Like the vast majority of companies, our team Zoom calls, pulling together staff from 4 different time zones, have become second nature, a remote working staple that most of us had never used before 3 months ago . And yet here we are, clocking in and out between nine and five, trying to make sense of it all.
Part of this comes from the new norm of home-based working. According to the Office for National Statistics, only 5% of the UK labour force worked remotely in 2019, but well over a quarter had some experience of home working. In recent weeks, that figure has dramatically increased as a result of the lockdown measures implemented to tackle the spread of Covid-19. With all but key workers confined to their homes, the virtual office is now the new reality for businesses everywhere.
“Establish a dedicated working routine.” Carole Innes, Hub Manager
Although it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day and work from bed, a well-established work routine can help get you into a ‘working’ mindset. Where possible, try and keep your work routine at home, the same as you would in the office. This might mean following your normal workday morning routine or doing something as simple as having a coffee at a similar time each day. Having somewhere separate for your ‘office’ can also help. In an ideal world, this would be a dedicated desk away from where you sleep or relax, but during a pandemic you just have to do your best. Do what you can to make this feel like your workspace with notepads, pens and anything else that you might need.
“Make the time to do some exercise.” Amy Pickles, head of marketing
Busy lives and hectic calendars can often result in skipping the activities and daily routines that make our bodies and minds feel that bit better. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body and lifts your mood. Set time aside each day to follow simple and easy-to-follow exercises. This might be fifteen minutes of cardio – following accounts on Instagram and YouTube. Or it might even be just taking yourself out the house and on a walk at lunchtime. These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. The key is to find something that you can build into your daily routine at work and stick to it.
“There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment.” Nigel Filer, chief operating officer.
We practically carry our desk around with us with our constant connection to emails and updates on phones and tablets. Notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So, don’t text during breakfast with the kids, and don’t reply to work emails while you’re on ‘family time’. Make quality time, true quality time. By not reacting to updates from work immediately, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. This kind of resilience provides a greater sense of control, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself.” Colin Manson, CEO.
It’s not easy to work from home and being forced to do so by a pandemic is not an ideal way to start. During these challenging times, the internet won’t always work, and your kids will yell for your help and attention. It’s a completely different environment than you’ve been used to, and don’t forget that. If you get any work done at all, you are doing really well. To-do lists and setting SMART objectives for the day or week can help you feel more productive. Online project dashboards and task management software programmes can further support this.
Proteus has been developed with the remote worker in mind. A simple-to-use work management / team collaboration solution, it facilitates working remotely within a working environment. Proteus will greatly increase efficiency by removing fixed overheads and needless cost, as well as improve utilisation rates and project management while reducing the carbon emission from commuting and travelling.
For more information on the work management system, or to sign up: https://proteus-work.com