It is now almost mandatory around the globe to stay at home. And work from home. Not everyone can work from home. For those that can, here a few tools and tips to get started…
Zoom Video – Next Best to Live Meetings
Zoom Meetings are high quality, easy to use and inexpensive. They have a free version. You can chat one on one for an unlimited length of time. Group meetings of up to 100 participants are limited to 40 minutes. You can re-start the meeting right away if needed though.
We recently added Zoom Phones. They have been more reliable than regular cell phone lines. “Sorry all circuits are busy now. Please try your call later” – is the constant refrain.
With Zoom phones you call out from your cell phone or your computer. You can also switch over to a video call with a button click. You can add more calls and or transfer calls to other Team members.
Ensure that everyone working from home has high bandwidth. Zoom works best with good bandwidth.
That said, it does have incredible technical quality even on lower bandwidth.
With Zoom, you can see all of your Team on video. People can be muted if there is a lot of background noise. You can share your screen. Others can be given mouse control. You can allow them to share their screen.
It is super efficient and will increase your productivity.
The ability to see your Team’s faces is the next best thing to being live. The quality is so great you will forget you are even on video!
Our Team uses WhatsApp for messaging. Yeah, yeah, I know Facebook owns them and that is a deal killer for some people.
WhatsApp is great for these reasons:
- Conversations are encrypted end-to-end
- You see when a message was received on the recipient’s end (2 gray ticks)
- You see when they read your message (the 2 ticks turn blue)
- You see when they start typing a response
- You can set up any number of groups you like
Why is this important? On texts, none of the above is true. There is no encryption (insecure). You don’t see when the person got your text. You don’t see when they read your text. You cannot chat in groups.
You can use WhatsApp on your phone or your computer.
Oh, and it is free. Get’s WhatsApp.
Get Your Books in the Cloud – Now!
Having all your accounting done in the cloud means:
- You can approve bills online
- You can check your bank balance online
- You can keep your books up-to-date daily with online bank feeds
- You can get your customers to pay you online
- You can pay your suppliers online
- Vendors can send their bills online
- You can do all your payroll and deposit cheques to your employees online
In short, you do not need to receive or write cheques and you will be paperless.
Schedule Regular Team Meetings
Make sure to over-communicate with your Team. Check in frequently.
Meet on Zoom. You will want to gauge their mood. How are they doing? What are their expressions?
This will keep the Team energy and mood high.
Schedule weekly calls. Have a weekly checkout on Fridays. How is everyone doing? Leave them in a good way for the coming weekend.
Ideal Home Office Setup
For your home office I recommend 2 screens. You can buy inexpensive USB monitors that plug into your laptop. They do not need a separate power source. My favorite is Asus Zen Screens. They have 3 models – basic, battery operated, and touch screen.
Make sure you have a good camera in your laptop. If not, order a stand-alone camera that can clip onto your monitor.
A mic is important. Make sure to get a good headset. It is irritating having a Zoom call with someone with a bad headset. You either cannot hear them or they cannot hear you!
If you can, try to set up a separate workspace in your home. If not carve out the best space in your living room, dining room or bedroom. I recommend separating your workspace with a curtain if possible.
Make sure to have a good cell phone with a good camera and battery life. You can use Zoom meetings on your cell phone.
You can get online yoga and exercise classes to stay fit.
One tool I love (have been using them for years) are Bodylastic bands. They are the best bands on the market. They simply attach to a door frame. You can have as good a workout as with weights!
Go for walks. Meditate. Pray. Read great books. Be kind to loved ones. Everyone’s nerves can get frayed being cooped up all day – especially kids…
Reach out to me anytime for tips on creating a great workspace and on how to stay in close communication with your Team. We have been doing it for 20 years. We are experts.
Thanks for reading…