And suddenly we are all working from home and have no idea how we will ensure that this global crisis doesn't have a detrimental effect on our progress. Working remotely is, for most people, a once a week thing. Now we are all working remotely for an entire work week. That's a massive change and it's completely natural that you are struggling to make it work. It looks like we are going to be in this situation for a while.
At Ink Strategy we work remotely regularly and hope to help you ease into this transition period. Below, we have listed our top 10 tips for working remotely. Some might sound very obvious at first, but our experience is that our bodies can react in funny ways to big changes.
Create a routine. Schedule a start and finish time. Experiment with your normal working day morning routine. If you're used to cycling or walking to work; add some movement to your routine. You are going to be spending less time in transit from A to B so take some time to dive into a new book in the morning, practice Wim Hof's breathing techniques, lift some weights or meditate.
Eat and drink. Maybe you've already figured this out, but it's a very easy one to forget. Your body needs to stay hydrated and full of healthy food. If you are working at home with a loved one or friend take turns making lunch for each other. Fresh air will help you stay focused, so see if you can eat outside or open a window. Leave your phone in your home-office during your lunch break.
Upgrade your workplace. This is the time to take a critical look at your workplace at home. You'll be spending too much time here to be in a sub-optimal position. Your arm rest should be at the same level as your table and your feet should be flat on the floor. If they aren't, put something under your feet for support.
Find the right tools. Spend time on researching which tools are available to help you be efficient. Zoom is great for calls and when you add Mural into the mix, you're adding a digital whiteboard to the mix. Spend ten minutes at the beginning of each call to iron out technical difficulties or you will be playing bingo the whole meeting, putting out fires as you go.
Over communicate. When you work in the same office your team communicates a lot without actively communicating. This component is absent when you work remotely. Make sure to tell your colleagues what you're up to, how you feel, when you're out, etc. We also suggest checking out of the office. Send your team a digital high five or share something in the group chat about your day. This will also help you close off your day and maintain a work-life balance.
Daily check-ins. Establish a time and a place to get in touch with your colleagues. Find a very specific time for a daily check in like 9:14 or 8:57; not a rounded number like 9:00 or 9:30. This will help keep everyone punctual. Keep the morning meeting down to five minutes. Design your own agenda and improve it as you go.
First share a round of good news.
Second explain what your primary focus is for the day.
Discuss any hurdles that need be solved.
Step away from your device. Do you sit behind your computer all day in the office? Probably not. Don't feel like you have to always be present. At work you also take a break sometime or walk around the block. Limit the time you spend behind your screen. Checking the news too often will make you anxious. After reading this, get up and walk around your house and make yourself a cup of tea without looking at your phone.
Improve your visual skills. This is also the time to improve a skill that you otherwise didn't find the time for. Ink Strategy can help you with your visual skills! Sign up for our visual thinking training and put that learning and development budget to good use.
Exercise. Exercise is critical for mental well-being and when at the office you might have been embarrassed to do some air squats next to your desk, now you only have to worry about your pet looking at you. If you don't want anyone to see you, make sure your webcam is off. If you don't have any free weights in the home office fill a tote bag with some books and work the biceps.
Change of scenery. This really depends on your home but try to change things around and work in another room or switch with your partner. Currently I'm sitting under my table writing this article. We do suggest dedicating a part of your house for work and leaving that behind at the end of the day.
Productivity Playlist. Find that playlist that boasts your productivity. In this office you can sing out loud!!! Crank up the music and enjoy.
Imaginary co-worker. When your partner or roommate is also working from home introduce an imaginary co-worker. You can blame this co-worker for all the cups of coffee that are left in the sink and other things that might start a relationship crisis.
Interested in working with Ink Strategy remotely? Click here to get in touch with us.
Looking for more tips for working from home? Another useful guide can be found here: “Working from Home: A Guide to Creating a Healthy and Productive Workspace”