The team at Deep Blue have been using remote working for years. With that in mind we have put together some of our top tips for home working for people starting on it for the first time.
Having a workspace is really important. This might not be a room. It may just be a desk or a corner of the kitchen, but it should be a space dedicated for work. This helps you get in the work mind set while you are there but also, crucially, helps you to step away from work at the end of the day. This is especially important if we do have any kind of lock down period. A lot of our time is going to be restricted to the same space so designating areas of that space to different tasks can help us feel less constricted.
Try to make it a space that you want to work in. If possible set up near a window to give yourself plenty of natural light and fresh air. Have a family photo or a plant there just as you would at work.
Try to get everything you need to hand, paper, pens, etc. If you have to keep getting up to get things it can be distracting and time consuming.
Structure is important when working from home. It helps you to stay focused and keep the distinction between work and home life.
Get dressed! As tempting as it is to do a few emails in your pyjamas, getting dressed again can help with defining the working day. You don’t need to put on your best office wear but try to find something that makes you feel in work mode. This can apply to the end of the day too. If the first thing you usually do when you get home is get changed into your joggers and sweatshirt then do that when you finish at home.
Plan breaks. It can be easy on your own to lose track of time. Make sure you keep an eye on the clock. Get up and move around, take breaks when you would normally. Plan a lunch hour. If you usually share the task of making tea/coffee in your office, it can be easy to forget when you are on your own.
If you usually make a lunch to take to work with you, you may still want to do this. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you want to use up your break time prepping food.
Just because you aren’t in the office, doesn’t mean you need to be cut off from you colleagues. Keep in touch. You may want to do weekly or daily conferences calls so everyone knows what they are doing. Use calls and emails to keep each other up to date. If you have Horizon collaborate, use the instant messaging function to chat in real time. Send through the odd link or funny picture to keep everyone smiling.
It can be hard to tell if someone is struggling when you aren’t face to face with them, regular communication can help with spotting this. If you are the one struggling, speak up. It may be to your manager, it may be to the colleague who always helps you out, it may be to a relative or partner. Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you are working alone.
Remember that with emails it can sometimes be hard to judge the tone of what is being said. Try to make sure that your messages come across as intended, use more casual language or emojis for internal emails if this helps with tone. If in doubt, pick up the phone!
If you have children at home with you, don’t get stressed about them interrupting an important call or try to cover up your situation. Be honest. People are very understanding, especially at times like this when everyone is working under different circumstances.
If you usually aren’t allowed within ten foot of the office radio, enjoy being able to put on the playlist of your choice! Music is great for concentration. Vary your playlist depending on what you are doing. you might even want to put together a playlist to share with your colleagues.
If your day usually starts and ends with a commute, use this new found time for you. Throw something into a slow cooker in the morning so you know dinner will be ready when you finish work. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Workout. Watch an extra episode of you favourite show.
The change to home working can be difficult, especially if you have spent a lot of time in the structured environment of an office. Hopefully these tips for home working will help make the transition a little easier.
Deep Blue are on hand to support you and your business when you need us, just call 0333 240 9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org