By now, most of you, like ourselves, have been set up to work from home. For some of you this is a novelty, for others it feels like harder work than being in the office. Some will enjoy the relative quiet, others will be driven bonkers by the lack of social contact or, for those who are parents, by the unexpected 'co-workers' you've now acquired!
Over the past few weeks we've taken stock of some useful advice and tips that have helped us get the most out of working from our new home offices and we wanted to share them with you. Take a look through and let us know if you have any other tips to add—we're always looking to learn more.
Create a Routine
Getting into a routine is KEY, so try to wake up at the same time as you normally would. Get ready like you normally would too! Wash and dress as though you were going into the office – your family/housemates/pets will appreciate this!
If your commute normally involves a walk, find a way of getting a walk into your day – your body and mind will value this and you'll be grateful for the change of scenery.
Stick to eating in the same way you would normally – snacking constantly could lead to hitting that afternoon slump even earlier! Make sure to get some healthy fruit and veggies in and don't forget those vitamins!
Schedule a lunch break – it can be tempting to just keep on working but this isn’t sustainable and coming back to your work with fresh eyes will help in the long run.
Have a clear end time to your working day – it’s tempting to dip in and out of work with the technology available to you at home but avoid this if you can. We find writing a list of what you need to do the next day is a good way to mark the end of your current working day.
Create a Home Space and a Work Space
We know everyone's home amenities are different but we find it's best to differentiate your work space from your home space so that you have a place you can shut off and wind down when your work day is done.
Make sure your work space is as safe as possible, watch out for overloaded sockets and cables running across the floor. Try to avoid working on a bed or a couch. Find a flat surface with space that you can put your legs under if possible. Your seat ideally will have back support and be high enough for you to get your elbows level with your keyboard. You may have to get creative with the use of cushions and pillows to get high enough and get some back support. The effort you put into this piece WILL be worth it. Try to keep your feet on the floor or put them flat onto a small box.
Keep an open window to let some fresh air into the room.
Check out the video below to help set up your desk ergonomically:
Animate Your Home Work Space with Some Character
As most of you well know, we here at Brown Bag LOVE animation… and any opportunity to bring something creative to life. Including our work spaces! Sure, your work space should be a great place to focus and work, but everyone needs a good laugh or lovely sight to behold so be sure to inject some humour and beauty into your space.
Keep some post-its handy for doodling! Maybe draw some googly eyes for your new friend 'Gary the succulent'. It's important to enjoy and be brightened up by your work space too!
Here's a little look at how our gang set up their home offices:
Organise a morning check-in call for your whole team (if you don't have one already) – it’s important to understand priorities and talk through any developments so everyone is aware of their taskload. Remember this isn't business as usual so priorities may shift and it will take time to adapt. Don't beat yourself up but do let your team know if you're struggling and need support.
If you miss your teammates and friends schedule a virtual break with a few of them daily and have a coffee together – they are probably feeling the same way!
Make Time for You
Do your best to schedule time for social media rather than staying plugged in all day – it's good to get a break from the constant notifications and updates.
Arrange some time to exercise or walk around the home, sitting in a chair for long hours won't do any favours for your back! There are lots of great free resources available on YouTube for at home workouts, yoga and more!
Got a hobbie? Now is your time to engage yourself with something you love to do or you find fun. Give yourself that much needed YOU-time. Our Dublin studio Production Manager, Daniel Spencer, has taken up Taskmaster's #HomeTasking! If you're unfamiliar with the show Taskmaster now is your chance to YouTube it and catch up on some comedy gold. Then, why not join in the hometasking fun just like Daniel?
There you have it! We'd love to hear your working from home tips too, so please pop them in the comments below.
Stay safe, stay home and don't forget to wash your hands!