Published on August 11th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
Chicago’s Thomas Kane shares 5 work from home strategies to keep business running smoothly
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure or limited operations of companies of all sizes in Arizona and across the U.S., most if not many people across the business landscape have been working from home. Everyone in some way has felt the deep impact the crisis has had on enterprises of all types.
Thomas Kane, a longtime wealth manager and philanthropist in Chicago, is one of the many professionals who’ve had to shift gears and work from home. In his position as an executive at a major firm, he’s found it both comfortable and productive to work from his home office, citing the efficiency he’s been able to maintain and the productivity he’s been able to enjoy.
Excelling at conducting business from home is not easy, but it is definitely doable if you have the proper set-up and strategies in place. From saving money on office space to eliminating commute time, Chicago’s Thomas Kane passes these strategies on to others who want to run a business from home for the foreseeable future.
Structure your day
Create a structure that mimics what you had in the workplace. Structure your day so in the morning you spend the first hour or two writing emails and making phone calls so you don’t forget to do it later. Now that he’s working from his Chicago home, Thomas Kane notes that his recent experiences have given him a great new perspective on what can be accomplished from those early morning hours.
Small space doesn’t mean less productivity:
Thomas Kane of Chicago cites the millions of Americans who now own and operate independent businesses and says that it’s very possible to run a successful business from your home office. According to Kane, many people might be surprised by how many major companies actually began as home-based businesses that grew and expanded far beyond the small corner of the room in which they started. In his case, he’s seen it firsthand with clients who started their companies with a good idea and the bare minimum of amenities in their homes and apartments.
Install the proper office equipment:
The key, says Kane, is to have everything you need right at your fingertips. In today’s environment that includes a desk, a chair, one or more computers, a phone, a filing system, and whatever office supplies you’d routinely use. What you want to do is create a work space in which you’ll feel comfortable, especially if your work dictates that you be at your desk for long hours at a time. He notes that people who live in warm, sunny states like Arizona, California and Florida often have sun porches or poolside patios that create relaxing environments for working from home, which can be helpful if the work itself is stressful or if you’re a high-energy person.
He says it’s also important to have a dedicated space that’s reasonably quiet, private and conducive to creativity and results-focused thinking. One thing you don’t want to deal with is a constant flow of interruptions, which can frustrate the business owner as well as the client, if you’re on the phone a lot of the time.
Because everyone’s time is valuable, you need to consider that an important client on the other end of the phone isn’t always going to be patient if the call is interrupted once, not to mention several times. Building and maintaining business relationships requires focusing on your customer and his or her needs, and that includes ensuring that all relationships are maintained professionally. Your customer is paying you good money, so you need to always let that person know that he or she is top-of-mind.
Keep track of your goals and objectives:
Many people working from home find it helpful to have a whiteboard nearby. What’s good about having a white board — or other messaging system — says Kane is that you can use them to create and monitor your objectives and deadlines, write reminder messages and jot ideas that you want to keep in a “parking lot” for later use. They’re also very good for roughing out process flowcharts and sales and marketing strategies. If you have it in a place that’s immediately visible, says Kane, you’ll always be reminded about what needs to be done.
One thing that Chicago’s Thomas Kane says is extremely important for the busy at-home worker is a fast, reliable and secure Internet connection. While much business is conducted via cell phones in today’s agile and mobile culture, you’ll find yourself frequently emailing. You’ll also need to continuously send and receive files. It’s how all business is transacted today, so make sure you have what you need from a technical perspective, from computers, a good router and a modem.
Use an Internet service provider that’s known for providing fast, efficient and trouble-free service. Kane says most ISPs today offer service plans for small businesses, and that many of them are very cost-effective. He suggests shopping around for bargains, since it’s a competitive market. Also, check out the numerous software packages and mobile apps that are available today. They bring new efficiencies to everything from planning and bookkeeping to customer relationship management (CRM). A good CRM app can really be helpful in your customer relationship-building, and they’re very popular right now.
Finally, Kane says, don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by working at home. In many ways, you need to be even more motivated that you would be in an office. In the home environment you’re more comfortable and you’re likely dressed more casually as well. But you’re also in your place of relaxation, so it’s important to get yourself into “business mode” so you have the most productive mindset as you start your day.