For very obviou
s and sensible reasons, a lot more of us will find ourselves working from home for the foreseeable future. For some, it represents a whole new world of working and even for us seasoned home workers, never before have we had to work from home whilst social distancing and so there will inevitably be a period of readjustment for everyone.
Below are a few ideas and tips that I’ve picked up from talking to people, which I hope will be helpful.
Get ready for your day like you would if you were going into the office. Have a shower and get dressed – save the pyjama day for the weekend!
Designate a workspace if you can, ideally away from your bedroom or any children that may be at home! Consider the ergonomics of your arrangement.
Set your working hours and stick to them – there should be no expectation to work beyond them just because you are at home. Personally, this is one I struggle with so this is more of a do as I say rather than do as I do!
Block out your lunch hour in your calendar and try to get some fresh air or a change of scene. Make sure you resist the temptation to work through your break.
Try to stick to healthy snacks and resist raiding the fridge and kitchen cupboards.
Consider using the time saved by not commuting for a new hobby or exercise.
Team Communication and Morale
In his book, ReWork, Jason Fried refers to the need to ‘over-communicate’ when working from home as there is no accidental passing on of information whereas, in an office, a lot of information is shared inadvertently. Having worked from home for 4 out of 5 days for several years I can confirm that I am 100% on chatter mode when I go into the office on day 5. However, for the time being that outlet isn’t going to be there and so it is going to be even more important to communicate regularly and with purpose. Ideas include –
Agreeing a set time to hold a video call in the morning. Use this as an opportunity to check in with each other and set priorities for the day.
Consider a ‘virtual tea break’ where people have the option to call in at a fixed time and just have a natter for a while.
Encourage people to send a message at the end of the day to let everyone know when they are signing off. It’s also a good opportunity for people to report what they are working on.
Keep up your team traditions but in a virtual sense, for example, a beer after work on a Friday via a video call, a virtual pub quiz.
Ask your team to share ideas and things that they feel will help them during this uncertain time.
Technology that might help
Zoom - video calling
Trello – an ‘online noticeboard’
Microsoft Teams – group chat software
Slack– work collaboration hub
I’m sure we can all manage the change and you never know many of you will prefer remote working, employers might realise that work doesn’t stop when people aren’t in the office and we might, after all is said and done, solve the commuting traffic problem in the longer term.