Following recent events, it looks like working from home is set to be the norm for many of us in 2020. However, it will take dedication to stay productive and avoid feeling isolated by maintaining a healthy and happy state of mind. To do so, here are a few tips based on our experience of working from home here at Funky Pigeon.
1- Get Ready Like You’re Going To Work
This first tip is tried and tested – believe us, start your day waking up like any other day, which means you wake up at the same time and get ready like you would do if you were to go to work. Do your make up, wash your hair, wear your work clothes, have breakfast and so on, it will physically put you in a proactive mindset which will motivate you.
2- Create a Workspace
Recreate your office desk – this one seems obvious, but in case you haven’t got a table somewhere to turn into a desk, you might get tempted to work on your bed or the sofa as they are more comfortable. However, having tried it, we tend to slouch, move around more often, are more likely to be distracted, plus your laptop will get hot much quicker on your lap rather than on a cold surface.
3- Set More Meetings
The main point for setting up meetings is for you to keep in touch with your work team throughout the day. You could start the day with a casual 9:30 am daily team meeting to kick off the day on a positive note, and then think of your weekly tasks and where you will benefit from other people’s help or knowledge. Sending a bunch of meeting requests will keep you accountable for your workload, but more importantly, will break your own isolation by reaching out to your co-workers.
4- Keep the Banter Going
If you’re using collaborative software such as Slack, Skype for Business, or Microsoft Teams – just to name a few – we recommend you pro-actively use them to have a light-hearted fun day. You don’t have to be the funniest or the most creative person in the whole office, simply share a popular meme, a game, a riddle, a silly this or that question, an online quiz etc. It will break your isolation for a few minutes, and who knows maybe keep your spirit up!
5- Take Mini Breaks
Staying truly focused for four to five hours straight is almost an impossible task. When you think about it, being in the office you have multiple little healthy breaks – from going to the kitchen to make a drink and have a chat, to walking to the top floor to catch up with someone on a project, or even just going to the loo. It’s important to stay active and engaged with other people to feel less isolated and more energised by them. Therefore, as you are staying home, you’ll need to find different mini-breaks. We recommend walking up the stairs, staring outside your balcony or window for five minutes, going for a short walk, or playing with your pet or children for a bit.
6- Set Your Boundaries
Depending on how many people are living with you, let them all know that you’re working. So that they know you aren’t available for them and they should not disturb you – well, at least ideally!
7- Change Your Scenery at Lunch
If you’re not self-isolating, we advise you to go for a walk during your lunch break to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. It will allow you to break out your day physically in time slots, and it will make you focus better when you come back for the afternoon. However, if you prefer to stay indoors, simply share lunchtime in another room away for your screen or ask your housemates or family to wait for you and eat all together.
8- Go Out After Your Work
Just like you would walk back, drive, or bike back home after an ordinary working day, leave your home like you’d leave the office. Go for a walk outside, to the shops, or head over to the park in order to have a clear physical break from your work state of mind.
9- Put Some Music On
Ok, we know some people don’t like noise while they’re actively focusing on a piece of work, but for some, it could be an easy idea to break the silence and isolation that comes with it. Our advice is to find something you’d like listening to – whether it’s your favourite playlist, radio station or a hilarious podcast – as long as it allows you to stay focused on your work while filling the space with good vibes.
All our tips are what work best for us, so of course, some tips will work better for some type of jobs rather than others (e.g. Putting music on – maybe more for the creatives). If you need more ideas or a supportive community of remote employees to talk to, we recommend using Slack to find a specific channel to keep the communication flowing.