I have resisted writing a post like this - I do not want to be seen as "cashing in" on this crisis. But after a glass or two of wine the other night I decided that I have some advice to share.
I have been working from home (running my own business) on and off for the past 7 years so I do actually know what I am talking about! My tips might not work for everyone but I really want to to try and help anyone who is suddenly working from home that is not used to this!
I know not everyone CAN work from home. But there WILL be a lot more people embracing this new working life over the coming weeks.
So here are MY tips for working from home:
1. Routine routine baby!
Yes I mostly work from home (when I am not at a co-work space or the local cafe!) but I still try to keep some structure. I get up and exercise from 6am-6.45am and this sets the tone for the day.
2. Dress code
Personally I like to dress in casual office wear... whatever that means! I just like feeling like I am dressed for work and there is a certain pride in my appearance. In truth, it makes no difference to my work as I still often do my best work in the evenings in my PJ's - but it is vital to my mental health to keep this routine.
3. To housework or to not housework?
This divides the freelance community. Many say "No housework in work hours, you naughty thing!"
I say, hey, I like to to take a break every hour or so, by hanging up a load of washing or doing a quick vacuum. I think the trick is to limit it to a 5-min task, then get back to my actual paid work!
4. It's okay to work at night
Again, a divisive opinion. But surely one of the perks of working from home is that as long as the work gets one who cares? I know not all tasks or industries can do this - but for a lot of us, it does work. I prioritise certain client tasks during the day, the delegate others to the evenings so I can be with my kids in the afternoons.
5. Embrace the tech!
Zoom, Skype, Asana, Toggle, Loom.... look them up - most have free options! You can use these to keep in touch with colleagues, set up To-Do lists, assign tasks, and share jokes... lol!
6. Online learning
Embrace the online learning world - many events that were meant to be face to face will now be held online. Embrace this - sign up for webinars and on-line resources.
Upskilling your professional skills is a smart move anyway. Or you can simply learn something new just for fun.
7. Keeping in touch and the power of communication
Whether you live alone, or have your whole family around you, you'll need to actively keep the loneliness at bay.
Regular check ins with your team via Skype or Zoom are vital. But you can also join relevant industry groups and have some support that way. I am part of a Copywriting and a Virtual Assistant network. We have a closed Facebook group where we can all chat, as well as host regular virtual coffee chats.
Also look for great podcasts to listen to - podcasts can be a good distraction and you'll probably learn something too!
So, this is the end of my blog post - the part where I usually put a CTA (call to action) such as Call me Email me Follow me. But instead I simply want to say - please stay safe and think of others as we navigate this odd time.
Much love, Rachel xxx