Thank You, Class of 2020

To our St. Augustine High School Class of 2020 interns:

Nobody could have predicted how this year would go. In January, we were discussing the future and teaching work ethics and helping you all gain a little knowledge of the workplace. You all accepted the challenges we gave you and tackled them head-on. Not once did any of you turn down a job assignment, even though you didn’t have the experience.

You asked questions, gained your knowledge, and proceeded to succeed in your tasks. Now, you face different challenges going forward. Corrao Group has the utmost faith that you will all take these challenges presented to you, examine them, and come to a determination on how best to succeed given those obstacles.

We congratulate Griffin Miller, TJ Roeder, Jonathan Bonanno, and Noah Shroeder as you enter the next phase in your lives. Remember good work ethics are important in school as well. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! We expect to see great things from you Saintsmen!

Griffin Miller – Texas Christian University (TCU)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Bonanno – Point Loma Nazarene University

 

 

 

 

 

 

TJ Roeder – Emory University

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noah Schroeder – University of Dallas

Manufacturing Cloud: Struggling with Dated Collections?

The invoicing process of today is primarily based around manual work that requires chasing down payments. Companies start to live in the vicious cycle of Accounts Receivable (AR), continually having to follow up with the majority of their outstanding invoices.

We created EZ-AR™ to help companies utilize automated and tracked emails within custom-flexible journeys that react to the recipient’s behavior. It automatically follows up with your customers until payment is received and allows for a real-time view into the customer’s digital interactions.

It’s essential to dive into the pain points that are slowing your AR agents down.

Pain Points

It’s a familiar story for AR agents. They manually scanning paper, type in the information, and then print and sign paper checks. The invoice gets sent to the black hole of customer communication and results in the customer taking days, sometimes weeks, to pay the invoice. AR agents spend most of their time chasing down their clients for payments via emails and phone calls.

Now repeat that process for 10, 100, or 1,000 invoices. It’s no wonder why the industry average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) is 42 days. Traditional AR methods are no longer efficient, and the archaic manual processes of AR are slowing down your team with the labor-intense and time-consuming process of collection. We created EZ-AR™; to digitize and automate the archaic business process of AR methods while allowing the required staff 100% visibility via the Salesforce platform.

EZ-AR™ Solution

Corrao Group developed EZ-AR™, the first AR solution built on the Salesforce platform that automates the soul-draining process of collecting invoices. Break beyond the traditional AR processes and quickly generate and send invoices while utilizing the tracking capabilities in Salesforce and Pardot. With your AR automated, you can reduce up to 12 hours per agent per month and reduce your average DSO up to 50%. Reports and dashboards in Salesforce track your invoices by status, expected pay date, and more to keep you updated.

Collection help with EZ-AR

The NEW AR Process

EZ-AR™ is a simple automated process for AR agents. Quickly generate the invoice within Salesforce, along with the necessary data being pulled from the quote or bill associated with the account. The time of completion for producing an invoice with EZ-AR should be no longer than 2 minutes.

Once the invoice is generated, the AR agent can select an automated journey that tracks invoicing activity from the client’s account. If they don’t take any action, you can manually, or automatically, elevate this invoice or choose another automated journey to intervene.

Throughout the journey, the EZ-AR™ users will be able to view all of the invoicing activity, which includes: if they opened the email or not, if they have paid, if they entered an expected payment date, and if they have downloaded the invoice. AR agents are no longer at the mercy of the client’s reporting. Instead, they now have all the control over the client because they have high-level visibility into the clients’ activities taken on the invoice. The process of EZ-AR™ allows the agents to eliminate the traditional guessing methods of Accounts Receivable transactions.

Quicker payment terms help the company retain a low DSO, and the consistency of EZ-AR™ alleviates cash flow related issues.

Manufacturing Cloud

EZ-AR™ is only available for purchase with Salesforce’s new Manufacturing Cloud. Manufacturing Cloud takes the current pain points of the manufacturing industry and turns it into an experience that is flexible in reacting to the customer’s ever-changing demands. Read more about how manufacturing cloud could help your company here:

Please visit our website if you want to learn more about how EZ-AR™ can change your AR processes positively.

