The Rise Of Remote Working
Welcome back to the blog!
This week, we have decided to talk about something different! Something we are all going through at the moment.
The #WFH era. Work from home, baby!
We understand remote-working VERY well.
Back in the day when iGen Creative was formed, our founder, Hannah Kathleen, was living at home in Dublin, Ireland. It was a 24-hour workday for her and she had no 'out of office hours'. Since then, whether it was in her home office, at an international business conference, on the sofa, or on a beach somewhere, Hannah has always availed of the 'laptop lifestyle' and found an efficient way to work remotely, wherever that may be.
However, as things developed, the iGen Creative team opened an office in Dublin, but that was short-lived as we realised how much we valued the benefits of remote working and soon returned to our nomadic ways opting for the more flexible #WFH way of life.
Wherever you are in the world right now, we've all experienced a transformation in the way we work. Often working from home full-time, or perhaps you are one of the few that gets to work from your workplace a couple of days a week. Either way, we would like to share with you some tips and tricks that we picked up along the way to make your remote-working a bit easier, effective, and more enjoyable!
How we work
Let's start with an important question:
How do you engage with team members when you are no longer seeing them in person?
We have put a huge emphasis on consistently checking in with each team member, whether that is one to one or on a group Zoom call. Regular 15 minute calls will not only keep things running smoothly but will also motivate your team members. Having someone to bounce ideas off will lead to better morale overall!
Aside from that, we also have an iGen Creative WhatsApp group for all team members, as well as other groups dedicated to certain areas of the business such as partnerships and IT.
Alongside frequent check-in calls and our WhatsApp group, there is another important appointment you will find in the calendar of all iGen Creative team members around the world: a one-hour block on a Tuesday scheduled for our weekly team meeting. This is an amazing way for us to all to keep up to date with everything going on across responsibilities, and, of course, to socialise a little bit. Nothing beats the art of conversation!
If you have a team, contact them right now. Figure out a time and a day you can regularly depend on each other to catch up on everything going on within your business. Things can so easily add up with so much to do, and having a regular check-in will definitely improve the overall communication within your team.
Humans are social creatures and it is imperative that you remember that when optimising team communications.
Aside from looking at the people around you, take a look at the environment in which you are working in. If you are going to be spending 8 hours a day working at home you must make sure your surroundings facilitate focus and productivity.
2 tips to help you stay focused each day
Your physical space impacts your mentality so placing your desk somewhere that gets a lot of natural sunlight and away from distraction will support your mental focus for each task at hand.
Another important factor is to make sure your seat is comfortable enough to spend a full workday in it.
Organise a dedicated workspace
Maintaining a work-life balance is hard enough as it is, let alone when you are working in your home! To combat this, we place a huge emphasis on separating your workspace from your rest space. You don't need to clear out a room in your house to make it an office but choose your home workspace wisely.
For example, if you have to work in your lounge, section off a specific corner that you can mentally consider your 'office'. Ask your family or housemates to consider you 'at work' when sat in that location. It may sound menial but one of the biggest obstacles that often comes up when working from home is interruptions from the people around you. This small request will make a great difference in optimising your work-life situation.
Now that you have a designated workspace and regular team check-ins, you can look at ways to add a bit of variation within your day.
Take time away from your computer
Try to incorporate some structured 'breaks' into your day. At lunchtime, you could leave your house and go for a coffee, take your dog for a walk or simply step outside for 10 minutes to get some fresh air. It helps to maintain your focus and replaces the commute you may be used to every day.
Another fun way of being productive whilst getting outside is to take calls on the go! Not every call you have requires you to be at a desk so when the opportunity arises, avail of it. This is something that made a big difference to Hannah in particular and now, whenever possible, she takes calls on the go.
Improve your time management
Carefully planning your day will also help you to be as productive as possible at home. For example, if you know at 2 pm your house is quite busy because your children or spouse finish their day then, try to plan your errands at that time. This way, you avoid the distractions and are still working. Even if you don't have housemates to consider, sometimes we get that afternoon dip so make allowance for it and schedule mindless activities for then.
Staying motivated is the last key and we find the best way to do that is to have structure whilst allowing for some variations. No one can do the exact same thing every single day so don't force yourself to. Change your environment! If after 4 weeks working in your kitchen gets boring, then switch it up! Take your desk into the lounge even if it is just for a few days. There are so many options to give yourself some variation!
All in all, these are our best tips from our practical experience. If you try any out, let us know how it goes in the comments below.
Until next time,