Many people are suddenly finding themselves working from home without much notice. There are some great benefits to telecommuting but also some challenges. Our hive are seasoned remote workers so I thought we’d share some of our tips.
I’ll start with my own advice but please read on for some great ideas. Creating a routine is really important, as the lines between home and work become blurry very quickly. Make a schedule for yourself, write it down, and stick to it. I have a mid-day break routine that is non-negotiable: a healthy planned meal (the kitchen can easily become an escape with not so great consequences so I have to really focus on not wandering into it), 10-15 minutes outside for a short walk or stretching, a 10-15 minute power nap, and then an afternoon cup of coffee. It may take some trial and error to see what works for you.
Tips from the Hive
“While you may be tempted to work from bed, the couch or dining room table… don’t. Not only does it hurt your productivity but also your back. Find a space with a supportive chair, make sure your desk is the correct height and be sure to stretch often. Here is an article with tips on setting up a safe work space: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/
“Get in the habit of taking frequent breaks to re-hydrate and take a 5-10 minute walk. Set an alarm every few hours for this. If possible, give yourself a target task to complete in 1 hour so you are focused on your goal.”
Hive Traffic Controller
“Having a quiet space where you can shut the door and work is definitely important, as is having a routine to start and end the work day. Instead of your commute, take a walk around the block as your “commute,” where you can engage in the same sort of thoughts, music, podcast, etc. as your normal workday morning routine would involve. Same thing at the end of the day.”
“I have found that the most important thing to have is a room with a door and a space that is all your own. A bulletin board, a whiteboard, any office-like tools that can help you be more productive and keep you on task is a huge benefit.
Also, some ground rules for the other people who aren’t working (i.e. music on headphones instead of Alexa blasting sad Billie Eilish songs) If you have the room, make sure that everyone has an ‘office’ that they can go to and enjoy themselves while you work. Find a space, make it yours and fill it with what you need to be productive. Ask the people you live with for their help in this.”
“I like to take breaks and chat with some colleagues to stay sane! I also switch up my workspace using different laptop trays and I always keep my favorite things close by. Music helps. Many times, I will get out of the house and go to my local coffee shop and work there (although that won’t work right now). There are seven people who live in this house and four of them are teenagers – I highly recommend a lock on your door! Claim your SPACE!”
“I found that getting dressed every morning is one of the things that keeps me going. I have tried wearing my pajamas to work, and while it seems nice initially, after some time (for me) it gets to be uncomfortable. I found that getting dressed in the morning as I would normally, I find that the work day is more productive and ultimately more comfortable than wearing ‘night wear’ to work.”
“I create 1:1, 15 minute stand ups (or a touch base) with my team members daily for health checks. This is especially important for folks who’ve never worked remotely for extended periods.
On a more serious note, home life can be a very difficult place for some people. Sometimes staff live with parents, have special needs family members, or even toxic partners. Working from home indefinitely is extremely stressful for these people. So the daily stand ups can be a critical means to make sure they’re doing okay.
I’ve opened my home for occasional co-working sessions and will make house calls if needed as a way to provide some outside human contact for my staff. “
“A note from Penny, Tilda, and Bernie (pictured below): Our humans have been working from home and every so often they let us participate in the video calls. All the other humans cheer when they see us. We are the only thing holding everything together over here! GET A DOG – they make everything better! And don’t forget all those walks in-between work… so good for y’all!