We’re working from home and, where possible, hopefully you are too! Sure, that means clearing a space to work and grabbing a pair of headphones so you can’t hear the kids. But it also means ducking out of your commute, discovering that those meetings really could have been emails, and (probably) raiding the cupboards for snacks more than you should!
First things first, thank you for staying home. It will help us get through this all the more quickly, and means you’re not putting yourself or others at risk. Whilst you’re home, stay informed regarding any updates from the government, from your office, and changes to local businesses that may impact your daily/weekly routine.
With regards to actually getting some work done (and we’re sure plenty of remote-working sceptics will be monitoring this), we’ve put together some tips to stay ever-efficient whilst you’re WFH…
Start Your Day Right
As true for quarantine as the occasional WFH stint, the only way you’re getting anything done is if you start your day right. Get out of bed, get dressed and get fed. It’s better that you get set up working away from the bed – at a desk or table, if possible. It’s been suggested that you should simulate your regular working day as much as possible. We’re not suggesting you pretend to catch the train to work, but sticking to roughly the same hours, taking a lunch break, and making yourself a cuppa now and then, will make sure you don’t go stir-crazy working until midnight everyday.
If you want to take it a step further (no pressure), try a workout before breakfast. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently shared his home workout on Reddit and Chris Hemsworth’s fitness app Centr is offering six weeks free training to encourage social distancing. Aquent UK is trying out virtual workout sessions via Google Hangouts – if you’ve got someone on your team who’s comfortable leading, why not try it out?
Keep In Touch
To make this work you’re going to need to stay in touch. Communication is going to be vital moving forward – for the sake of teamwork or joint projects, but also for your own sanity. Keeping comms open with your colleagues and managers will ensure you don’t get cabin fever, it keeps them informed on where you’re at with work, and it helps to feel that little less isolated.
Whether you’re managing a team or just working with a handful of other people, find ways to engage. Our London office has included virtual hangouts for a weekly lunch and a social get-together on Fridays, as well as collaborative efforts to share music, films and series. Get creative in ways to reconnect as a team – technology is your friend in this! Google Docs will help out in joint text ventures, Hangouts or Skype will mean you stay connected, and we don’t need to tell you about the countless instant messaging services available to you. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate in a time like this – it will almost always be appreciated.
Try as best you can to minimise disruptions – be that partner, pet or child. If you’re home-schooling, consider putting together a schedule that helps your family get some work done. You can always come together to have lunch, or pop away from your desk for a few minutes to lend a hand. By sticking more closely to your normal working routine, you won’t end up working all hours of the day to complete a project and you’ll find you have plenty of time to spend with your loved ones.
A work timetable gives you a good indication of what you’re meant to be working on and when. It will also give you some insight into whether you’re pushing your luck with those coffee breaks and getting behind with your work! General advice would be to allow some flexibility but specify what you want to achieve in the day and, if it’s a bigger project, break it down into manageable chunks.
For many of us this is an unfamiliar and uncertain time, whether you’re new to remote working or not. A little order and control, in your working life and in your daily routine, will help bring a sense of calm and normality to your home. If you live with others, they’ll appreciate a little routine. If you’re home alone, it means you’re taking better care of yourself.
Stay home and stay safe. Who knows… once this has all blown over you might get to work from home more often!
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