I’ve been working from home like most of the nation since March and with lockdown finally easing, I thought I’d share my take on remote working. Microsoft Teams has become essential for staying in touch with clients and colleagues over the past 10 weeks or so.
It’s been busy and challenging at times but rewarding too. I’m proud – along with my colleagues at Team PB – to continue delivering to the highest level for our amazing clients. Many of you reading this will already be thinking about returning to the office, but for many this is now the new normal. So, with that in mind, here is what I have learned from the experience so far.
1. Dress to impress
Don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to a dress down Friday if we don’t have any client meetings, but an impromptu video call can leave you red faced if you’ve opted for joggers and a hoodie. Also dressing smart from the top half doesn’t work so good either, as a Good Morning America reporter found out the hard way! Plus, dressing like you’re going to a meeting not only puts you in a good frame of mind, it also makes a good impression.
2. Separate your workspace from your home space
It’s tricky eating, sleeping and working all in the same space, so keeping the areas separate has been a project in itself, especially when you’re not the only one in the house working from home! I’ve managed to avoid the temptation to work in comfort on the sofa and have found that working at the kitchen table has added a bit more structure to my day. By ensuring work time and free time don’t usually mix, it’s stopped me going stir crazy.
3. Start the day as you mean to go on
The reactive nature of our jobs often mean that things do not always pan out in the way one thinks they will at 9am. However, I have found starting the day with a clear idea of what is scheduled, my deadlines and the tasks I’d like to complete is a good way to stay on track. As a team we use Toggl Plan to stay up to date on tasks and priorities, but nothing quite gives the same pleasure as ticking things off a written to do list, even if it’s simply ‘open laptop’.
4. Use your lunch break wisely
Getting away from your screen at lunch has proved more important than ever, if only to get to the Co-op quick before the socially distanced crowds hit. I’ve been making the most of being at home rustling up an extra tasty lunch, enjoying some fresh air out in the garden or a quick yoga session for some afternoon zen. It’s always good feeling refreshed for the afternoon, not slumped in front of the screen in need of copious amounts of snacks.
5. Video calls aren’t just for meetings
We’re a very sociable bunch at Pillory Barn, so I’ve missed being in the office as a team. Video calls can get tiring, but it’s been great to have some facetime with colleagues aside from work too. Team tea breaks and an end of week social to stay in touch with one another has been a huge help.
Whilst working from home, I’ve worked on:
- Two website launches
- Five case studies
- Eight press releases
- 16 blogs
- Over 300 social media posts