Working from home has been sought after in flexible working arrangements for a while now, but how many businesses know how to operate with a remote workforce? Our team at Aginic has been set up to work remotely because of the work we do, and we would love to share our experience of working from home.
Continue maintaining a vibrant and productive work culture by doing a few simple things such as:
1. Say hi to your teammates in the morning
When you start the day, get onto a call with your teammates using an online chat or video call (e.g Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Slack, Workplace, Zoom, etc). Why don’t you have a chat with a teammate while having your morning coffee? You can do it with your team, or a one-on-one catchup with different people every day to keep the connection across a larger company. Huge tip: seeing each other during meetings makes a big difference, so it is worth every minute spent getting your webcam working.
2. Keep a similar work routine
If you are in the habit of arriving and leaving the office at the same time in the morning and in the afternoon, do not change anything, even if you are at home. This will help you to keep in the rhythm. Prepare yourself in the morning as if you were going to leave the house. Because you don’t need to commute to your workplace, this saves you a bit of time that you can use for other things; making a healthy breakfast, making your own coffee or doing morning meditation to name a few ideas.
3. Take regular breaks
We cannot emphasise this point enough. Working from home does not mean working all the time. It’s easy to fall into the comfy-office-chair-trap and stay there for hours. Take care of yourself and take regular breaks. Take time-out breaks the way you would in the office, but modify them to work for your home setup. Go for a walk outside, make yourself a coffee, call a friend, or dance to your favorite song! There are lots of apps out there to help you take regular breaks, and one of our favourites is a Google Chrome extension called Break Time. Some of our team members also like using the Pomodoro technique to stay productive.
4. Plan ahead to keep in touch
Plan your meetings and catch-ups with your teammates. If you need that social interaction every day, make sure the people you’d like to catch up with are available. Book out time in advance, to get people committed. Working at home can feel isolating, and video calls is a great way to keep people connected and energised. You’d be surprised how much virtual face time matters when working from home. Schedule meetings ahead of time, to make sure so you can stay in contact later.
5. Share your work activities with your team
Keeping visibility of what’s being accomplished is a great way to feel connected and motivated. There are different ways of doing this, like holding daily standup meetings with core teams. A standup is a daily quick (15 min) check-in to see how everyone is going; what people have worked on the day before, what people will be working on today, and to see if anyone is currently blocked on what they’re working on (and help move the blockers). Atlassian has some good information about standup meetings, check in out.
6. Make a plan for tomorrow
To get motivated in the morning, a great way is to create a to-do-list the night before. We recommend this great pdf template from Google, which helps you think about your day and plan for tomorrow.
7. Make time for focused work
Try and find your focus zone! Finding this changes from person to person, and can depend on the type of work you’re doing. It could be using headphones to keep you isolated from noise from your neighbours, from TV or constant notifications beep sounds from social media. Another great way is to schedule your focus time. A tool that a lot of our team members like using is Clockwise. Clockwise is for anyone keen on using an calendar assistant to help find focused time.
Also remember that it is important to set up a comfortable and dedicated workspace (you can also improvise from what you have at home eg: standing desks using ironing board).
8. Make time for fun!
To destress and have some fun times with your team, there are simple ways to connect and have a few laughs. Here are some tips:
- Play some games. One of our favourites is playing virtual pictionary using Google Jamboard.
- Show and tell catch-up. Show your work mates something and tell a story around it. It could be anything that means something to you. Anything from your loved pet, to an art project you saved since primary school!
- Overdress on purpose! Wear that special outfit that you always think is a bit too much. Wear that funky tie that never really works for any occasion. Put on your Halloween or cosplay costume to add some laughter to your work team.
The above tips are just a few examples of what to think about while working from home. We will soon post some more advice and guides on how you can improve your daily work life and finding a balance in the chaos!
If you would like to learn more about how to transition your team from the office to a remote working environment, check out our ‘Working from home 101’ workshop.
To enable companies to keep the business going remotely, we also have a range of remotely accessible services in design, agile delivery, data analytics, and cloud technology.