For association board members or directors, it becomes essential to have proper communication and productivity in a virtual or remote setting with your association leaders or volunteers.
If you are an association leader or a volunteer who is not used to working remotely, here are some helpful tips to navigate your workday. Adopting some easy ways to ensure your remote workday runs smoothly.
Start Your Workday at the Same Time Every Day
It is important to establish a routine at the beginning of every day. Starting your day at the same time every day creates consistency and helps you get into the right frame of mind for work. Your morning routine should include all the things you would typically do before commuting to the office: take a shower, dress in your everyday work clothes, have breakfast, and take a few minutes to yourself before starting your workday.
Create a productive and structured work environment
As cliché as this tip may be, one of the main steps to achieving work-life balance is focusing on one task at a time. Avoid distractions by keeping your workspace tidy, quiet, and clean. We suggest you set aside specific amounts of time for different activities and set reminders on your calendar, so you do not forget an appointment or task. Some association leaders also find it helpful to block distractions during these periods by turning off notifications and closing other apps on their devices. Creating a to-do list will help you track what needs to be done and when! This will help prevent you from forgetting important details or leaving out vital information in each section of your task.
Take Breaks and Move Around
Take breaks regularly to avoid the monotony of sitting at your desk all day. While you might not be able to get up and walk around a traditional office to grab a coffee or chat with a colleague, it is still important to move your body throughout the day—even if it is just standing up from time to time or stretching out your arms.
If possible, schedule a lunch break away from your computer. Go outside for a quick walk around the block before returning to work. Getting out cannot be understated, especially since association leaders or volunteers often stay indoors all day; walking around the block or having lunch at a park is a great way to refresh your mind and get out of your workspace.
Sit Properly and Use Proper Posture
When you are working from home, it can be difficult to maintain proper posture. It is easy to spend all day sitting at your desk with poor alignment, but that can lead to various issues, from chronic back pain to neck strain. To avoid these problems:
- Sit in a chair that supports your back and keep your feet on the floor! When sitting in front of your computer or laptop, try using a footrest if possible so that you are not slouching and putting undue pressure on the discs in your lower spine.
- Get up regularly! Even if this means only walking over to make tea or grabbing a glass of water, ensure you are moving around to help prevent stiffness caused by sitting too long without movement.
The benefits of exercise include increased energy levels, improved sleep, healthier digestion and metabolism, and a sense of well-being that can be difficult to come by when working from home. Exercise also helps improve your mood and reduce stress levels. You must find an activity you enjoy so you do not feel like it is a chore. Some association leaders recommend walking or running outside in the fresh air; others like going for walks with their dogs.
Create daily habits that keep you healthy and productive.
Establishing daily habits that keep you healthy, productive, and inspired would be best. These include:
- establishing a routine,
- having a workspace that is comfortable and relaxing,
- having a healthy diet and exercise routine in place,
- taking breaks throughout the day to recharge your energy levels, and
- getting outside for some fresh air, at least once per day (if possible), and
- setting aside time at the end of the day for some downtime.
There are many ways association leaders and volunteers can remain productive while working from home. By taking the time upfront to plan and set expectations, you create a successful work environment that is both productive and enjoyable.
To learn how to work remotely as a team efficiently, read my colleague’s article Creating Successful Virtual Environments for Association Leaders.