With most US employees currently working from home, remote working has been the new norm for multiple industries around the world. Since it is advantageous for both the employer and the employee, the coming age will see more and more employees getting employed remotely.
However, to maximize your potential and offer your best while working from home, it is essential to follow some basic practices, especially for accounting firms as CPAs deal with tedious calculations and handle complex data. It is necessary to keep certain things in mind to remain focused on work.
Here are a few tips for CPAs to stay more focused while working from home:
1. Practicing Healthy Eating Habits
Do you know that excess sugar can reduce the production of certain brain-derived chemicals? This leads to lesser memory retention and slowed cognitive function. While working from home is indeed a dream come true for all those who love to be free from the office-bound eating restrictions; unhealthy eating habits can cause various health problems like a sudden stomach cramp, irregular bowel movements, frequent headaches, etc.
These health issues impede your productivity, making healthy eating habits an essential practice.
The first step is to make sure that you eat something. While working from home, it is easy to forget your regular eating time and overwork yourself. Reduced food intake results in decreased blood glucose levels causing tiredness and fatigue that ultimately affects your work output. At the same time, excess food makes you weary and cuts down on your efficiency.
Maintaining a perfect balance is key to all problems. Stay hydrated, follow a balanced diet, avoid junk food, and reduce high-sugar intake to curb your unhealthy eating practices.
2. Taking Care Of Your Body
According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain leads to about 264 million workdays getting lost every year. Shocking, isn’t it?
For the accounting industry, whose revenue stems from the number of billable hours generated, such a tremendous loss of workdays can cause a severe setback. While there can be multiple reasons for back pains, most of them are because of neglected spinal health and poor posture. And without a proper daily-life schedule (which is mainly seen while working from home), the likelihood of getting one is almost doubled.
One of the best ways to take care of your spinal health is through exercising regularly. Stick to a schedule that allows you to dedicate considerable time to exercising. Do planks, pushups, situps, crunches, and yoga. These are some of the great exercises for maintaining your spinal health and keeping it healthy.
And when you are working, instead of just reclining on the couch, maintain a proper posture. Avoid extensive bed rest or inactivity, and remember to take mini-breaks while working for stretching. This will prevent your back muscles from overstraining and keep them in good shape.
3. Putting Technology To A Good Use
Although working from home carries its benefits, it is still far from the professional environment experienced in the office space. Rapid communication with your co-workers, interactive brainstorming sessions, efficient workflow management, and managing your customers – these are some of the tasks that are handled better while working in the office.
You may also not bring in the same level of productivity as you did during your office days. So, what to do? The answer lies in the usage of the latest technological advancements. With the right tools, you can recreate your office environment back at your home and enjoy similar productivity levels.
For communicating rapidly with your co-workers, you can use premium video conferencing applications like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. When it comes to spearheading those office meetings, you can go for Limnu, Miro, etc.
There are various quality workflow management solutions like Trello and Asana that help manage your workflow while working from home. And, as for handling your customer, you can use Hubspot CRM, Hubstaff, etc. So, no matter what your needs are, technology is always there to bring the best to you. And don’t forget to host your accounting software such as QuickBooks on cloud to enable your team with remote access features.
4. Being Professional About it
One of the significant issues while working at home is maintaining a professional attitude. Although moving around in those comfortable pajamas is a much better option than wearing those tight office suits, a certain degree of professionalism is still needed when you work from home.
Indulging in unnecessary distractions, spending too much time on your social handles (while having essential tasks at hand), and mismanaged communication with your co-workers can result in unsynchronized meetings, improper communication between team members, reduced team productivity, and delayed deadlines. All these significantly affect your overall work efficiency and call for an excellent professional attitude to avoid it.
Pay attention to your dressing sense when working from home. Since our brains behave according to the input received, wearing nightwear while working may prompt your mind to induce sleep mode, directly affecting your work output.
So, wear clothes that give you the right degree of comfort while keeping your brain proactive. Also, for managing your personal and team tasks, shut out all the distractions so you can focus more and don’t slow your team’s progress.
5. Maintaining a Work-life Balance
Lastly, maintaining a healthy work-life balance. With 91% of business owners wanting to support remote work, coming times hold promises for the Americans looking to work from home. While working from home may help in avoiding several daily life hassles like commuting to the office and costly investments for childcare facilities, it’s still necessary to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
An improperly managed work-life balance can take a severe toll on your mental and physical health, damaging your relations. Also, the intermingling of your personal and professional lives dampens the work output.
Hence, for maintaining a proper work-life balance, several measures should be taken. Firstly, create a to-do list of all the tasks, whether personal or professional and follow it sincerely without leaving things up to the last minute.
Eat healthy foods, and instead of sleeping through that saved commute time, exercise regularly for keeping yourself mentally fresh. Also, keep open communication with your peers and clearly define time slots to interact and schedule meetings with them. This allows you to manage your time and plan things accordingly and efficiently.
Following proper eating habits, working out regularly, and leveraging the technology are ways through which CPAs working from home can stay more focused and improve their overall productivity. Also, a healthy mind and body, coupled with effective time management practices, ensure a perfect work-life balance, improving your efficiency and work output.