At Aquatint, we’re quite seasoned pros at remote working and whilst we’re permanently based in Wimbledon, our team regularly work from locations around the UK and Europe including the Kent coast, Dorset, France and Portugal. Now, as the government are asking as many people as possible to work from home, we thought we’d share our top 5 tips to get the most out of your working from home days.
1. Plan Out Your Day
Normal working days in the office are often built on regular routine and familiar structure which can all too easily be lost when clocking in at home. Our top tip is to plan out your day as rigidly as possible, going as far as to block-out sections of your calendar with specific tasks as you would meetings (even going so far as to put time in the diary for breaks).
2. Define your Desk
Creating your "home office” is really important to distinguishing where home ends and work begins. Having a clearly defined area, ideally in a spare room (if you have the luxury of one) is a great way to get yourself in the right mindset for work. At the other end of the day, not trying to relax and wind-down in the same room you've been working in all day is great for your mental wellbeing.
3. Don’t get Distracted
Distractions at home are plentiful; household chores, pets, partners and family members and, of course the temptation to turn on the TV, can all be disastrous when it comes to at-home productivity. No-one wants to sit at your home work-space in silence so put the radio on, listen to some music but remember, it’s still a working day and blitzing through that boxset on Netflix shouldn’t be on the agenda.
4. Go Easy on Yourself
Whilst you are at home (and as long as you heed point 3) the likelihood is that you are going to be able to get more done in a day than if you were at the office, so be realistic, plan out your daily tasks and goals and take pride in what you've achieved; if you want to push on and rattle through even more work then that's amazing, but equally, if you want to take your foot off the gas once you've completed everything (inevitably far quicker than you'd imagined), then that's probably okay too!
Breaks are a really important part of your day that can easily be forgotten at home; get up and make yourself a cup of tea once in a while, take 5 minutes away from your screen and make sure you give yourself a proper lunch break.
5. Pick up the Phone
Whilst getting some piece and quiet, avoiding the rat-race and being more productive are all benefits of working from home, it can also be a very lonely experience, particularly over extended periods. Make sure you look after your own mental wellbeing and simply pick-up the phone to your colleagues, they’re probably feeling the same way as you and it’s a great way to keep in touch, have those water-cooler moments and still feel like you're part of the team.