At Real Handful, we’re a tiny team split between Manchester which is the home of Handful HQ and London where we have a small remote team working across various co-working spaces. With our Co-Founders Carly and Joe being the parents of three young boys, alongside the daily grind of customer meetings, international phone calls and team catch-ups thrown into the mix, we know all too well the dramas of having your work routine completely thrown out the window and what it is like to really knuckle down and work from home. So, in these uncertain and unnerving times, from those who have been doing the whole working from home thing for a while, we thought we’d share our experience and our top 5 tips of how to work from home productively:
Carve out your space
Most likely you’ll be sharing an area with housemates, spouses, family members and loved ones, this means there will need to be a few ground rules in place. We’d suggest, if you have the space divide up the house into meeting rooms. Designate a room for phone calls and keep the communal space clear and quiet for emails. If space is limited block out time ‘noisy’ time periods where phone calls and skype meetings are allowed, so everyone else working in that area will know to expect a bit of extra audio over that time.
Decide on your music preference
Have a conversation on whether you like to collectively work with the radio, a certain music playlist or in silence. Then you can all adopt headphones accordingly. A few quick decisions before you begin the day will make everything run much more harmoniously.
Check in with your team
You might be working remotely, but this doesn’t mean communication needs to dwindle. Simon Sinek suggests a Monday morning huddle where teams spend 15 minutes checking in at the start of the week. The content of this meeting is not work related, it is just taking time to check-in with each other and help one another feel connected during uncertain times.
Swallow the frog
When you’re working from home it is really easy to put off the big tasks and distract yourself with email admin or putting a load of washing on. We would suggest adopting a ‘swallow the frog’ mentality where you complete the hardest task of the day first, then everything else feels a little easier following that.
Keep Team Spirits Up
Designate one person in the team the job of keeping up morale and positivity for that day. Take this job in turns each day so the onus isn’t all on one person to always bring the cheer. That could mean they share a positive piece of news they’ve found, a recipe they’re planning on making later that day or they send a few pounds on Monzo to virtually buy their team member a cup of coffee. Whatever works for you, we’ve found that during long stretches of time at home alone it is the little gestures that really help.
These are some tried and tested techniques we’ve enjoyed over the years of working at home or for long periods alone. Let us know what works for you as we’d love to share more useful tips.