Most companies now in the UK, unless they employ key workers, are advising their staff to work from home where possible to avoid the further spread of COVID-19. This means finding positive ways to work from home successfully is essential.
As we enter our fourth week of working from home, in what is a changing business landscape, we thought we’d share some of the tips and tricks we’ve found useful to help us adapt and be productive from our ‘virtual nests’.
“I like to try and keep to my normal morning routine. Even though my alarm is set a little later due to having less travel time, I’m still getting up and getting ready as I would and even eating my granola and yoghurt at my desk, as I would in the nest.” – Hayley Leech, Head of Finance
“Something which has been helping me is to still do my ‘walk to work’. I’ve gone out and walked round the block to give me the sense of going to work. Sounds odd but has helped me start the day.” – Sophie Sayer, Client Services Enthusiast
“I’ve found getting ready as if I was going into work has helped. I wear my work clothes, do my hair and makeup as I normally would. It just seems to set me for the day. I also have music playing in the background to help keep me focused. I would also suggest keeping to your usual lunch breaks but also having a couple of short breaks throughout the day. Whilst we don’t usually have them in the office, we do have the other Swans to talk too, which acts as little mini breaks throughout the day. My biggest tip would be to enjoy it, make the most of being at home with partners, children, pets.” – Leanne Jarvis, Client Services Enthusiast
“For me routine is key. Between 9 and 5:30pm I’m at work. I leave all my household jobs alone, so I don’t get distracted by putting a wash on or doing the washing up! It’s also important for me to switch off the computer at 5:30pm and walk away in order to keep home and work separate.” – Hannah Cooper, Energy Contract Enthusiast
“My tip is to stay in touch with your colleagues as much as you possibly can. They are going to be in the same position as you and will want you to be happy and settled. A quick call or text could be enough to turn someone else’s day round.” – Alex Wiseman, Client Discovery Coach & Wellbeing Ambassador
“Try something new. If you haven’t read for a while, then now is the time to pick up a book and get lost in a different world. Stay active. Even if it is a walk or a short run, you will be surprised how many less steps you do a day working from home, but a good walk at the end of the day can actually improve you activity against normal days in the office. Talk to people and this for me is the key one. Keep open, honest communication open with everyone. Your friends, family, colleagues etc. Lean on people when needed and make sure you are there for them to lean on you. We will all have good and bad days and being able to reach out virtually is a gift and one that we must take advantage off as opposed to secluding yourself from all human interaction. Stay social, stay connected.” – James Groves, Managing Director
“Remain calm and breath. You can only do so much – especially if you are multitasking work and home schooling. If we become stressed so does the rest of the household and that leads to nothing being done. Use this time to find your internal calm and let it flourish.” – Rae Harris, Client Services Enthusiast
“A spray of perfume before I sit down always gets me in work mode, as we only tend to wear it when we leave the house. I would also suggest investing in a good set of headphones to plug into your favourite playlist. Another tip would be to keep lunch exciting by trying quick and healthy recipes. Lastly, take your time! Take 10-15 mins a few times during the day to help you relax, whether it’s a bit of Pilates, applying a face mask or an elongated coffee break.” – Brogan Baggott, Client Discovery Enthusiast
“Make time for exercise, get your heart racing and ideally do this whilst listening to your favourite music. Also, to help focus the mind, I would suggest trying the Forest app. Social media and news apps can be a huge, constant distraction.” – Emily Groves, Founder
“Try and create an office space where you can close the door at the end of the day. This will help define the boundaries between work and home. Also, get up and move! The temptation is to sit in a single place for too long. Walk around, stretch your legs and relax your neck and shoulders. Stay in touch with people. Your colleagues, suppliers, customers will all be feeling the same as you so why not call rather than email? You can easily video call too, which is great at making you feel connected and avoids the potential miscommunication that back-and-forth emailing can bring.” – Aimee Konieczny, Head of Client Relationships
“For me, it’s about keeping a similar routine to what I would do in the office. So that means starting and finishing at the same time, taking a full hour for lunch, including getting away from the desk and outside for some fresh air and a stretch. Take a few minutes to walk to the kitchen, make a coffee and have a little chat. Try to avoid the temptation of getting into non work-related online conversations as before you know it, your focus and productivity will plummet.” – Lee Hart, Head of Knowhow
“My top tip would be to plan your work around when you are most productive. For example, I know that I am more focused and motivated in the morning, so I make sure I schedule my daily tasks with this in mind. Anything that requires more attention and brain power, like writing content or design work, I try and complete first thing and then I use the afternoon for work which I find easier or is more admin based. I also write a to do list every day. Sometimes I do it the day before so I can wake up in the morning knowing what I want to achieve that day!” – Jaime Lloyd-Jones, Head of Marketing
“My main tip is to stay organised. To help keep me on track I make a to do list every day!” – Jade Garwood, Client Services Enthusiast
“My tip would be to make up a packed lunch like you would normally to stop you from grazing the fridge. It means then you know how much you’ve got for the day and that’s it.” – Nikki Spinks, Client Services Enthusiast
“I have three tips. Firstly experiment. You may think you have a good set up but if you are finding you’re not as productive as you should be then change it up. Could be as simple as moving your computer round 90 degrees and sitting on another side of the table! Secondly, close doors. An open door just begs to be walked through and only distracts. I write this with the patio doors closed despite the sunshine. If it was open, I would be out there! Lastly, be kind to yourself. It’s hard to change working patterns, so don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t able to get as much done in the day.” – Andrew Ducker, Energy Contract Enthusiast
Head of Marketing
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