Working From Home

It’s important to remember we are currently going through a pandemic. Something that happens once a century that is impacting every area of life regardless of who we are. These are unprecedented times.

Some of us are losing our lives, or loved ones and dealing with the grief that comes with that. The incredible key workers on the front line are doing their best but may be struggling to cope. Some of us have lost our jobs and some of us are having to deal with juggling more responsibilities in one place. We’re all getting settled into this weird new state of affairs.

Anxiety is at an all time high and with health services being restricted some people may not be feeling like they are able to get the support they need. Sometimes just coping with this is all we need to get through, and that’s okay. We should recognise that feeling the pressure to be productive may actually be harmful right now, and we don’t want to add to that feeling at all.

So please take this post with as it’s intended – working from home tips to make it easier for those of us who are in the lucky position of being able to work from the comfort of our homes.

Juliette and Em have been working from home for years, and as seasoned remote workers we thought we have some useful thoughts up our sleeves to share with you to make this a bit easier to deal with.

 

 

how to work from home tips

REMEMBER

  • Expect a learning curve if you’re not used to working from home. Some days go well, some don’t. Overall you might find you are more productive, perhaps you might lose weight from not having daily office cake (this is genuinely what happened to me).
  • Change your expectations of others because you are all on a learning curve.

 

YOUR TIME IS IMPORTANT

  • Create some kind of routine: Any routine can be right even if outside of the 9-5, just find what works for you. 
  • If you normally find it hard to shut down/take a break from work, make sure you stick to your office working hours/routine as much as possible. It’s ok to finish that email before you go and relax or make dinner but make sure your work doesn’t spread out during your entire day outside of your working hours every day.
  • Keep your boundaries in place. Weekends are still weekends.
  • Think about ways to cultivate self-discipline. Where do you already practice that in your life? What usually helps in those moments.
  • Develop a way of time tracking that works well for you.

WORKSPACE

  • Create a workspace. A specific area to work, with a good chair. Yes, you can break out of it and work on the sofa if you fancy it, but having that space means that’s where you keep work.  
  • Keep your space tidy. 
  • Open your windows and get fresh air in for about 10 – 30 mins throughout the day – germs accumulate in stuffy rooms so doing this helps to keep things fresh for both your home and your body. Go for a walk outdoors if you can, UV rays help protect us and it’s a nice way to take a physical break.
  • Appreciate the luxury of being able to roll out of bed and get on with things in your pyjamas, but if you’re feeling sluggish do make an effort to get ready for the day. That physical process can put you in the right mental space to crack on.
  • Keep drinking water throughout the day.
  • Get some plants. It’ll make it feel nice.

 

HAVE FUN

  • Have a virtual coffee break or virtual Friday end of the day drinks with colleagues.
  • Keep fit. Exercise at home – use YouTube tutorials, guided apps or create a space where you can keep up with fitness. Do it with a friend and hold each other accountable. 
  • YouTube – it’s fantastic. Podcasts – also fantastic. 
  • What are your favourite parts of your normal work day? Integrate those.
  • Focus on the positives: Working to your own schedule, home cooked food, lunch time baths, popping on the telly for half an hour to give your mind a break. And my fav – no commuting – the longer a commute, the more stressful it is proven to be.  
  • Keep a gratitude journal to remember the positives that have happened.
  • Set up props in the back of your video calls for fun – see who notices.

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COMMUNICATION

  • It might seem obvious but really trust the others you work with to get their jobs done. You empower them with that trust.
  • Practice really clear communication: Using tools like Slack, WhatsApp, Basecamp and Trello can be great for teams working on projects to track progress, offer feedback. If an email thread is getting long and confusing, have a call. Always sum up in email after though – it’ll help clear up any misunderstandings. Agree regular check ins based on how much you have to get through. Sum up your points simply and don’t be vague. 
  • Facetime, Zoom and call people regularly. Keep in touch with colleagues and loved ones over chat throughout the day if you find you need support.
  • Keep communicating – Acknowledge emails from your colleagues, even if a response isn’t needed or urgent – it helps people know you got their email and keeps that line of communication open.
  • Reach out to your colleagues more via chat, they might struggle with adapting to working from home as well, and might not as easily reach out via chat when normally they would just pop round your desk, or chat to you while making a cuppa.

 

CONCENTRATION

  • If for a moment you find you cannot concentrate, change where or how you’re sitting, stretch your legs or take a tea break. 
  • Try not to turn the TV on for a day, while you should definitely catch up with your favourite shows or watch a good film, see what other things you can put your mind to without the distraction of the TV around.  
  • Accept that every day isn’t going to be productive, but some days you’ll be super on the ball and it’ll balance itself out. Allow yourself that breathing time if you can and don’t feel too anxious if you can’t get your work done. 

We hope you find these tips useful, and we wish everyone health, safety and a bit of light heartedness during this time.

If any of what we said resonates with you and you want to talk at all about getting through this difficult time, don’t be afraid to reach out. We’re pretty friendly.

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