12 Mar 2020 Top Tips On Working From Home
In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re delighted to see that a vast number of UK businesses have taken action to allow for their teams to work from home. If you’re new to this crazy idea then look no further. Primal Space have been working remotely for years, and during this time we’ve honed and mastered many top tips on working from home that you might find helpful. Allowing you to feel connected, productive and healthy regardless on what stage you’re at, on your work from home journey.
Here are our top top tips on working from home.
1) Create a Dedicated Work Space
Having an area where you work instead or hopping around your house with a laptop, will put you in the working mindset. Whether that’s a desk set up in your spare room, or a seat at your dining table. It’s important to make this your work space. So you know that when you sit here then your intention is to work. Set this space up in the same way that your current office would be. Ensuring you have everything on hand allowing you to do your job with ease.
Desk essentials include; a comfy chair, a computer screen at a good height that won’t lead to neck/back ache. As well as enough space so you don’t feel confined. If you haven’t done so already, why not experiment with a standing desk set up to mix things up a little.
2) Stay Connected With Your Team
One of the hardest shifts for those who are early on in their work from home journey is feeling disconnected from the office banter. We’ve all been there and had serious FOMO, missing having human connection and someone to talk to.
There are so many great tools out there to support you with this and allow your office culture to thrive, even if you aren’t all in one room. Tools like Skype or Zoom as well as Slack can help you stay connected with your co-workers. It’s so important to keep your community close, even while you have to be at a distance. Particularly if you work in a collaborative, design based role where shared energy and visual connection is vital.
We’ve found that Google Drive is a great tool to allow several team members to share content and collaborate. Primal Space have been using Google Drive for years and have found it a really beneficial way to share content with clients. Along with other members of our team during all client development projects. As well us utilising the project management features of the tools in Google Sheets.
3) Schedule Breaks
It can be easy to get absorbed in a project and forget to move away from your desk. So it’s extremely important to ensure that you have any breaks scheduled in such as lunch and coffee breaks and your scheduled finish time. There are many ways to do this. One of the easiest is simply to set alarms on your phone, or use a calendar system that notifies you.
Take lunch breaks and coffee breaks away from your desk, allowing you to switch off for a period of time. If you can, take a walk outside or sit in a different area of your home. If you’re working from your dining table, that might just even mean moving to a different chair.
Aside from the usual breaks, ensure that you’re getting up from your desk regularly and moving around at least every hour, your body will thank you for this.
4) Team Meetings Can Still Happen
Technology makes it incredibly easy to have a meeting, even while working from home. Free apps such as Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts make this simple. While even allowing for you to have your camera on and connect with your team face to face, regardless of your location.
In times like this with Coronavirus, self isolation and social distancing, the power of human connection through the wonders of technology has never been more important. Particularly for anyone who may be living alone. This social connection might be the only contact they have. So ensure these online meetings are locked in to your calendar for the week ahead. Tell everyone to grab themselves a drink in their favourite mug and come online for a scheduled time.
Why not start a team meeting by asking everyone to share something their grateful for today. It might not be your typical working set up, but it might just be the thing that lifts peoples spirits on days that they’re finding things a little bit tough. This social inclusion will no doubt make your bond with your teams even closer as a result.
5) Shower and Get Dressed
This might seem like an odd point to list however it makes a huge difference to your productivity. We’ve all been in the early stages of our work from home journey where the novelty of working from your pj’s seems too good to pass up. However it’s hard for your brain to catch on to the fact that you’re in work mode when you aren’t showing up that way.
What you wear to work from home might be a much more casual version of your normal office attire (depending on your job and your office dress code.) Just the act of ‘getting dressed for work’ allows your mindset to have that mental shift that it’s time to wake up and pull on it’s productivity pants.
6) Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty water to stay hydrated is extremely important. It can be easy, when at home, to over indulge on cups of tea and coffee…the kitchen is just next door right?!
Yes we know, but caffeine can have negative effects on the body and can lead to dehydration. So fill up on H20 every hour, between caffeinated drinks, this will lead to greater productivity and mental clarity and focus.
Staying hydrated can also boost your immune system and reduce your risk of infection. Which has never been more important given our current circumstances.
7) Have Fun And Feel Good
We realise this one may be a challenge right now, as it’s easy to feel bombarded by the constantly changing news of Coronavirus. However it’s important to avoid the feeling of overwhelm that comes with over exposure to negative news. It’s important to stay informed, but not inundated. For this reason we we recommend leaving the news off while you work, and try to avoid time on social media.
Instead why not make up a playlist of all your favourite ‘feel good’ songs that you know lift your energy. Or listen to an audio book or podcast from someone you find inspirational and uplifting.
If you do feel your energy dipping then get away from your desk for 5 minutes. Call a friend or family member who might also be self isolating or take a walk, if you can, outside. If all else fails, take 5 deep breaths, the deepest breaths you’ve taken all day. It’s the simplest way to soothe your nervous system and bring you back to the present moment.
How To Work From Home
We hope you find this blog post helpful in outlining some useful tips on working from home. Having a routine helps greatly. It can be easy to get up in the morning just before you’re due to stat work and go straight to your emails, however this is not a beneficial way to start your day. Look after your own mental health first and take the time to wake up, have breakfast (away from your desk) and have at least half an hour to yourself before jumping into work mode. It will set you up well for the rest of the day.
Schedule in those breaks and make time to move away from your desk to keep your energy levels from dipping. Stay connected to your teams or co-workers using technology and remember to have fun! Also plan something fun for yourself after your working day, this will allow you time to switch off and relax. If you’re self isolating this may be a home work out, cooking a great meal, or catching up with a friend on the phone or over Zoom.
Also take time to remind yourself of the benefits of home working. You’re helping the planet by cutting your carbon emissions from your daily commute. You’re also likely saving a fortune as you aren’t buying coffee and lunch out each day. You’re also gaining more time instead of commuting to your usual workplace, so use that time wisely.
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