As COVID-19 forces many of us to work from home, we find ourselves typing away at our keyboards in strange corners of our homes. As more and more companies implement work-from-home policies, employees are now tasked with trying to be just as productive without their normal resources and routines. While working from home sounds like a luxury in theory, it’s certainly no vacation and being productive is easier said than done.
When setting up Zeal we had a number of things we wanted to commit to; the first thing was that we believe that design is not a 9 – 5 job, with creativity you cant just switch it off and on at certain times, we want our clients to get the best of our abilities! plus, clients’ businesses have deadlines that don’t always fit comfortably within 9 – 5.
With this in mind we decided that we needed the flexibility that working from home gives you, as it happens it also has loads of other advantages too!
We conduct client and team meetings virtually meaning that we can work with anyone, anywhere in the world at any time! (That being said we do get out and meet up with our clients for a catch up over a cup of coffee every now and then!!). With this comes additional flexibility which allows us more time to focus on deadlines and enables us to better communicate with our clients. We know our clients have busy schedules and have found that we save huge amounts of time when we link a client remotely to our computer screen and discuss their project, allowing us to get real time feedback.
Also, it allows us to be a green company and do our bit for the environment, we have no daily commutes, reducing our carbon footprint, we are paperless and show our work through the use of screen shares and tablet computers, we are also completely plastic free, we don’t have the usual waste associated with a ‘normal’ office!
Working remotely has many benefits, but it takes dedication and smart strategies to actually pull it off.
But washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work.
If you don’t have a desk, use your table in a bedroom or a quiet room in your home. Besides making you feel like you’re at an “office,” this helps you maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.
Wake up at your normal time and be ready to start your day at the same time as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace, and finish your day at the same time.
This helps you mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the “I’m going to work” mindset.
But its easy to be distracted by other things too, this may seem like a convenient time to catch up on chores around the house, but it’s easier than you’d expect to get distracted. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break, but don’t let chores distract you from being productive. You wouldn’t be doing them if you were at work.
The same goes for other at-home distractions. If you meal prep or pack snacks ahead of time for the office, do the same at home so you don’t get preoccupied in the kitchen. Chances are you don’t watch TV or play the playstation at work either.
Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so.
If you work on a team, make sure to check in regularly just like you would in the office. Create to-do lists to keep yourself organised and focused, and share the status of your lists with your supervisor so they know you’re on top of your work.
Besides email and messaging programs like Slack, it’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or video conferencing like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.
Dont forget the 10 o’clock cup of tea and gossip with your collegues….virtual chat gossip is just as good as the real thing.
And you shouldn’t stay glued to your screen all day. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around just as you would in an office.
About 1.5 million people work from home, and it’s becoming more popular all the time. Here at Zeal we are huge advocates of this new generation of workforce, a case in point is that COVID-19 has not disrupted our business operations in any way – not even one day of down time…It’s the future.