If you’ve ever held any interest whatsoever regarding DJing, you’ve probably seen or heard of the site ‘Digital DJ Tips’. Joey Santos happens to be the managing editor for the platform, and recently he dropped a few gems on the process of working from home, something he’s been doing for the past seven years – an experience he’s described as nothing short of challenging. Here are his 6 biggest takeaways:
1. Set office hours – When you don’t have a commute and a workplace to enter, boundaries blur. If you’re an 8-5er, you’ll either end up working more because no one’s stopping you, or you end up working less because no one’s monitoring you.
Try to maintain your existing work routine and take your usual lunch and afternoon breaks, and when it’s time to “leave the office”, make sure you mentally disconnect from work too. Keep weekends free from work (as much as possible).
2. Don’t work from bed – This will mess you up and your mental health more than anything. If possible, have a set area in your home where you will do work, and don’t bring work into bed whether that’s through a laptop or your phone.
Getting used to working from bed will create a mental connection with your bed and work, which will wreak havoc on your ability to fall asleep. This is how I developed really bad sleeping habits the past decade and terrible insomnia.
3. Have weekly catch-ups with your team – Use Zoom or Skype when possible instead of typing in Slack or a Viber / WhatsApp group. This is especially true for more difficult and sensitive conversations with co-workers.
If you’re working with a partner, try to make that catch-up daily so you can maintain your communication routine.
4. Bring up problems immediately – The longer you procrastinate, the longer it takes to fix. If it’s your fault, own up to it and offer solutions. If it’s not your fault, bring it up with the other person or your team privately, and don’t blame him/her in the public chat.
The old office adage applies here: “Praise in public, criticize in private.”
5. Be direct in your communications – Since you aren’t in the same room as the person you’re talking to, a LOT of social cues get lost in the mix and it’s ridiculously easy to misunderstand the other person and get offended over something the other person didn’t even mean.
Passive aggressiveness causes the greatest communication breakdowns in work from home situations, and leads to deep resentment among teams. If you’re the type who does this (was guilty of this myself) make a conscious effort to talk straight with those you work with, and don’t be afraid to confront the other person in private if needed.
6. Cultivate empathy – Working online with a team requires a different communication style that benefits greatly from being direct, but it’s also crucial to understand where your teammates are coming from. Since you don’t see them in person, it’s hard to tell what’s going on in their personal lives, so a bit of empathy and care goes a long way.
This is probably the single most important takeaway you’ll get from this list because believe me, you’ll run into tons of frustrations in a work from home situation. Being a bit more understanding helps a lot!
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