WFH? Invest in Salesforce

Successfully running a company from home requires the right culture, employees, procedures, and maybe most importantly, technology. Some businesses who haven’t invested in a cloud-computing software such as Salesforce have been having a hard time adjusting to working from home. Salesforce is a cloud-based software that provides customer relationship management (CRM) and a suite of apps that go along with sales, service, marketing automation, and more. Salesforce becomes your central location to store all your important data, accounts, and deals. With a newly designed mobile app, take work on the go and be just as productive as you were on your computer. This allows businesses to run their entire company within Salesforce, supporting all departments with real-time data.

Managing Your Sales Pipeline with Sales Cloud

Sales Cloud is a customer relationship platform (CRM) designed to support sales and marketing by bringing all your customer data into one central location. Leverage Sales Cloud to manage and automate day-to-day sales activities including lead assignments, quote generation, forecasting, Einstein Analytics, and more. Additionally, your sales staff will have full visibility into every deal, account, opportunity, customer, and lost deals. Sales Cloud workflows and task automation help you create tasks and a process to help speed up your sales cycle. When implemented correctly, Sales Cloud helps save you time and builds long-lasting customers.

Servicing Your Customers with Service Cloud

Service Cloud is a customer relationship service platform designed to help you manage customer support issues quicker and increase first-visit resolution. With historical data on every customer interaction, your team can personalize your service based on their problems and history. Additionally, Service Cloud offers a multitude of tools to help you meet the needs of your customers. Some extensions for Service Cloud include: Field Service Lightning (FSL), Knowledge Base, Web2Case, Email2Case, and Customer Analytics. When implemented correctly, Service Cloud can improve customer communication, enable team collaboration, and give you full visibility into the health of your customer base.

Automated Lead Nurturing with Pardot

Pardot is a marketing automation platform designed to help companies engage leads and customers, support sales with qualified leads, and grow relationships. According to Salesforce, “Customers have seen sales revenue increase by 34% and marketing effectiveness increase by 37%” with Pardot (Pardot.com). Pardot gives you the ability to personalize your customer’s journey wit automated campaigns, targeted messaging, and predictive intelligence. Additionally, design and create email templates, content, landing pages, and more inside of Pardot. If you would like to learn more about Pardot, please visit our blog.

A Complete 360-View for Manufacturers with Manufacturing Cloud

Manufacturing Cloud gives manufacturers full visibility into their entire business operations. Manufacturing Cloud extends benefits to all your partners to collaborate across the same forecast order and demand data in one single source of truth. New features such as sales agreements gives manufacturers insights into committed and actual order volumes, performance against the forecast, and other time-phased metrics. Forecasting gives manufactures the ability to take control of their business with smarter business decisions based on analytics. If you would like to learn more about Manufacturing Cloud, please read the blogs below:

Virtual Collaboration with Quip

Quip provides your team with a messaging collaboration platform that helps transform productivity and resolves issues faster. Provide your team with the ability to create, discuss, and work faster with real-time documents, spreadsheets, and data that connects inside of Salesforce. With full integration, your employees will no longer have to work together in multiple systems. Quip becomes your central location to collaborate with other employees on deals, documents, and more. Furthermore, Quip has a mobile app to view, update, and work on the road.

Maximize your Salesforce Investment

Since 2002, our Salesforce experience has benefited thousands of clients and projects. We understand how flexible the Salesforce platform is and how it supports every department in your business. The key to maximizing your Salesforce investment is to implementing the platform company-wide. If your business is struggling to work from home without a cloud-based technology, it’s time to invest in a technology like Salesforce.

Work From Home Spotlight: Paul Mobley

Today we’re highlighting the first guest of our Work From Home spotlight series: Paul Mobley. Paul leads sales and legal operations at Ephesoft, a tech company in Irvine, CA. “I have always worked where I’ve needed to work,” he mentioned before explaining that he’s worked at multiple WeWork locations, traditional corporate offices, conference rooms, hotel rooms, and from home. A flexible attitude is what makes working from home, and ultimately anywhere, not a large hassle for Paul.

