The Secret Sourcerers’ Guide to Working from Home
Not another guide on how to work from home, we hear you say!
Lately, and for obvious reasons, there has been so much written on the best ways to stay motivated and productive when working remotely. Take regular breaks, create a routine – we get it.
Here at Secret Source we’ve taken a slightly different approach and come up with our alternative guide. Read on to find out our 6 ideas for working from home.
1. End cruelty to frogs!
We know a few training companies who say the first thing in your day should be to ‘eat the frog’. In other words, take the worst task on your list and do it first. That way, everything that follows should be easy. But, we’re not all the same! How you choose to tackle your jobs surely depends on you and how you like to work. Some people like the dopamine hit of ticking things off their list. If you can cross off a few quick and simple tasks early in the day, it’s a bit like that first cup of tea/coffee – the kickstart you need for the rest of your day.
Getting stuff done can be the motivation you need to help you crack on with the next task and the next… rather than getting bogged down with your least desirable job of the day.
And, anyway, we much prefer our frogs in the chocolate variety…
2. Don't block the airwaves
Missing the customary workplace chit-chat with your colleagues?
Use WhatsApp as a team - it’s free and secure.
Keep WhatsApp for the more light-hearted comments. Share anecdotes from the day and leave the serious stuff for your work channels like project management tools. Try to have some known work etiquette (that’s not too oppressive), so your team(s) understand that they cannot clog up the airwaves with unnecessary chatter and countless memes…
No one wants to see 20 photos of your cat, Karen.
3. Work mode versus home mode
Let’s face it, working from home with its familiar surroundings and home comforts can encourage you to become a bit… well, complacent.
Instead, try to get in the zone for being professional each day. You’re still at work, after all.
Dress comfortably but smart. We’re not saying sit in your kitchen in a suit at this current time but create a positive mindset to get you in the right frame of mind for work.
The lines between work life and home life can become blurred when working from home. Having boundaries that you can mentally relate to, even as simple as the clothes you wear, will help to keep you focused. Having a work station that you can leave at the end of the day, or pack away, once you’ve finished at the end of a busy week can make a difference to break the cycle or feeling tempted to log on and answer emails late at night or at weekends. It is important not to burn out.
4. You’re only human
Conference calls at home can be daunting. Your partner is working next to you, the dog’s barking and your kid is pretending to be a lion in the room next door. During lockdown conference calls we’ve seen people’s studies, kitchens, bedrooms, sheds and lofts. We’ve even met the kids and pets too. We love this! We get that you’re human – because we are human too! So, you might hear the odd shout from the background, a dog bark or someone in the family inadvertently photo bombing the video call.
But, guess what? This is normal right now! You’re only human and your colleagues understand that, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
5. Conference calls etiquette
Treat conference calls as you would normal meetings and make sure you show up on time. If you know your computer is on the slow side, factor this in to ensure your colleagues aren’t always waiting for you to start. Etiquette on a conference call is a whole other blog topic in itself! But a useful trick we’ve found is to use the chat tool that most (if not all) conference call facilities have. This means that rather than interrupting people or all talking at once, people can drop a question to the meeting leader, and they can make sure all voices are heard.
6. You’re still a team
Don’t underestimate all the small personal interactions you had when you were in the office. Try to inject some fun into the working week or maybe a challenge. One example for us was trying to proactively think of remote fundraising ideas that a charity could promote during this time to encourage donations. It was both challenging, fun and creative. But it also had worth and has helped that charity with some practical ideas moving forward. Two heads are better than one, so even though you’re working from home, remember you’re not alone. Need help with ideas, inspiration or solutions to a problem? Just ask! We’re sure your colleagues would be more than happy to help. After all, we’re all in this together.
Communication with your colleagues and clients is important now more than ever. We love this video from Simon Sinek, talking to former US Navy SEAL, Chris Fussell, about how teams can stay connected. Watch It Here.
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About the Author: The Secret Source team work in partnership with companies to help get the best out of their marketing; from digital help, Hubspot Automation through to sales and marketing campaigns. To find ‘The Source’ of other useful articles & material that will help, then follow the team on our social channels and subscribe to the blog to get the latest secrets!