Due to recent events, across the country, anyone that can work from home has now been asked to. As an agency, we’ve had to adjust extremely quickly to this – in terms of working remotely and thinking about social distancing or self-isolation. We are experiencing an unprecedented situation across the globe, and we are having to adapt and deal with each day as it comes.
Aspire is a small team and we’re used to seeing each other and collaborating in person on a day-to-day basis. We also work very closely with our clients, often seeing them in person as much as possible. This week, the government guidelines to fight the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK have changed our daily working regime beyond belief.
Due to the nature of our agency and digitalisation of systems and processes over recent years, we’ve fortunately been able to adapt very quickly. We have embraced technology and are communicating seamlessly online with each other and our clients, so we are pleased to say the business is running smoothly.
However, the change of routine and the developing crisis is very overwhelming, and so much time at home and in front of screens can quickly become difficult to manage. Below, the Aspire team share their top tips to stay productive and positive while working from home during the Coronavirus crisis.
Layla loves a list, targets and a regular video call…
We’re kicking-off each day with a 9am team briefing on Google Hangouts. It’s working well to keep everyone informed of company updates in relation to the Government guidelines and opens up a forum for sharing.
Throughout the day, I’m taking regular mini-breaks to move away from the screen and re-set my mind in between activities. And fitting in exercise at lunchtime or the end of the day for a longer break and some fresh air.
I’m a ‘wanna-be’ minimalist, so I need a really clear working space, or I get distracted by chores around the house. I also find it helpful to finish each day with a list of priorities and targets for the next day.
I’m tapping into some of the great content being shared too, so I’m making time for more reading and research with the time I’m saving on travel.
Kate likes a structured working day…
Start your day as if you were going out to work. Get up, have a shower, get dressed. Sit at your desk for 9am or whenever you normally start. Structure is paramount and it’s really easy to let it slide.
If at all possible, find some closure at the end of the working day, whether that’s shutting the door on the spare room/home office or putting the laptop out of sight and doing something that marks the end of the working day.
Vikki needs the right working environment…
Taking regular breaks is important – fresh air is essential as well. In terms of other things I believe in, the below are all equally important for me:
- Make more phone calls and keep talking to people
- Have music on and try to replicate your office environment
- Only listen to the news once if you’re finding it demotivating
- Make your working space comfy and let fresh air in
- Stay clean – shower daily and do not sit in your PJ’s all day
- Keep the phone at bay as too many messages can be distracting (and the chat isn’t always upbeat)
- Have a room that’s not work related
- Lastly, don’t drink before 12!
Josh believes in an active start and a tidy desk…
For me, going for an early run is really important. It doesn’t always feel good, and sometimes it can be hard to get up and out, but it’s always worth it. While it means I stay active, it also gives me some much-needed routine.
It’s nice knowing that, during a time where we’re being told to isolate and keep to ourselves, I can still exercise and keep moving. A healthy body is a healthy mind, and this certainly comes into play at a time like this.
Aside from morning fresh air and activity, I also like to keep tidy and clutter-free. Having a clean desk with only the essentials on really helps me stay productive. In a small flat, keeping minimalist key!
Becky likes to stay relaxed, healthy and moving…
I start the day with fresh air, whether that’s a run or walk with the dog. For me, this is really important and helps me to focus.
Posture is another thing I keep having to remind myself to pay attention to. I try to sit upright and relax my shoulders, and a little stretch of the legs and back at lunchtime and at the end of the day really helps.
Having the luxury of Luna the dog by my side is also really soothing, as she keeps me calm. And in terms of work, preparing a list of things to focus on for that day before our morning meeting helps keep me on track.
For now keeping my Lent promise of no chocolate and eating healthy – and no snacks at my desk – is also very good! Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water and fresh mint tea is, too, another habit of mine.
It’s going to be a long journey ahead for us all, but we need to be responsible, stay positive for each other and keep the Aspire wheels turning. We will continue to work hard for our clients, for the team and for us as individuals. It’s important this commitment is replicated outside of our work lives as well, as we all aim to bounce back stronger and healthier.
For more tips on working from home, read this helpful BBC article.