As many families and businesses up and down the country venture into new ground, the Macleaners have been adjusting to our new full-time office environments, or lack thereof. For us, it’s business as usual – or as usual as it can be. And with a week of home working under our belts, here are a few things we’ve learnt so far.
Dress for success, not lounging
We’re not talking suit and tie folks – something practical, yet structured. It will help you get in the productive mood. Just because your dressing gown (or housecoat depending on your persuasion) has pockets that could technically hold a notebook, does not make it work-appropriate attire. Plus, you’ll always be web camera-ready when you’re thrown a surprise conference call or team meeting.
Business in the front, laundry in the back
It’s the season of spring cleaning, but don’t get distracted by your domestic duties. We know that messy kitchen cupboard has never looked so attractive but resist the urge to go all Marie Kondo during your normal office hours – you’ll have plenty of time to tackle it in the evening.
Work hard, don’t overwork
Speaking of sparking joy, it’s equally as important to protect your personal time. Clock in and out, just as you would at the office. It should help stop you losing focus or burning out. If you’re used to a long commute, make the most of your extra time in the morning and evenings, don’t use it to stretch out your workday. You need to switch off. And maybe you’ll get around to trying out a new hobby or skill. Within limits of course. Now’s probably not the time to dust off the old school recorder.
Mark your territory
Many of us are sharing our new workspace, so if you can, find a spot you can call your own. Maybe you’ve got an office space, maybe it’s the kitchen table, either way make it a somewhere that works for you. It’ll help you get in the right headspace and properly detach at the end of the workday.
Just make sure everyone else in the home knows the score. You don’t want to end up like that dad on BBC News – you know the one.
It’s all about the routine
Working from home unleashes a whole new breed of distractions. From toddlers, to TVs and four-legged friends. But we’ve found the best way to combat them is to be predictable.
Set a schedule, stick to it and try to simulate an office environment as much as you can. That includes stepping away from your temporary desk for a proper lunch break. Try and cook something fresh, relax and take the time to think of all the money you’re saving on meal deals. Or you could start referring to your three-year-old as Karen from accounts – whatever works for you.
It’s time to get techy
We live in a world that’s more connected than ever. And we’re very lucky to work in an industry that offers the ability to innovate and craft creative solutions from anywhere. Calls, texts, Skype, however you do it, keep in touch with your team – even if it’s only to send a GIF or two.
Slack and Zoom have become our new best friends and mean that we still get to have a little water cooler chat throughout the day for a much-needed bit of normality.
Take it outside
Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean you have to turn into a vampire. Move around. And not just to the fridge and back.
If you’re starting to feel a little bit cooped up, open those windows and take in a big whiff of fresh air. Or escape to do a lap of the back garden if you can. It’s only five minutes out of your day but could do you and your productivity the world of good. It’s pretty effective at ridding the workday of any morning sluggishness too.
And most importantly, look after yourself
Seriously though, while you’re taking care of business, don’t forget to take some time to look after you. It’s very easy to go stir-crazy.
Everyone’s situation is different and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. These are just some of the things that have been working for us as newbie work-from-homers.
So, try to be mindful. Keep in contact with your loved ones and help each other out. We’re all in this together.
If you need any help with connecting with your team remotely, we’d be happy to lend a hand so please get in touch.