Working from home has its benefits and of course challenges. Let us help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
We called upon our team, who are currently working from home, to share what their current setup looks like and what advice they can share on coping with remote working. Initially, working in your own space at home sounds great. However, talk of self-isolation and social distancing has us all worried about the longer-term impacts this could have.
Until recently, some would say that there has been a stigma attached to working from home. A feeling which is sure to dwindle in light of recent worldwide events. Luckily for you, many of our consultants are seasoned pros on working remotely, and here they share their suggestions to help you manage to work at home.
Encourage your colleagues to stay active as much as possible. Social distancing and feeling confined to your home can be frustrating, and your mood may suffer as a result. Keeping physically active is imperative at such a time, as falling into patterns of unhealthy, repetitive behaviours can be detrimental for some. Current government advice is that you can leave the house for one form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household, staying more than 2 meters from others. The NHS has also covered specific exercises that are ideal for the home.
Set Ground Rules
And stick to them! Popular advice between the team is to close yourself off (while working) as best as you can from the rest of the house and your family. One of our consultants tells his family, “When I’m working at home, assume I’m not here”. And there, he retreats:
Taking five minutes can be crucial. A change of scenery for a short time could do the world of good, even when you don’t know it would. A break is also the perfect time to go for a brisk walk!
Communication is a huge priority when working at home, especially if you are alone. You are probably used to the hustle and bustle of your office or workspace, a quick brew in the canteen, a trip to the loo which turns into a five-minute corridor catch up with your friend. When working at home for a prolonged period, you will consciously or subconsciously start to miss interactions you are used to having.
Use the software that is available to you to keep in touch with your team. Think about how they may be feeling; sometimes a morning greeting will go a long way. At Gradient, we are currently using Microsoft Teams as one avenue to encourage social interactions. On apps such as Teams, you can send instant message, voice call, video chat, group conference – the list goes on.
Unfortunately, we don’t all have space to set up a home office! There has never been a time when space in the home is so sought after. Many of our team’s partners are also working at home, and so space can be limited.
We have the kitchen table:
One of our consultants is utilising her little girl’s desk as her husband is set up in the house too:
Our advice? If you can avoid it, steer clear of the sofa! To many, the sofa is a retreat, somewhere to kick back and relax. If you used to sitting on your sofa and kicking back, it could be challenging to change the routine up to answering emails and hosting conference calls. Be careful not to revert to habits of Netflix and chill, for example.
The tips above are with your well being in mind. The following may help to keep your home working life as normal as possible, see what you find useful:
- Music can help you to concentrate. Try a playlist, the radio or a podcast
- Ensure you take short regular breaks from your desk, as you would in the office
- Try sticking to your usual working hours
- Take a lunch break and don’t forget to eat. Maybe your not used to forward-planning and regularly use the office canteen
- Stay hydrated. Go brew that coffee in time for your 10 o’clock call
- Lastly, continue to work as closely to that as you would in the office, taking our advice into consideration.