Staying Connected With The Team

Paul says he’s been more communicative than ever before, utilizing many different tools such as Google Hangouts, Salesforce Chatter, and Zoom to keep in touch. His team used this technology before COVID-19, so there was no additional learning curve. He uses whichever communication method is preferable for the situation and the other people’s needs. Instant Messaging may be used for something needed immediately, where Zoom meetings are held for higher priority and more complicated topics. Texts and phone calls are not out of the question, they’re still great ways to have conversations and meetings “on the go” and get some fresh air.

“The internet has changed the distance barrier we used to have,” stated Paul. He explains that in the past, most people thought that we’d have more interaction with someone in the same office compared to someone working remotely. Yet, it could easily be the case where we actually interact more with co-workers that are remote. It comes down to who you report to, who is on your team, and/or who reports to you. Regardless of where employees are located, today’s technology allows us to connect within seconds with the ability to screen share and turn on our videos. It doesn’t matter if that person is in the same building or on the other side of the world.

Spending Extra Free Time

Many people who are new to working from home have some extra time on their hands now that they don’t commute to and from the office. Some use the specific time they usually spend in the morning driving to work on other activities such as walking, meditating, reading, listening to the news, sleeping in, the list goes on. Paul doesn’t think of it in a way that it gives him extra time, but that it allows him to allocate his time throughout the day more effectively. He sometimes uses that time early in the morning to get a head start on the day and block out time later in the day for a break to refuel and refresh.

“Taking small risks is like trying new foods. As our palettes change, it gives us more opportunities to try new things.”

This “extra time” also allows us the freedom to try something new. It’s time for employees to step up and take on more responsibility within the company if they have the time. It could be learning more in-depth about other departments’ processes within the company or more about current customers’ needs to see how you can further help them solve business challenges. This time can also be used to recover from a stressful day. Paul also enjoys regular bike rides to clear his head during busy days. Finding your head-clearing activity can help reset when it feels like you’ve been working for too long.

Being Authentic and Developing Closer Relationships With Your Team

Working from home gives employees the ability to show their personality today more than ever before. At the office, we are allowed to have pictures, fun mugs, and other items on our desk, but it’s never as personal as what’s at home. Paul recommends you go into meetings with the mindset of it being held on your terms versus the company’s because it’s in your personal space. You get to choose how public or private you want to be when you attend a meeting from your own home. When meetings are held in the office, it’s standard to wear nicer clothes, have no distractions, etc. At home, the expectations are different and it allows us to show our authentic selves through the clothing we wear, our backgrounds, and our overall presentation. We are only limited by our creativity. For example, sometimes he feels cooped up inside and needs a change of pace. Using wifi on his computer or using the data connection on his phone, Paul has the freedom to roam. Most people on these calls or videos understand this because they may be experiencing similar feelings of being stuck!

“Have fun – you don’t have to work from home, you get to work from home,” said Paul towards the end of our discussion. He mentioned people may not want to lose what they’ve gained while working from home. This could be enjoying a new morning walk routine so much that upon returning to the office, they wake up 20 minutes earlier than usual to walk before heading into the office. It could also include something more substantial, such as a 2-hour mid-day break where employees make up that time later in the evening at home. He doesn’t view working from home as uncomfortable because, “If you live there every day, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It’s only uncomfortable because we haven’t done it before.”

ABOUT EPHESOFT

Ephesoft is the leader in Context-Driven Productivity solutions, helping organizations maximize productivity and fuel their journey towards the autonomous enterprise through contextual content acquisition, process enrichment, and amplifying the value of enterprise data. Customers use this innovative technology to automate any document-based business processes or tasks, improving accuracy, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs. Ephesoft’s focus is to improve enterprise productivity, which results in better customer experiences, more fulfilling careers, and higher business profitability.

Sign up below to hear more from, and even be a part of our work from home series.

