Given the unusual circumstances, huge numbers of employees are now finding themselves in a situation where they must work from home.
We’ve been able to work remotely for many years here at Simpsons Creative, so we thought it would be great to share some of our best practices and tips, and lessons learned on how to stay focused.
Our company will carry on working no matter where in the world we work, our strength is our colleagues, collaboration and teamwork. Our technology of being a digital agency helps our employees and clients securely access critical systems and applications regardless of their location. We enable and help businesses to continue growing even in emergency situations, such as now.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope you’ll find our tips for working remotely valuable. They’re designed to enable a somewhat normal routine in this chaotic world but will also prepare you should similar events force people to work remotely in the future.
Staying connected. Maintain your internet access anywhere, anytime.
This is one of the most important things – how will I stay connected?
How will you stay connected to your peers, colleagues and your customers? In most homes today you’ll find that you have unlimited internet access at a fast speed. It is useful to know when to switch between your home broadband and mobile data. If you find that your broadband is unreliable and sometimes drops out, it may be an option to use your mobile phone as a personal hotspot. It is vital that you ensure you have sufficient data to do so without exceeding your limit and being left short for the rest of the month, especially as video calls and webinars can be very data consuming.
Good preparation is the key to keep you on track.
Know what your priorities are. This is one of the best tips we can share for working remotely because it’s so easy for a schedule to slip, especially when working from home.
At the beginning of each week look at which tasks you must achieve. It’s simply good practice to set aside time to prepare and rank your tasks. Use this time to determine whether you have everything you need or if you need to reach out to colleagues for assistance. Label tasks that can be done alone and those that require another colleague’s input.
- Review previous week’s work
- Prioritise tasks for the week ahead
- Collaborate with colleagues on what you need from them
Communication is crucial.
Don’t underestimate the value of communication. Talk frequently and use the apps available to you. With so many tools available, we need to make use of them to communicate, such as audio and video, webinars, podcasts, online meetings and messaging, etc. They are there to make your job easier and when working remotely, you should rely on them. Of course, it’s always important to have alternative options at hand should technology fail.
- Communicate frequently
- Use the purpose-built tools available to help you
- If appropriate, use both audio and video
- Never hesitate to make a phone call. It can get the fastest results, with less risk of miscommunication
Some communication apps we use frequently to stay connected:
- Zoom or Microsoft Teams
The health of remote workers
Prioritising your health as a remote worker is a practice we cannot emphasise enough. While working remotely, it can sometimes be unclear as to when you are meant to be working and when you are not. Routine can help put structure around when you are working and when you are off. Something as small as adding a sign that says “working” on the door of the room you are in, is a good indicator for your family members not to distract you.
- Your health is important—create a routine and stick to it
- Take short breaks from the computer to stand up or walk around
- Use a proper keyboard and mouse, and buy a good chair
- Choose your working location carefully; try to include natural light
- Use your full lunch and tea breaks
- Socialise with people via online channels, such as Slack or Teams
We hope you are all staying safe while working from home and our tips will help throughout this continued lockdown period that is in place for the foreseeable future. If there is anything your business needs help with throughout lockdown, we have a wide range of services on offer. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team.