Working From Home: 7 Top Tips
We’re quite vocal about our flexible working policies here at Clock. We’re proud that we let people work where they want and when they want, so long as they get the job done. We understand too though that remote working isn’t always easy. The dynamic is very different to being office-based, and there are a variety of challenges to face. With this in mind, here’s a list of tips that we’ve gathered over the years.
1. Dress more efficiently
On webcam, your colleagues can only see your top half.
Why spend effort making yourself look presentable where you're not going to be seen? Our Senior Software Architect Ben says, “I work from home and pretty much never wear trousers. It's so liberating and I save so much time getting ready. It's great for my productivity.”
Trousers, skirts, shorts, socks, shoes and underwear are all unnecessary and can be skipped in the dreaded “getting ready” process, but do be careful not to “stand up” during a stand up.
2. Combat remote blues
Working from home can be a lonely experience, but not if you do it right.
Make the most of any living soul who comes to the door, for example, couriers, door-to-door salespeople and religious cult recruiters. Invite them in for a cup of tea and bask in the warmth of human contact.
A great tip from Ceren, our Social Media Exec, is to spread out your online purchases. On Amazon (where delivery is mostly free anyway), avoid grouping purchases into a single delivery by ordering things at least a day apart. This is a great way to ensure multiple visits from your posty.
3. Targeted decorating
Paint is expensive and DIY is hard.
Why bother decorating an entire room when only the wall behind you will be visible to your colleagues and clients? Concentrate your time and effort by only decorating the area on view. At the moment, checked patterns are majorly in fashion, and B&Q currently have checked paint on offer. For tips on what else is trendy now, I highly recommend searching “home office” on Pinterest.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You could also decorate each wall separately to give the illusion of many offices or paint a green screen and do some eDecorating!
4. Emulate distractions
In the office there are a myriad of distractions which can be super helpful when you‘re stuck in a meeting *yawn*. At home however, it‘s easy to go long periods without interruption. Let‘s fix that!
Our Senior Frontend Developer Matt says “I refer to my pets as colleagues. That way if I‘m stuck in something incredibly boring, I can excuse myself with something like ‘Sorry Paul, my colleague is pestering me for something’, when in reality my cat is clawing at my face”.
5. Commute wisely
It’s great for your work-life balance not having to commute, however, the list of excuses for being late dwindles. Only office-based workers can blame their tardiness on the M25, but why should a remote worker miss out on this?
If you need an extra 20 minutes in bed (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) call your boss and tell them you’ve been held up in traffic, muttering something like “…stairway… hrmpgh… absolute gridlock… grumble”. If this doesn’t fly, make a point of getting out in the car and driving round the block in search of local traffic jams.
6. Make the most of dead time
There’s always a few minutes before and during meetings while people are faffing about and getting ready. In the office, this is dead time… you’re stood there twiddling your thumbs. And we’ve all been in those long conference calls where we barely needed to speak.
At home, there are plenty of things to get on with: ironing, washing, organising your holiday photos, watering the plants, the odd bit of DIY…
7. Be your own boss
With nobody there to peer over your shoulder and micromanage your every keystroke, you are in charge of your work. Remember to be fair: work hard, but equally reward yourself to keep morale. Nobody wants you to burn out, least of all you! When Rich, our Front End Developer, works from home he declares himself “employee of the month” for extra motivation. When work gets hard, all he has to do it look over at a framed photo of himself and it cheers him right up.
What do you do to stay positive when working remotely? Tweet us to let us know @clock because we'd love to shake things up!