Future Impacts of Working From Home

Employees may come back to a very different office from when they were last there. There could be motion-activated doors and voice-activated elevators, fewer desks, or desks that look entirely different. Working from home could be the new norm with organizations being forced to find ways to successfully do so during Covid-19. While a number of companies will return to the office just as they were, many companies are going to begin working remotely because they can. To successfully run a company from home requires the right management, employees, procedures, and technology. The most likely future impacts of companies working from home include different looking office spaces and new germ/virus protection measures.

New Office Designs

No one will feel comfortable on their first day back in the office if they’re sitting within three feet of their coworkers all day. A few sneezes and coughs later from coworkers and employees will spend more time worrying about not getting sick than getting work done. We are going to see a complete remodeling of how office spaces are laid out going forward. Starting at the building’s entry point, automated doors could become everyday normality. Grocery stores have automated doors and we only visit those a couple of times per week, so why are we touching the building’s entry handle multiple times a day?

                                         “6-Foot Office”

Today, open office floor plans are extremely popular. It allows employees to interact easier in a more collaborative effort than in the past. Prior to this were taller cubicles where employees were separated from each other, but could still stand up to speak to their neighbor next door. The cubicles provided a barrier that many people today might want in order to return to work. While these cubicles may take up more space than the current desks, not as many desks may be needed with some of the company working from home. Although, open floor plans will not completely die off. Other organizations, such as Cushman and Wakefield, are keeping open floor plans and adapting the “6 Feet Office” approach to make employees feel safer.

Antibacterial, Germ and Virus Protection

Companies will soon find that not as much space is needed due to some employees working from home, so not as many cubicles are required either. Some may match a shared space office building where their employees do not have a specific desk they sit in each day. An increase in shared desks requires additional safety measures in order for employees to use a desk that could have been used by a sick employee the day prior. Businesses will have to turn to germ and virus protection solutions to provide a clean workspace. Taking things a step further, there are antibacterial bundled solutions made specifically for specific industries – small businesses, doctor/dental, restaurants, education, etc. They can even come into your organization, perform an audit to see where and what employees interact with to then provide solutions that fit your custom environment.

These germ-killing solutions will be critical even beyond desks and into break rooms, conference rooms, individual offices, and other shared spaces. When employees first return to the office, conference rooms may be off-limits, and break rooms may only be visited to grab or store something in the fridge quickly. Companies can make their employees feel more comfortable with door handles, UV lights, and other solutions that reduce 99.9% of germs on surfaces.

What Makes Your Employees More Comfortable?

No matter what companies do to make their employees feel safer upon first returning to work, they’re still going to be uneasy. Even if they were isolated in a recently-disinfected room all day, there’s nothing that will rid them of all their uneasiness. Companies must do whatever it takes to make their employees feel comfortable returning to work. Since each group is different, we encourage companies to ask their own employees what would make them feel more comfortable. Whether it’s office furniture, cleaning products, or new procedures, the requests could range from A-Z. Coastal Health USA offers services to come onsite to your facility to recommend antimicrobial solutions to help reduce germs and viruses at your company.

Tips for Running Your Small Business From Home

The COVID 19 Pandemic has left a number of small business owners braving uncharted waters in regard to their business operations. Every small business owner is dealing with challenges surrounding reports, budgeting, employee satisfaction, and engagement, as well as customer communication.

Larger business owners have been generally able to continue forward without any major organizational shifts due to established infrastructure, discipline, scale of operations, and experience.

Since 2010, small business owners have had the opportunity to develop their operations in a bullish economy. The previous decade was a time for entrepreneurs to chase unprecedented growth.

With this upturn came more opportunists looking to develop their brand. Fast forward to today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed as difficult questions and decisions are being presented.

As a small business owner since 2002, I believe there are some practices that can be implemented to solidify your business operations and brace yourselves to continue moving forward in these uncertain times.

Direct Reports and Budgeting

If you haven’t already done so, bring all your direct reports together. Ask your finance team to provide you detailed cash-flow analysis and the budgets for the current fiscal year as well as any long term initiatives (This pandemic will pass, and the opportunity for organizational growth will present itself again).

