In a global effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus, a huge proportion of the UK have started remote working. While this comes with numerous benefits, it does also come with a number of challenges which we have all had to adapt to…
Here at Carbon, we are all working from the comfort of our own homes, which has meant a number of adjustments to our daily routines. We wanted to share with you all some tips that have helped us settle into this new way of life, and hopefully help you stay motivated and productive whilst remote working!
1. Stick to your regular routine
It’s so important to make sure you try and keep to your normal routine as much as you possibly can. This includes setting your alarm at your usual time, eating lunch at a set time etc. When you have routine and structure to your day, it is easier to separate work and home life, even when the line is currently so blurred!
2. Look the part to feel the part
When you are working from the comfort of your own home, the temptation to sit in your comfies is high. However, it also opens up the possibility of feeling a little too lounge-like in your lounge wear. Getting dressed and ready to ‘go out into the world’ can be a boost in preparing yourself mentally for the day. When you feel equipped to work you are going to be more productive and motivated throughout the day.
3. “Tidy room, tidy mind”
We will have all heard this little idiom at least once or twice in our lifetimes. It has prevailed so well because it can’t be disputed; if your environment is relaxing and uncluttered, it helps you to think with more clarity and intention. If you can, try and set up a workspace where you can sit away from others in your house, or away from areas you ‘live’ in, for instance a kitchen or a bedroom. If you treat your make-shift workspace as your metaphorical office, it will help to separate your ‘work’ and ‘home’ life more clearly.
4. ‘Commute’ to work
It can be argued that one of the best things about working from home is not having to do the daily commute. That said, it can be tiring and monotonous to roll out of bed and straight to your keyboard. Many of us here at Carbon have found that mimicking our morning commute each day before work is super energising and helps to keep a steady routine on the go! Just getting out on your bike or going for a walk around the block before you switch on can refresh your mind and prepare you for a day behind the computer!
5. Plan your day
Without the structure of your normal working day, it’s important to organise yourself as best as you can so you stay on track throughout the day. Start by listing and prioritising the day’s tasks. Once you’ve done that, start with the hardest and most pressing tasks when you have the most energy. Don’t forget to work in rewards and breaks throughout the day to ensure you don’t burn out. If the day is segmented it’s more manageable!
6. Match your music!
A really great tip is listening to similar music as you would when in the office. Whether that’s your own personal playlists or a specific radio channel, matching the music will in some part recreate your working environment and therefore your mindset. In addition to this, try and match the music to your mood; for instance, on Monday listen to calm, relaxing music, Fridays – the hits!
7. Set yourself boundaries
This is probably the most important thing to remember to keep yourself motivated whilst remote working. You need to be strict with yourself, and act as you would if you were surrounded by your team mates. This means not letting yourself get side-tracked or distracted by personal conversations and messages, not trying to fit in housework to your working day and keeping your phone for personal breaks only. A huge part of this is also resisting the urge to go on social accounts – they are a slippery slope into unproductivity and distraction! If you set these boundaries, and stick to them, you will be guaranteed to be more focused on your tasks.
8. Check your internet connection!
There is nothing more frustrating than getting into your work-flow and being interrupted by a poor connection, or, even worse, buffering! Whilst a lot of the time this can be out of our control, it is worth putting in measures to try and keep you connected 24/7. For instance, set up your workspace in an area in your house with good connection, or even go to the extent of getting an wifi extender/booster so you can be assured that wherever you are you are online and connected! Other tips for staying online are here.
9. Staying connected
It goes without saying that staying in touch with your team members and your supervisors will help you to stay motivated whilst isolated from the office physically. Not only will it keep you up to date with your projects and deadlines, it will keep you in the loop with everyone, and remind you that you are part of a team all going through the same thing. Don’t forget to stay connected with your clients too! Zoom calls and Skype calls will keep you present with your work life, even when you’re not physically there! And it doesn’t all have to be about work, staying connected with your team on social video hangouts after hours can really lift the spirits too. Team Carbon have even enjoyed getting together for a quiz night!
10. Take advice from others
Don’t suffer in silence. If you are struggling, reach out to others who are going through the same thing – they can offer support and advice about how to best deal with the problems you’re facing. A problem shared is a problem halved after all. There are also a lot of articles about working from home that can help you to understand some common anxieties about working from home. However you feel, don’t worry about feeling comfortable immediately, you WILL find your rhythm eventually! And if you are finding things hard emotionally right now, there is lots of support here from Mind.
We hope you’ve found this small collection of tips useful. Please drop us a message if you have any more advice to add to the list!