the coffee machine on the right side of the hallway).” - Marc
Looking for a tool that can keep you productive and connected? Visit 8x8.vc to launch a free video meeting that doesn't require a download, has no time limits, and can include up to 50 participants.