Tips and Tricks for Working from Home – Appetite from Home
- Posted by: Sheryl Newman
It sounds like fun to lounge around all day in your PJ’s and work from home. For the majority of us who are office bound it’s not something that you have to consider regularly! But when you suddenly find yourself an unexpected homeworker how do you get yourself and your team set up for success? At Appetite we thought we would share our tips and tricks for working from home.
Considering the current situation around the globe with COVID-19 and the widespread affect it is having on everyone, sharing is caring so we thought we would document our experience of working from home, the challenges and pain points we have already faced (even though some of us are seasoned remote workers) and the tips and tricks you can take in order to stay motivated, productive and most importantly happy during what can be an isolating and fairly lonely experience.
Keep To Schedule
Get up, get showered and get dressed. You may just want to stay in your pyjamas all day, and we have all been tempted! But even the simple mantra of getting yourself ready in the morning can get you in the zone for work. Staying motivated and positive in uncertain times is key. When working from home it is beneficial to create a dedicated work space. It does not have to be an office; it can just be an area of the home where you set up everything you need and would usually use in the office but good lighting and good chair support are key, your mood and back will thank you for it.
Plan your day. Schedule in your online meetings, your lunch break, start and end time through Outlook. This will not only help you manage your time better; it will also give you structure to your day which when working from home your day can lack. This will also help keep your motivation and productivity up knowing you have a plan to work towards. Each day we use Planner to schedule our tasks, keeping an eye on any that are of high priority and working back to make sure everything that needs to be done is done on time. Asana is another great tool that can be super helpful for this.
If you have an Office 365 licence and it hasn’t been disabled by your admin, you can get access to planner by going to tasks.office.com
With everyone disconnected from each other we have moved our regular meetings online, but we are having more of them. The team is split in two so we have two separate 15-30 minute check in calls every morning to plan the day ahead, work out the tasks that are due and if anyone needs any help to get anything completed. We walk the talk so we use MS Teams to encourage quick and easy team meetings.
When you can’t just pop your head over the partition to ask a question it becomes harder but people also need quiet space to think and work especially when you are in the flow. Using Teams we just pop on what our status is so our colleagues know not to disturb each other at this point. A simple easy sign.
Putting People First
If you have ever done any psychometric profiling you will know yellows like to be social, to engage to talk and to be with others. The majority of our team all like to be connected so what we have done is to create a huddle break, a virtual water cooler at the end of the day so we can just hang out, check in on each other’s days, talk about what we are all having for tea and doing that evening… just chat, but it’s important chat. It may sound small, but it’s big in impact and helps boost the morale after a day of sitting on your own. We are a close team and our mantra is to look out for each other.
Break it Up
Take proper breaks, eat lunch, get outside in some fresh air and take a walk. This is so important for mental health and to avoid feeling isolated. For some there are feelings of guilt that you always need to be on, but having breaks makes you more focused so do ensure you schedule some downtime to create more productive up time.
Stick to our working hours if you can, your brain and body will thank you for it. Switch off and put in place self-care. It’s a long road ahead and we need to try and keep as relaxed as possible.
Smile You are on Camera
Yes we found some of the team are camera shy, and might feel a bit naked but if you are working with a colleague we engage with our web cameras on. So we might not be looking our tip top best, our hair might need a brush, or we might be in our pj’s (we don’t’ actually recommend that!) but seeing a friendly smile lifts you up and gives you that human contact.
It may seem daunting, but it is a comfort to know that we are all in the same boat. Making the best out of a generally unnatural situation and ultimately working together towards a common goal.
We hope you have found out tips and tricks for working from home useful. Why don’t you share your home working space over on our Instagram? We will pick one of you to receive a special surprise.
PS. We are really good with technology strategies and using the MS Office 365 tool set. If you need some help just get in touch!