The trick here is to look in descending order from your most expensive to the least expensive expense. Don’t chase your staff down and waste valuable time for something you are spending $20-50 on. You want to focus on the thousand-dollar expenses, i.e. 80/20 rule of business.

Lastly, look at your monthly assessment and towards the future. In these times, you might have to go to your vendors or partners to ask if you can pause a contract.

If you’re making a large payment, go back and ask for smaller lump sums. You want to get the lowest cost burn and stretch it out to flexible terms that you are comfortable with.

During these times, humanity’s inherently good characteristics will shine through, and there will be opportunities to further develop existing business relationships.

Communication is Key

It’s essential to get your staff together and let them know that you will be making intelligent decisions with both their interests and the interests of the business at heart. Communicate and meet with your employees weekly to assess their situations in a professional sense, but also in a personal sense.

Engage in discussions about family life, work from home setups, any challenges that have presented themselves to your employees. Remind them that you are available as a resource to them just as much now (if not even more so), as you were before.

Check to see if there is anything that can be provided to them equipment-wise, to allow them to get as close to they were before concerning efficiency and comfort. Maybe they will need an ergonomic desk for a physical condition or equipment to enhance their current work from home environment.

Being transparent and present to employees can provide a sense of comfort and continuity that is invaluable in the current cultural climate.

In-House Projects

While consumer business is slowing down, you need to start analyzing what your staff is doing. Let them know what is expected of them daily and what they need to do to be effectively contributing employees.

A sense of knowledge as to the responsibilities that are to be performed will ensure that there are fewer cases of employees trying to either overextend themselves or avoid work.

What are the other essential in-house tasks you could be doing? One task could be having your employees document and design customer success stories. How about having your marketing team update old content on your website?

Another task that could provide value to your business is cleaning your customer database. A deep clean of your system data will improve your employees production.

One task that is critical is staying connected to our customers. Remind your consumers that you are present and available to them and will continue to operate as was before.

Don’t Panic

The biggest thing you need to try to avoid is panicking. You have to plan properly, leverage your staff, and make smart decisions.

Don’t try to do it all yourself. You have smart people around you.

Delegate work to qualified employees as a means of taking more time to focus on operations if that is an option.

Segment your workforce into smaller teams or groups that can work well together to not only make sure that work is done, but to also provide a system of checks and balances to ensure that client-facing work and products are meeting company standards.

At Corrao Group, we make sure to celebrate our new business wins as a way to bring our company together during these tough times.

We have instituted weekly games and happy hours to spend more time with our staff while we are all working from home.

It’s still essential to build a family-like organization through the utilization of the technologies available (for example: Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, etc..).

Be Positive

You have a responsibility to lead and be positive.

Remember, people are looking to you and drawing energy from the example that you are setting. Be a positive force to drive your company in the direction in which you wanted it to go and foresaw it going before the turn of the century.

Your employees will notice your body language and the actions you take.

This is not the time to be reactionary. Be proactive, and if you need help, ask!

Jack Corrao

Struggling with your business?

If you are struggling with managing your business in these times, please email us at WFH@corraofgroup.com. You can speak with our Managing Partner, Jack Corrao on any questions you may have about running your business from home. If you’d like to receive our weekly blog on our WFH series, please fill out the form below.

Ensure Your Employees are Setup for Success At Home

Work from home (WFH) employees are not the same worker as they are when they’re in the office. They have different surroundings, applications, and family or friends around them. With an entirely new setup, some may have never worked from home before; they might need appropriate furniture and technology requirements, including better WiFi. Other employees may already be working remotely and have their own setup. It is recommended that this group shares their experiences when working from home with the rest of the company. We’ll cover the most notable differences between how an employee works at the office compared to how they work from home.

