Working from home – staying connected and staying positive

With the world in varying degrees of lockdown and many people experiencing the joys and difficulties of working from home for the first time, we thought that we should share our tips and insights to help you make this change.

Staying Connected

Keeping in touch with your team and the wider company can be a real challenge when working remotely, but luckily there are lots of free applications out there to help you out. Below we look at some of the programmes we use to keep us connected.

Slack – Slack is a great alternative to email. It keeps conversations organised and can also be used just to chat and keep in contact with coworkers. We have various Slack channels that we use for different conversations to keep things organised.

Trello – Trello boards are a brilliant way of sharing workflow and seeing who is dealing with what. You can set up a Trello board for single projects, daily tasks or huge collaborations. Trello helps you to organise and prioritise your workload and break it down into easy to manage tasks.

Todoist – Sharing a to-do list with your team means that you can allocate tasks and see who has done what at any point. This is a great app for big or small tasks and allows you to set dates, allocate to staff, add a priority flag and more.

Zoom – Setting up a video call for all staff may seem like it could be difficult but Zoom makes this really easy. A free account allows up to 100 connections and you can download the app on your phone or use it on your computer. Getting face to face over a video call is a great way of keeping in touch and staying motivated.

Staying Positive

Working from home does have its upsides but these can be hard to find in the beginning. We’ve allowed work from home for some years, so we asked our experienced staff for some of the positives that come with working from home.

Avoiding the commute – Not having to get up early and travel into work is a major bonus for a lot of staff. Finding a car parking space or waiting for yet another late train are all key stress points and removing these makes the mornings a lot calmer.

Choosing your own music – Having control over the office playlist is a big thing, especially when the tastes in music differ so much. Being able to listen to what you want, when you want is definitely a bonus!

Wear what you want – Although we don’t have a uniform here at 34SP.com, we do expect our staff to at least get dressed before they come to work. Some of our employees are enjoying the relaxed uniform rules a little bit too much whilst others are still sticking to their normal morning routines.

Saving money – One bonus that some of our staff are seeing is that they are actually saving money. From not paying for the commute or parking to eating at home rather than popping to one of the many amazing eateries or coffee shops in our local Northern Quarter, working from home is saving some of us around £10 a day.

Office dog – We are not allowed an office dog, although we keep trying to convince the bosses that it’s a good idea. Working from home means that some of us get to spend all day with our furry coworkers.

Top tips for working from home

We have all had the opportunity to work from home one day a week for a long time, so making the change to full time wasn’t that much of a shock to the system. Here are our top tips for working from home:

  • Keep a morning routine
  • Take regular breaks and move around
  • Have a dedicated workspace
  • Get fresh air and sunlight
  • Switch off your computer at the end of your shift
  • Limit the distractions (if you can)

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