How to Work From Home - SiteGround's Easy Guide

Given the current worldwide situation, where most of us had to quickly adapt to fully working from home, we’re posting our company’s guide to full remote work, particularly in a quarantine environment. Sharing is caring! If you have your own working from home tips, go ahead and share them in the comments!

? ? Communication and efficiency when working from home

  • Check in with your manager and team. The main difference between remote and in-person teams is communication. Check in on each other daily on Slack or your internal chat system of choice, even if just to see how it’s going. For brainstorming, strategic conversations, one-on-one meetings, or all-team meetings, video chats work best, so be prepared to use Zoom, Meet, or any other video call software as well. At SiteGround, for example, we started having weekly all-hands video chats, hosted by our co-founder and CEO, that are mostly just to check in with everyone, not strictly work-related.
  • Set up team collaboration slack channels. If you don’t already have a channel dedicated to your own team, set one up. Ongoing chatter and sharing will become more important when everyone is WFH (work from home). 
  • Spend more time clarifying objectives and direction. Communication is often less understood over slack. Double-check that you understand any task you get and its requirements correctly. Specifically align with your manager on what their expectations are, and don’t be afraid to ask questions at any point until you feel certain you understand what’s needed. 
  • Over-communicate status updates. A lot of visibility is lost when you’re not together. Make up for this by over-communicating updates, even when you think it might not be necessary. 
  • Build trust, rapport and reliability. If you can’t deliver something on time or have doubts/issues, communicate early and proactively. 
  • Your time and attention is everything. In a situation where writing communication will increase, it’s important to set work rules and hours in which to focus on your own tasks. When you’re working remotely, communicating this in a clear manner is crucial: set the corresponding status in Slack (or any internal comms system that you use) or disable notifications altogether. For some things, quiet time is better. For brainstorming, strategic conversations, tough conversations, one-on-one meetings, or all-team meetings, video chats work best.

?? Keep rocking! (online)

  • Culture doesn’t build in the same way as in the office. Мake an effort to engage with your teammates online, as you would have done in the office, be proactive about suggesting online team or home activities to do at the same time – anything that you think would lift your team spirit.
  • Tone doesn’t always translate in writing. Working remotely oftentimes means 95% of your communication will be written, so whenever possible use emojis to help convey your tone and intent ?. A good GIF gives you double points.
  • Consider daily calls with your teammates. Get together online as a team more than you normally would. Have lunch or an afternoon coffee with a colleague using Zoom, Slack calls, or Google Hangout.

 ?? Wellness – combating isolation

  • Try to follow a regular work schedule. Part of maintaining your productivity when you’re working from home means keeping the same mindset as if you were going to the office. So don’t overwork, or stay late, and change out of those pyjamas!
  • Take 5: be sure to take clear breaks away from your working area during the day. Have a look outside, do a quick exercise routine or even a little dance! Setting aside some time to get fresh air and a bit of exercise can go a long way in keeping you focused and healthy!
  • Avoid constantly checking the news and only seek information to take practical steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Set specific times just once or twice a day to check the news, the constant stream of information about an outbreak can cause you to feel worried or overwhelmed, and this does not help anyone.
  • Quarantine is not synonymous with isolation – while we encourage you to avoid congested areas and limit exposure, taking a walk in the park on your own, or even a brief cup of coffee on the balcony is still OK, as long as you don’t touch anything, and keep your distance from other people. 
  • Create and take advantage of online chat channels where you can just joke or blow off steam. A #watercooler channel is a good example. You could start or join a channel for all the #bookworms on your team. Why not even start a book club, like we have at SiteGround? You could also start sharing your home-made food masterpieces (or fails) in a #foodies channel, like we do on the SiteGround team. These are all great ways to stay connected and to get to know your awesome teammates better!
  • Your social circle is still there for you – call your friends, family, and relatives every day. Now you have no “it’s too busy at the office” excuse!

❤️ Remember to appreciate each other

SiteGround’s 16th Birthday is on March 22nd this year. Although we can’t celebrate with our team in the office, like we were going to, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge how lucky we are to have each other! We have seen troubles together before, even though not as tough as this time, but we can still stick together, even when we are apart, help each other, be kind, and learn from this. Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll get through this.

Dima Peteva

Head of Brand and Culture

Dima is leading all brand initiatives at SiteGround, where she started as one of our first team members way back in 2004. Since then, she has played a key role in different departments starting with Billing, Project Management, and Marketing. She’s witnessed the company grow from a handful of people to 600+ team members and more than 2 million domains hosted today. When she’s not leading the creative efforts at SiteGround, you can find her organising the local CreativeMornings chapter or taking her one-year-old Vizsla dog on a long walk.

Community

Comments ( 11 )

John Harding

Mar 22, 2020

Want to use Adobe Golive with SiteGround - any info appreciated. Thanks

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 23, 2020

It's a wysiwyg editor for HTML so it should work without any problems. However, I'd recommend using something more modern to build your site like WordPress for example :)

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Iva

Mar 23, 2020

Thanks Dima. Lots of good advice there. I'd add in more one-to-one meetings on Zoom. It's so much easier to understand things when you can hear the tone of someone's voice, and/or see their face, especially when you don't know people that well. I've been working remotely now for three years, and this is my top-tip!

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Dima Peteva Siteground Team

Mar 24, 2020

Thanks, Iva! Yes, absolutely. I've personally witnessed the shift in my team's attitude towards Zoom calls now that we switched to full remote work. To quote one of my colleagues in the marketing team on our Zoom call this morning, "When Zoom meetings are Life". Hope your work week goes splendidly!

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Lami Godlove

Mar 24, 2020

Thank you Dima, I'm blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. It's a smart decision choosing Siteground for hosting my clients' websites. The experience here is just a vortex

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Dima Peteva Siteground Team

Mar 24, 2020

Thanks, Lami! We're all very lucky to have each other and be able to stay connected in these times. Wishing all the best to you and your clients!

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Jain Lemos

Mar 25, 2020

A very kind and helpful message, Dima. Wishing SiteGround a belated Happy 16th, too!

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Dima Peteva Siteground Team

Mar 26, 2020

Thank you, Jain, we really do hope it's helpful! And for the wishes - so nice of you!

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Gerald

Mar 25, 2020

I am pleased that SiteGround has supported their employees as this time. I assume that reasonable adjustments have been made for those colleagues who need them. As someone who provided technical support for a major bank for many years, mostly from home for personal reasons, I wholeheartedly agree with your approach. The employee usually knows what is expected of them and just needs to keep the communication up. Also, there may be a temptation to work too long! Be aware of your own health.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 26, 2020

Thanks Gerald! We all hope that this will soon be over. Technically, we don't have major issues at the moment but people are used to hang out together, go to the office, etc. I think it's the breaks from work that most are missing rather than anything else :) Personally, the staying home prevents me from going to the gym, which is great excuse because I had to think of different ones back when there was no outbreak :) Stay safe!

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Dima Peteva Siteground Team

Mar 26, 2020

Such a great point, Gerald! We started seeing this on our first week, people checking and answering emails outside of their work hours, so we quickly stepped in. We're now setting up lots of leisure time options for the team to engage in remotely - from online game nights, a StayFit challenge to do at home, and a bookclub! Very kind and considerate of you, I hope you're taking good care of yourself as well!

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