Environmental Distractions

Depending on one’s office and department, their office setting could either be louder or quieter than their home setting. There are co-workers on calls, typing and printer noises, doors opening and closing, etc. At home, there could be children playing or being homeschooled, landscaping outside, or friends/family in the other room watching TV. In smaller settings, loud neighbors working from their homes could cause a daily distraction. Noise-canceling headphones may be better for the home office because it’s more appropriate to drown out outside noises than valuable insights from their coworkers.

Systems and Technology

When employees are given all the technology and resources their job requires, they are set up for success. They’re able to login to secure systems, print or scan anything they need, and have access to a great internet connection. At home, they might not be able to recreate the same setup. Many employees may be working on kitchen or foldout tables in chairs that are not designed to be used all day. If they’re lucky, they are able to bring home an extra monitor from work. While working from home, additional virtual meetings are required for companies to check in more frequently as they normally would in the office. This requires a robust internet connection and if two people are now working from home, the current WiFi plan may need to be upgraded to the next level. If children are conducting school online, it will only put even more stress on the WiFi. Upgraded WiFi is one thing companies have been helping their employees with.

With CRM technologies like Salesforce, many companies can successfully work from home without skipping a beat. Businesses of all industries and sizes can optimize their entire company with Salesforce while empowering employees to collaborate while working from home. All leads and contacts, deals, service tickets, contracts and more are stored in real-time backed by automated processes to make sure steps are followed and nothing falls through the cracks. Users can log in both at the office as well as at home, and be productive no matter which setting.

How to Help Your Employees Work From Home

  • Research if your company can create and fund a requirements checklist for your employees to work from home. See if your employees require items like monitors, chairs, and desks to enhance their productivity.
  • Onboard the company to an instant messaging program. Programs like Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom are the most popular applications to keep your company connected.
  • Provide access to applications that your business processes are tied into. If it’s their first time working from home, make sure the IT department has enabled any remote access to applications. Ensure all security measures are followed and that any confident data is stored on a locked and secure device.

 

If you’d like to keep up to date with our work from home tips, please sign up below to receive our weekly blog posts.

Frustrated With Your Manufacturing Sampling Program?

Is your company struggling to find the benefits of a good manufacturing sampling or seeding program? Sampling programs allow your company to catch any discrepancies or feedback before your production is in full swing. Without a closed-loop strategy, your company might not be seeing the results you want or expected. Our sampling program helped Kensington™, a leader of desktop and mobile accessories, see a 7,000% increase in ROI.

Program Pain Points

Sampling programs can make or break your product’s success. Companies tend to write off sampling programs without realizing the benefits a good program can bring in terms of end-user sales and customer feedback. Here are some pain points Corrao Group has found for manufacturing companies managing their sampling programs:

    • Trouble communicating the value of the samples
    • Missed feedback opportunities from potential customers about your product
    • No ability to track distributed samples
    • Samples are not personalized to the end-user
    • Difficulty collecting customer feedback during their unboxing to usage phases
    • Lack of auto-escalation to resolution as issues arise

Corrao Group’s Solution

Kensington™ partnered with the Corrao Group to develop an automated way of managing sample units. After optimizing their Salesforce instance, Corrao Group helped develop and implement a closed-loop strategy that involved sampling out new products to new or existing customers. The sampling program would require a streamlined distribution strategy, tracking capabilities, hands-off reporting, and clear ROI. The white-glove experience would become known as “ProConcierge” and would involve Corrao Group creating and assisting in:

    • Creating buyer personas to identify and prioritize qualified candidates
    • Building a content map for supporting marketing collateral
    • Creating weekly survey emails for the sampling program
    • Packages carrying docking stations were tracked through Salesforce, and Pardot was connected to ensure that the appropriate feedback requests were automatically delivered weekly
    • Customizing Salesforce reports to provide visibility into the leads generated weekly
    • Standardizing Kensington™’s Salesforce process and implementing data requirements throughout their sales process

Salesforce Products Used

    • Sales Cloud
    • Pardot
    • Einstein Analytics

Other Products Used

    • Form Assembly

The hand-off process included the creation of step-by-step demonstration videos by the team at Corrao Group to assist with training as new users joined the ProConceirge team at Kensington™. In total, Kensington™ saw a 7,000% increase in ROI, $3M in influenced sales, and over 1,000 units shipped. To learn more about our assistance in ProConceirge, download our white paper.

