Do you agree with the statement “I am a product of my environment”? We do!
Your environment can set the tone for mood, productivity, and overall happiness. If your industry has moved to the new work-from-home-set up, is it making you feel anxious or excited?
As Event Planners, we work in many different environments, venues, and situations and our job is to adapt and excel in any situation. As event planners, we are conditioned to expect the unexpected and then react positively to solve it and the same holds true in our current situation.
As the Connect Dot team quickly adjusted to a new norm of working from home, we adapted and learned new ways to continue to be successful, to stay connected with our clients and to advance our skills with events virtually all while social distancing.
What we are learning as a team is that it is important to set your surroundings up for success! We prepare for every detail of an event and it’s what are doing today when managing our home offices. Staying in control of your surroundings is a key factor to setting you up for success and here are 10 tips on how to maintain control while working from home:
- Dress for Success
You don’t have to put on a skirt or suit, but waking up and following your morning routine is a simple step that makes any home office feel more like a real office and helps to remind yourself that you are meant to be productive. This also helps with those surprise video calls from your boss!
- Create a Dedicated Workspace
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock —creating barriers between work and your personal life. Consider things that will make your home office more productive, including a comfortable chair, table/desk and private space away from distractions. These aspects also help you maintain professionalism during video conference calls. Remember, you will be more inclined to stay working if you set a space that is motivating and comfortable.
- Identify what needs to get done… and do it!
Just like when you are at your office, create a plan for daily tasks and set your work hours. It won’t matter how many times you get interrupted by unavoidable home distractions (like kids) you will be motivated to complete your to-do list by the end of the day. As event planners with multiple projects, deadlines, and tasks, we utilize a task management platform called ASANA to plan, organize, and execute the work that needs to get done. This is also a great way to measure your productivity and make adjustments to your environment as necessary to ensure all your tasks and projects are advancing! Believe us when we say – nothing feels better than checking things off your list!
- Connect with Your Team
Working from home does not have to mean isolation. Our team uses applications such as Zoom and Google Hangouts to stay connected! Google Hangouts is great for daily check-ins as it is integrated into our email platform. It has text-based chat, video conferencing and screen share options. Zoom is great for more formalized meetings and project sharing. Staying connected helps to keep everyone motivated and creates support within the team.. We can all admit that our offices are filled with laughter and storytelling in between all the hard work… creating that environment at home is equally as important!
- Use the Cloud
Cloud computing allows you to work wherever and from whatever device you have that can access the Internet without the need of a jump-drive. Instead of saving your data on a portable storage disk, saving it online allows team members to access it anywhere with the internet. As event planners with multiple clients and thousands of files, we use google drive, a cloud-based service that provides us with amazing storage of information to avoid files buried in emails and enhances productivity and collaboration! Everyone can access and can manipulate the data in one safe place.
- Manage a Calendar
Set your hours, schedule meetings and stay engaged with your team. Managing your calendar will not only motivate you but help communicate your availability. We adamantly use Google Calendars to plan our days and weeks. We also ensure to use the notifications, so we can be confident that nothing is ever forgotten and no appointment is missed, plus the shared calendar feature allows us to see what a colleague has lined up and when we can find a spare time to meet. It’s a great way to organize your time. If you’re not a pro at managing your digital calendar, now is the time to start!
- Take a Break
Take a lunch break, coffee break or just step outside. Breaks improve focus and happiness. Creating a routine will help your body stay healthy and reduce over-working. Energize your mind and body with food and fresh air to ensure you’re prepared to complete your to-do list!
- Build a Transition Out of Work
After a long day of work, it feels great to get into your car and turn up your favourite music, helping to destress from a long workday and mentally prepare for a nightly routine. Normally, you would never go from a long meeting straight to making dinner – your brain doesn’t have time to hit the reset button, which can lead to being less present in your personal life. Give yourself something that will signal the end of a workday and serve as a buffer. When the day is done, turn up your music, take your dog for a walk or anything that will help you decompress!
- Finally, Take Charge
Now is the time to exercise autonomy! It is crucial to be responsible for your own time and tasks as you work from home. It’s important to communicate and understand the needs of your workplace and your own needs. Research tools and reach out to others that you could learn from (we are always happy to connect!). Controlling your environment is the first step to controlling your success. Build your path to success.
“Let advanced worrying become advanced thinking and planning.” – Winston Churchill