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Small Business Guide to Working Remotely

by William Gist

The coronavirus has totally transformed the business landscape (not just here in the United States, but around the world) completely. And it’s done so almost overnight.

The overwhelming majority of the world remains on “lockdown”, with traditional businesses and offices closed and employees working at home – many of them for the first time.

Those brand-new to the remote working situation may find themselves overwhelmed at first, unable to really get their bearings, and find a way to maximize their productivity while working in a totally new way and an environment that may not be set up with business first in mind.

Thankfully though, there are a couple of things you can do to improve your odds of success and skyrocket your productivity while working remotely. We interviewed Nathan Abadi, President of Excel Capital Management about how he remains productive in a work from home environment. Managing a Small Business Funding firm based out of NYC with 3 kids and a dog is no easy task! He gives advice and tips to keep things moving smoothly.

Keep a Strict Schedule


Working from home – just a few steps away from your bed or couch, most of the time – is always going to make it harder to keep normal business hours than having to head into the office or work at a certain time each and every single day.

This is why it’s so important to stick to a strict work schedule, doing your level best to maintain the same business hours you had at your office or workplace (or as close to them as possible).

Automatic time tracking applications, alarm systems, and other tools can help you to keep to a schedule at home that is all too easy to fall out of.

Your Morning Routine Matters


Our traditional morning routine especially if it involves a commute, has a huge impact on flipping our mental switch from our personal lives to our business lives – and that mental switch doesn’t exist on its own when you are working from home at first.

Do your level best to create a morning routine that gets you into your career mode ASAP and then stick to that routine like glue.

Some people even like to get dressed as though they were going to the office before they sit down at their home workspace just to sort of get into that mindset and that mentality – a mentality that’s next to impossible to get into when you’re working out of your pajamas.

Time Block and Schedule Breaks


Working from home is going to be fraught with interruptions, with distractions, and with a lot of potentials to sort of get off course and lose all productivity completely.

Understand that these obstacles are going to exist no matter what and then schedule them into your day so that you have a better chance of maintaining productivity while dealing with the reality of working from home at the same time.

Commit to working for 90 minutes with zero interruptions (or 45 minutes, or 60 minutes, or whatever works best for you) before taking a 15-minute break to do anything and everything but work. Then get right back into the swing of things, rinsing and repeating throughout your workday to keep your productivity at an all-time high while still giving yourself plenty of room to breathe.

Set Up and Maintain a Dedicated Work Space


In a perfect world, you would have a dedicated home office that you could work out of during the coronavirus or whenever you are working from home and working remotely – but that may or may not be your specific situation.

No matter what, though, you’ll want to carve out a little corner or a niche in your home that you turn into your workspace. These areas for work and work alone and should be carefully curated to help you get your work done as productively as possible before you “turn off” for the day.

This will help groove a bit of that consistency we highlighted above, but it’s also going to help you have a more secure and more productive space that separates your personal life from your work life. This is especially useful if you’re jumping on Zoom calls (and the like), too. Nobody wants to be doing those from their bed!

Closing Thoughts


At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all remote working plan that’s going to cover all the bases for everyone universally.

You’re going to need to test and tinker with different workspaces, different layouts, different schedules, and the like. You’re going to have to sort of find your way through this process in the early stages.

When you get right down to it, though, you should find that habit and routine take over Abadi says if your disciplined and diligent than working remotely becomes a whole lot easier as time goes on. You actually get to appreciate certain freedoms that were not available during a normal routine.

Abadi goes on to say that you can look at it this way, at the very least you add your daily commute time to your available me time. Most commuters are an hour and a half roundtrip 5 days a week. That’s like a whole extra workday added per week that you can use however you want if you spend your time wisely.

The odds are pretty good that a lot of businesses worldwide are going to recognize the benefits of remote working on a mass scale in these kinds of workspaces and routines may be a big part of our day-to-day life going forward.

Do your level best to get into the groove during the coronavirus and you’ll be prepared for that switch when (and if) it happens!