Salesforce’s Manufacturing Cloud

Our Sampling/Seeding program is exclusively built, configured, and optimized for Salesforce’s Manufacturing Cloud Platform. Manufacturing Cloud extends benefits to all your partners to collaborate across the same forecast order and demand data in one single source of truth. A new era is emerging for manufacturing, and it allows manufacturers to have complete control over the ability to operate their business in a much more profitable point of view.

Salesforce’s new Manufacturing Cloud will allow customers and their partners to have company-wide visibility into all their business processes. We understand that optimizing your Salesforce starts with optimizing your business processes. We’ve worked with nearly 1,000 customers; implementing, customizing, and optimizing Salesforce and have been everyday power users ourselves since 2008. Corrao Group can help you maximize your investments in Salesforce and Manufacturing Cloud. For more information, please visit our Salesforce page.

Working From Home: 5 Tips to Improve Productivity

Working from home can bring many benefits for employees; however, workers who are used to going into an office could be struggling with adapting to their new environment. Getting thrown off your daily routine brings many different challenges in terms of productivity, adjusting, and distractions. Being able to work remotely for the past 18 years, our company put together five tips to help you improve your productivity from home.

1. Have a Morning Routine

Do not wake up and jump right into work. It is essential to set up a morning routine to prepare your mind for the day of work ahead. Here is what we recommend for a morning routine:

    • Morning Walk
    • Yoga
    • Read a book, magazine, or the news
    • Make some breakfast and coffee
    • Listen to your favorite podcast or music
    • Set up your goals and review your calendar for the day

2. Have a Dedicated Workspace

Setting up a workspace in your home will help you stay focused and concentrate on high priority tasks. It’s important to avoid places in your home that could distract you like the kitchen, TV, or couch. Additionally, ask your company for a second monitor or chair to help you improve your productivity. If your company can’t complete your requests, we recommend visiting Kensington’s website. Kensington, a leader in desktop and mobile accessories, helps workers boost efficiency. With the help of Kensington’s products, you’ll be able to work from home like a pro! Below is a list of products that could help you maximize your new dedicated workspace to be more productive and comfortable.

    • Mobile Docks for Home & On the Go
    • Desktop Dock for Ultimate Connectivity & 4k Support
    • Trackballs
    • Mice
    • Keyboards
    • Laptop Risers
    • Footrests
    • Backrests
    • Monitor Stands and Arms
    • Wrist Rests

Working from home like a pro with Kensington's accessories

3. Schedule Time for Productive Work

Once you have found a dedicated workspace that allows you to focus and is comfortable, it’s time to plan and prioritize your calendar. You know yourself the best, schedule a 2-hour block on your calendar to get your most important tasks done for the day. For example, if you are most productive and less distracted in the morning, make sure you get those challenging projects or tasks done in the morning. Turning off notifications from your cell phone or social media will also help you focus on the task at hand rather than the incoming notifications. If you don’t have a workspace with a door, it is worth investing in some noise-canceling headphones to block out any distractions or noise in the background. Finishing your most significant challenge for the day will give you the feeling of accomplishment, and will help you be more productive throughout the rest of the day.

4. Be Communicative

Working from home doesn’t give you everyday visibility to all your coworkers like in an office. It’s vital to update your calendar in real-time to provide coworkers visibility into your scheduled day. Additionally, communicate and update your coworkers on any deals, documents, or accounts so that everyone is updated and on the same page. Daily meetings are encouraged to go over what tasks need to be done and track current progress. Finally, we suggest adopting a unified messaging system like Microsoft Teams for workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration.

5. Take Breaks and Walk

According to Psychology Today, “Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion.” We recommend going on a walk to help you relax, get active, and reduce stress. A walk away from work will let your mind recharge and refocus. Sometimes, a walk inside or outside of your house could be enough to get you past the problem or task you might be stuck on. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the whole day as water will help boost energy levels and brain functions.

