It is a time of change for us all. Following recent government announcements that we should work from home, avoid non-essential travel and start social distancing, it has understandably left an uncertain mood in the air. However, we must not allow ourselves to sit in the dark cloud. We need to put all our eggs in positivity’s basket (apologies for the Love Island reference), pull together, help our elderly neighbours where we can, text our mates to check in on them, and spread positivity wherever we can.
For those of us lucky enough to have jobs that we can still do from home, just how can we managed to do it effectively and stay sane during a period of self-isolation. For freelancers and those used to flexible working, it's no shock to our daily routines. But, if you're used to commuting every day and seeing your colleagues and you’re finding yourself thinking, “How the shit do I keep my shit together?!”, we’ve got some team tips for you.
At WooWoo, we all work remotely. We’re a small team (but big business baby!) without a headquarters, unless you class Lucy’s, our founder, living room as HQ. We have a member of the team based in the countryside, some in London, some in Wales and one in Brussels. One thing’s for sure, we’re a strong team. ‘But how do we do it?’ you ask. Here are our top tips.
Keep in touch
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean you feel disconnected from your team...
If your whole team is currently working from home, why not set up a WhatsApp group! We’ve had ours for about a year now, and if you ask any member of our team, they’ll let you know that there’s never a dull moment. Sometimes you need something to make you laugh (even at the most inappropriate time). Now more than ever it’s time to share those MEME’s, GIFs and any positive news you see. It’s so easy to check in - whether it’s for work reasons, or just to make sure everybody is Ay Okay. A sense of community is a beautiful thing.
We also do a weekly video call (although it often ends up with us laughing about how Vanessa’s local post office are sick of her endless gifting package postage, or how Gemma once had to recover her condom and lube filled bag from TFL lost property after enduring questioning of the contents of the bag (ha). Face-to-face time from the outside world is important at this time so mix up the meeting agenda with a dash of non-work chat as well as making sure you have all your ducks in a row in terms of tasks for the week.
Gemma’s favourite work at home tip, “A digital detox is my foolproof tip. A phone and social black out can be the key to getting you back on track and focussed on a task”. On some days it can be difficult not to get distracted or find the full motivation you really need for your day of work. If you're struggling, one way to get back on track is to switch off your mobile phone, or leave it in another room to avoid the distractions of WhatsApp messages, texts and calls… we all know how it is! Try turning off any notifications too. Hocus focus.
Office on fleek?
We all know how attached we get to our office desks. You make that b*tch yours… adding your personal touches (hello copper stationery and farrrncy mug), and getting pissed when Sandra picks up your boobie stress ball.
Make sure you keep this vibe. Those of us that can are set to be working from home for a good few weeks, so make your new space a good environment to get shi*t done. Keep natural light in mind and set up a specific space in your house that becomes your home office. Whether it's your spare room, a corner of your living room or bedroom try and make sure it's away from distractions (like the fridge or the TV) and sit in an upright chair with a nice desk space. Add some cute touches like a candle, some plants and your Chilly bottle for hydration. The wetter the better, babes!
Don’t stay in your pyjamas - no matter how cosy they are!
Jade’s top tip is to “separate your home life from your work life.” Under current circumstances the lines may blur, which can be majorly demotivating. Make sure you stick to your usual routine. You wouldn’t head to the office straight out of bed (no matter how relaxed your policies are), so make sure you aren’t parading around your home office in your finest Boux Avenue’s!
Get up and get dressed (even if you have a set of bed pyjamas and a set of work pyjamas - it’s the getting ready and changed that counts). It will make a huge difference to your motivation. Sitting in your pjs on the sofa, won’t make your to-do list go down any quicker than as usual.
Start the day off right
If you're self-isolating, then do your best to get the exercise in! Not just because being in your house makes you snack more than usual (as our team is finding). But, because starting or breaking up your day with some good endorphins can help get through the day. It really is good for the mind, body and soul. Why not scour YouTube for an exercise class of your choice? From yoga, to HIIT, to pilates and aerobics, there really is something for everyone. Jade recommends the BOXX London 14 day free trial today, you get to choose from boxing, yoga, cardio and strength workouts. A workout can help increase alertness, boost your energy throughout the day, improve focus and mood, and help you make healthier food choices - to name a few!
Burn outs are a no-go
If you can't stay focussed, give yourself a break honey! We’re all coping with some life changes, so it’s important to be kind to ourselves. So, step away from your laptop, start that book that’s been gathering dust, maybe listen to that podcast you can't get out of your head or do something creative like writing a letter to your grandma or start a quarantine journal. It really is pointless sitting at your desk feeling demotivated because you can’t get your head in the game. Some breathing space and self-compassion is most definitely needed.
WTF is chunking?!
Lucy’s top tip is “Chunking... or is that boring? Setting aside 40 minute sessions to one particular task. Get your coffee next to you and set the timer. No wandering off to put the washing on, no answering emails or texts...”. Basically, block out your time and concentrate solely on that. Sometimes your to do list can be overwhelming and picking one thing and attacking it with no distractions will give you a sense of achievement. It’s about setting boundaries and a routine in your day to try and avoid getting distracted.
Get it done, like a boss.
Let’s use our time to read some books, learn something new and focus on our plans for the future! Let’s appreciate everything that we usually take for granted.