Firstly, we hope that you, your families, your communities and your teams are healthy and well. In these uncertain times, it’s important that we all look after one another.
These are also very strange times. For many of us in the higher education and charity sectors, remote working is a novel concept. Sure you may have had the occasional day of working from home before, but this is a bit different. Now that we find ourselves needing to work from home for the foreseeable it’s important that we educate ourselves about the most effective ways to remain productive, while also taking care of our mental health and general wellbeing.
Here at Hubbub, remote working is part of our standard day-to-day. We use all the tips, tricks and tools in the book to make sure that our teams can work effectively - no matter where in the country, or in the world, we might be. In this blog, you’ll find a few handy suggestions that we hope you too will find useful - either for your own personal use or for collaborating with your teams.
Wake up at your normal time. If you have children or pets they might help you to keep this habit, however, those of us without this additional wake-up device may be tempted to use working from home as an excuse for a lie-in. Don’t do it!
Set your alarm for its normal time, brush your teeth, get dressed, sing in the shower - do all the things you would normally do just as if it was a regular working day. You can then use the extra time that you would have spent on your commute to take a bit of extra time for yourself (see tip 3 for ways to have ‘you time’ when working from home). Then, whenever you would normally start your working day, get started!
If you are working from home, while also being a super parent, this blog from the team at Buffer is also full of great tips for working remotely with children at home.
Tempting as it might be to work from your bed, or a couch, opt for a table or desk. This tip follows directly on from tip 1 with good intent as both have been suggested as ways to aid productivity, while also helping you to mentally prepare for a day in the office.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going to set-up your working from home space, make sure, where possible, to make it an environment that you enjoy being in. Good lighting, decorations, plants, inspirational quotes and photos can all make your workspace more enjoyable. Making sure your workspace is clean and tidy can also help you to stay focused.
Those who work from home, according to this 2019 Owl Labs report, work more than the standard 40-hour working week. It’s important to make sure that you keep your working hours as near enough to what they would normally be as if you were still in the office. Planning your day will give it structure, while also making sure that you remain productive. Planning your day can also help with ensuring that you take regular breaks to help with your overall mental health and well-being.
Here are a few tips:
Over the last few years, remote working has quickly become commonplace in many business cultures. To help businesses adopt this way of working, many tools have emerged to keep teams productive, while also making sure they stay in touch. Just as if you were sitting next to someone in a normal office environment.
These are some of the tools we recommend.
While each of these tools is great for helping teams to cope with remote working, it’s important that teams receive the appropriate training for how to use them and what their purpose is. For each of the tools listed above, there are many handy ‘how-to’ and starter tutorials available online that can be used to ensure that teams are well trained and set up for success.
Bonus - Tips for communicating when working remotely
Without your wonderful co-workers at the desk next to you, or in the kitchen to make a cup of tea with (shout out for the UK), working remotely can feel like a solitary task. However, it’s important, especially in the current climate, that we stay connected.
With everything going on in the world, going fully remote for the first time can feel a bit like wandering around in the dark without a flashlight. We hope that the tips listed above have provided you with a few useful tips and solutions that can now be used by individuals and teams - helping you to keep communicating with your supporters and to keep helping those that you serve.
If you have any further questions about remote working, please email our team - we’d be happy to help lend our advice.
With many of us and our communities concerned about COVID-19, it can be tricky to know what direction to travel in and which decisions to make when it comes to keeping your charity's supporter community committed and engaged with your cause.