Salespeople nationwide are working from home for the next few weeks to quarantine themselves from the coronavirus until the spread is less of a threat to public health. For many of these salespeople, working from home isn’t something they do often and it can be a difficult adjustment to switch environments so dramatically. Rebecca White, writing for HubSpot, offers salespeople stuck at home some advice on how to continue to knock sales out of the park, even when working remotely.
Stick to Your Routine
Working from home can tempt some salespeople into changing up their schedule. They’ll tell themselves it won’t hurt to sleep in a little later if they make up the time at the end of the day. Sweatpants may quickly take the place of slacks or even jeans and meals can fade into random snacking sessions throughout work hours. This may seem relaxing at first, but these salespeople will quickly realize that they’re losing their control over their motivation. If you act the way you normally do at home during work hours, where’s the motivation to focus on work? Sure, you can sleep in during the time it would’ve taken you to commute to work, but otherwise, maintain your schedule. Get up, change into something other than your pajamas, and stick to your work schedule. The separation from lazing around will help keep your motivation high.
Designate a Workspace
On that same note, you need to assign a space that is for work only. If you stay in bed, you may be tempted to take a quick nap. Working from the couch can lead to having the TV on in the background, which will capture your full attention more often than you may realize. Pick a space away from the spots where you usually relax at home and you’ll be more likely to stay in a work-focused mindset.
The one healthy distraction in an office setting is the occasional chat with coworkers to catch up on the events of the evening or weekend or to discuss a mutually favorite team or show. These little breaks from work keep your morale up. Working from home, especially if you live alone, can seem more draining than working in an office because you don’t get those short breaks unless you purposefully seek them out. If you don’t realize that going into working remotely, you’ll not only quickly burn out without potentially fully understanding why, but you’ll also get lonely. Don’t hesitate to instant message, email, or text a coworker or friend to take a small break from your work. Overall, that time will help keep your performance up.
Don’t Forget You’re Not Alone
Your coworkers, managers, etc. may not be right down the hall from you at this time, but they’re still able and willing to help you any time you need it. You just need to reach out and ask for aid. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a certain project or have questions about a sale that’s in progress, use the same methods you’ve been utilizing to socialize to ask for help. Don’t put off asking for fear that you’ll seem lazy while at home. Your coworkers are familiar with your work ethic and will be happy to help you as soon as the need arises rather than waiting to hear from you until the need has become an emergency. Don’t put them or yourself through that. You’re working from home, not condemned to solitude. Reach out.
There are many other factors that can negatively impact your focus while working at home. Noise is one issue that was mentioned in a previous SalesFuel blog post. If you live in a loud part of town or have kids who are also stuck at home trying to entertain themselves while you work, try to claim a room with a door as your workspace. While you’re in there, put on some headphones and turn on some nice background music. Or if you have a white noise machine, that can work just as well.
If you’re a sales manager working from home, your job gets even more complicated. Not only do you have to focus on keeping your own productivity high, you have to make sure your sales team is doing the same. While working remotely a few days a week can positively influence employee engagement, there are some potential issues you have to be prepared for, according to a recent SalesFuel blog post.
If you’re concerned about working from home for an extended period of time, you’re not alone. Many salespeople worry about cabin fever and their productivity levels at times like these. But if you follow the steps and tips suggested by White and previous SalesFuel blog posts, you’ll realize working from home isn’t so bad after all (as long as you have enough toilet paper).