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Remember to S.M.I.L.E. When Working from Home
Since the end of March, millions of Americans have been ordered to stay at home. If you aren’t used to working remotely, the transition can leave you feeling somewhat frustrated. If you add school-aged children to the mix, your work from home dynamics can become even more complicated. So how can you continue to serve your clients and manage your business? Stay positive and remember to S.M.I.L.E.
S – Safety and Security First
First and foremost, the safety of your clients, your staff, and your family are of the utmost importance. Be sure to follow mandated orders to keep everyone safe and healthy. Security is also a top priority. Protecting your clients’ personally identifiable information from cybersecurity threats starts with ensuring your PC or laptop meets the minimum system requirements established by your broker-dealer. All technology vendors should also be approved. Be sure to have anti-virus and anti-malware programs installed and run vulnerability assessments regularly. Turn on automatic updates for Windows and do not allow browsers to remember your login information for tools you access online.
M – Meet Your Clients Online
Client engagement does not have to cease once your office doors are locked. Utilize online meeting tools to continue to engage your clients virtually. GotoMeeting and GotoWebinar offer a multitude of features to stay connected with your clients, both one-on-one or with a group. Keep it professional by wearing attire your clients are accustomed to seeing you wear at the office. When on camera, be sure your face is well lit and the background they see is organized and visually appealing. It’s best to test out your camera, speaker, and microphone before holding any meetings or webinars.
I – Implement New Technology or Support Services
If there is ever a time to maximize your resources, it’s when you work from home. While working in a new environment, you may find new ways to utilize the systems, tools, and partners you already have in place. Several advisor solutions are currently offering freebies to new and existing users to help you navigate our new normal. Additionally, you might find it helpful to use virtual assistants, as the number of calls or emails you receive may be increased during this time. This, and other tasks, can be outsourced so that you can focus on other things. Now’s the time to connect with partners and explore new and better ways to get work done.
L – Log Your Time
Two likely scenarios can occur when you work from home. You might end up distracted and become less productive. Alternatively, you could be less distracted and end up working longer hours. Neither is good. If you are easily distracted by household chores or other home life interests, keep a record of all your activities throughout the day and how long you spent doing each. Logging your time will provide you with more clarity on where your time is going. Establish a routine and set daily goals. Cross off the more difficult goals first.
If you find you are working more hours than usual, set your alarm to take a few scheduled breaks during the day. For your mental health and to avoid work-from-home burnout, it’s important to step away from your desk and get your body moving! Do a 15-minute online yoga class, enjoy lunch with your family, go for a walk, or anything else that helps you to feel refreshed!
E – Ergonomics Matter
Don’t ignore workplace ergonomics! Prolonged work in an office setup that is not conducive to your health can result in musculoskeletal disorders. Your laptop or PC should be approximately at eye level, so that you don’t strain your neck looking up or down. Sitting all day is no good either. Invest in an adjustable desktop that can pop up when you feel you’ve been sitting for too long. EHS Today recently published an article with an expansive list of ergonomic tips, which you can view here.
While we are all on the same journey, we are not in the same boat. No matter what obstacle you may face while working remotely, Financial Advocates is here to help you find a solution during our new normal and beyond.