If you're like us and you transitioned most (or all) of your business to working remotely at home for several months in 2020, we can relate to your unique experiences!
Like you, some of our team has had to feed the kids or hold a baby on their knee while answering emails. We've tried to minimize the sound of barking dogs. We've tried the kitchen table, the couch, the back porch, or rearranging our "at-home" desks, all in the attempt to be as productive as we can in spite of upheaval.
We also can't fail to mention the opportunities a pandemic has offered us personally and as a business. If you've followed us on social media, you may have seen our content about turning #obstaclesintoopportunities or our photos of different remote work scenarios.
Also, because we've been through a pandemic and went months without sitting inside a restaurant, we all need to have a little fun! Whether we like it or not, remote work may become a regular option for some businesses for the foreseeable future, especially in certain parts of the world.
So, why don't we make the best of it? For your viewing pleasure, we've shared 5 unique ways we've worked remotely and advanced in our work. We hope you can benefit from these examples!
Whether you've missed the opportunity to host sales discussions over a fresh cup of coffee from your favorite coffee hub, or you're a service business that's had to temporarily halt some of your services, you might find yourself with more free time than ever before. That's why working remotely is the perfect time to hone your skills through personal development - whether that's via reading, webinars, or online courses.
And, while we couldn't travel to a tropical resort, we could at least make our home a little more relaxing with a nice dinner on the back patio and even an inflatable hot tub. Our VP of Marketing, Alea, snapped a photo of the marketing training she did from her hot tub!
It doesn't matter if you're dodging the pandemic from home or tackling it head-on, your goal is still the same before, during, and after this global issue. You have a business you're passionate about and you need that business to survive and remain strong and relevant to your target customers. We can confidently say that you can still grow your business and connect with customers during a pandemic...and you can do all this from a comfy chair with a sweet dog beside you!
Right now, you must be relevant, genuine, and clearly offering a solution to a specific problem. We believe you can do this, even with limitations such as social distancing. You're an entrepreneur, after all.
One of the best things many of our team members have done during this time is set aside windows of time for meetings, trainings, and "heads-down" work on special projects, as well as time AWAY from the screen. It's never been more important to keep a healthy routine – which includes making time for mental breaks and getting active. If you're like Lauren, our Director of Partner Marketing, you didn't let a closed gym keep you from exercise. In fact, unless your office has a large gym with a shower, working remotely means not being afraid to sweat mid-day for fear of stinking up the office! We believe it can make you more productive and creative if you take this time!
Working from home means multi-tasking more than usual, but here are a few tips on that:
1. Set aside time for checking emails so you're not a slave to your inbox.
2. If you have to manage pets or children while you work, try to batch meal times or other things they need with activities you can do at that same time. This might mean listening to videos or messages while the children are eating. Or, you could get physical exercise during the kids' outdoor playtime which also offers you fresh air and sunshine. Two birds, one stone!
3. Most people can multi-task, but not for long periods of time until it wears on you. So, this is where the mental breaks and quieter moments will help renew your mind so you can get back to the grind once again.
We also align ourselves with a lot of the ideas created by Hubspot. Here are several free resources on the topic of working remotely.
This pandemic is also about grace and understanding. If the dog barks or the toddler makes an appearance in the Zoom call, it's not the end of the world. You're doing the best you can! Hopefully, this pandemic reminds you that some of those meetings are far less important and the health of your family – and time spent with them – is a gift.
Let's appreciate our ability to work from a patio or a barn! Twenty years ago that would not have been the case for many businesses. It's the best of both worlds. We can make sales calls while appreciating a nice view. That's not something to dread – embrace it!
Use the tools you have around you (iPhones can do a lot!) to have a face and heart behind your business. Be active on LinkedIn, Facebook, and email as well as other channels, because you have to stay connected with your target audience. There are so many ways to expand the reach of your business – even now. That could be through video chat or sending one of your prospects a lunch delivery or something in the mail!
Improve how you write and speak about your product or service offerings. Dust off your email communication if you've not used it effectively for sales and marketing. Try video, if you haven't before!
Telling a story through video can be unbelievably powerful. Does it have to be perfect? Absolutely not, but it needs to be clear and genuine. When someone watches you talk about what you do and your "why," it demonstrates empathy and authority. It can show your customer that you relate with their problem and that you have a solution for it.
Our hope is to help you bootstrap your business this season, finding ways to turn obstacles into opportunities. From using video for business, educating yourself about sales and marketing, or strengthening your presence online, we can help. What's holding you back?!