Working From Home quote about breaks

Working From Home Brain Study after walking

Working From Home

Adapting to working from home is all about finding a routine that helps you boost productivity. Implementing these five tips into your routine will give you a significant boost in efficiency. In your free time, catch up with family or friends, find a new hobby, or clean a part of the house that’s always needed to be cleaned. We have been able to work remotely since 2008, and if you or your company is struggling to adjust, please feel free to reach out to us at wfh@corraogroup.com

Entertaining and Necessary Things to do While Staying Inside

With a great number of people asked to stay inside during this time, one can run out of things to do fast. There is only so much television we can watch, books to read, and other things before something new is needed. We’ve put together a list of things to do during the week that can help out in many different areas. The list includes activities that are both fun and also tasks that should make you feel more accomplished while staying inside.

Review Budgets to Save Money

Review your monthly subscriptions for necessity
– Business Subscriptions, Music, Clothes, Food – are these necessary for the next couple of months?

Update Family Budgets
– How does eating out less and cooking more affect your situation?
– Contact your Gym to make sure you’re not paying for this month.
– What are your cost savings for gas as well as time not in traffic?
– Can you adjust your car insurance, based in miles, for the next 3 months?

Create a simple spreadsheet with 2 columns, “WFO” and “WFH”, and compare the costs to see how much you’re saving and where you can save more.

Productive Activities Around the House

Clean up the garage
– It’s time, don’t hold it off any longer. Keep the door open as well to get some fresh air.
– If you find things that you don’t need anymore, donate it to help people in need right now.

Change the oil and fluids in your car(s)
– It might be a good time for a self-detail as well.
– If you have children make this fun and educational for them!

Fix things around the house
– Loose screws, squeaky doors/cabinets; now is a good time to fix those.
– Lightbulbs and batteries for alarms.
– Have you always wanted to paint that room? It’s time to schedule this on your calendar if so.

Cook an extraordinary dinner!
– Take out that day-long recipe you’ve always wanted to cook and get to it. Make sure that if someone else is enjoying your dish, they do the dishes – it’s the rules.
– Kick off a Zoom meeting and have a virtual potluck with your friends and family.

Clean more
– Cleaning more frequently makes it less of a task each time you do it. Having a clean space can also boost productivity and happiness.
– This is a great task to keep the kids busy. Make it a fun project and reward them for completing their jobs.

Catch up on entertainment
– Pull up the list of shows and movies your friends have been telling you to watch. Call your friends afterward to discuss it and catch up. If you’re fortunate to have kids, show them one of your favorite movies from when you were their age.

Go through the family photos
– Relive all the great times over the years through your photos. Send pictures to anyone else in the older photos to connect with them!

Get ready for summer by cleaning the backyard and planting the garden
– This is a great exercise to do with family and could be great for the kids to learn how to pull weeds! A win-win situation.

Game Nights, Trip-Planning and More

Family game nights
– Break out all of the board games and make it a fun night. Maybe even tally the wins per player over the next few weeks and see who is the ultimate game night champion!

Learn an instrument
– Have an old instrument in the garage you never finished learning? Dust it off and look at some free online videos for help. Maybe someone else in the family would like to learn with you.

Plan a trip
– Plan for a future trip. Do all the research about places to stay, visit, and dine at. Plan for a few trips and figure out which ones to take first.
Stay connected with your extended family and friends.
– If they are not tech-savvy, show them how to use tools like Skype and Zoom. You could play games such as chess and others through video chat.
– Schedule frequent calls to stay connected and foster a positive mental outlook.

These are some activities you can do both during the week as well as the weekend. This is only a small list – there are thousands of other activities you can do. If you’d like to stay up to date on other things to do during this time, please fill out the form below and we’ll send you an email each time we post content like this. Always wash your hands multiple times per day! If your hands feel dryer than usual, it’s because you are washing them more frequently than usual – find some lotion to help keep your hands from getting too dry. Set reminders to get fresh air and go for walks.