We all know that with the current state of affairs, this can be a time of huge uncertainty, anxiety and stress over what’s to come. Working from home has its pros and cons: some people love it, some people hate it, but no matter what your stance is on working from home, it’s something we have to deal with for the foreseeable future.
When you’re not used to working from home, it can be easy to get distracted, lose accountability and lose motivation to get things done. Luckily, technology is so advanced in this day and age in creating solutions to help your team improve productivity, communication and effectiveness while working from home. Here are our top tips for overcoming the common pain points that come with remote working.
Issue 1: Lack of social interaction
To go weeks or potentially even months not seeing our colleagues or even just fellow commuters every day can get difficult - we’re social creatures who need human interaction to thrive in day to day life.
Hire Space says: Look at each other!
Zoom is a great tool to use - we start every day with a whole team video call, as well as using it for all meetings held throughout the day.
This provides a whole host of benefits - it makes us start work on time, makes us get showered and dressed and it’s also really nice seeing each other’s faces every day. Plus, facial expressions and tone of voice are super important to maintain in a conversation, thus avoiding potentially awkward misinterpretations. Zoom is free to use and has a 40-minute limit, keeping meetings snappy. Alternatively, you could purchase the paid version, which has three package options and allows longer meetings.
We don't just use it to discuss work, either. During lockdown, we held our first 'Hire Space cook-along', courtesy of our Head of Venue Experts, Jake. He took us through a great recipe for pimped-out beans on toast! We also held our first Hire Space Remote Yoga session, which was a huge success and a great way to start the day.
Issue 2: Loneliness
Even with a daily Zoom call, sitting in our living rooms all day every day can get extremely lonely. Sure, you may have housemates, partners or family working at home too, but it's really important to talk to people in the same company (or at least industry!) - people who understand how you're feeling and are on the exact same page as you.
Hire Space says: Stay connected
It's really easy to maintain communication through an app like Slack. Slack works across your devices and is a great alternative to email - no more rifling through threads to try and find the latest message!
You can set up different chats and channels, and also personalised notifications, so you won’t get too distracted by endless messages popping up. With loads of great functionalities, this app is a great way to stay connected with your team and feel less lonely during the day.
Hire Space have all sorts of different channels, from a Harry Potter quiz channel, 'playlist favourites' channel and even a ‘home gym tips’ channel; we’ve got it all!
Issue 3: Who's doing what?
When you're not all in the same office together, it can be difficult to maintain complete visibility on all projects and subsequently keep the whole team in the loop with everything going on. Not having a physical tool that you may have in the office, such as a whiteboard to write out projects and tasks, can create confusion about who's doing what, which is where productivity can suffer.
Hire Space says: Keep your projects in one place
A great online project management tool is Asana, which offers clear, aesthetically-pleasing displays and loads of functions to make everyone’s lives easier.
Asana allows us to create tasks and subtasks, assign members of the team to each task, and even integrate our email, calendar and Slack. This offers complete transparency on who’s doing what and when, maintaining accountability, cutting out needless email chatter, and making delegating a dream. Project management? Easy-peasy.
Issue 4: Productivity
There's nothing worse than working from home and not being able to access a document you suddenly find yourself needing. Equally, if you're working on a group document that lot's of people are editing, it's really hard to keep track of changes and maintain the most up to date version, allowing mistakes to slip in.
Hire Space says: Work in real-time
When it comes to remote working, the Google Drive is a life-saver for Hire Space. Having a central place everyone can log into to access documents, spreadsheets and presentations makes things a hell of a lot easier when the team is spread out across London and further afield.
The Drive is a fantastic tool which offers the functionality of ‘living documents’: multiple people can edit a document at the same time, and these changes are live and visible to everyone on the document in real-time. This is a really useful tool that avoids endless saving and re-uploading, meaning everyone in our team is up to date and on the same page. Literally.
Issue 5: All work and no play
When working remotely, it can be easy to work later than usual because there's no commute to 'end' the day. This means we could end up spending all our waking hours working, which isn't healthy and certainly won't be productive.
Hire Space says: Switch off
Even if you live with other people, it's important to make sure we stay interacting with other people too. Call a different friend or family member every day, or schedule a group video call to play games and decompress from the working day.
We may be physically distancing, but we should use this time to come closer than ever and keep those friendships and relationships strong. Remember to schedule in some time for yourself too! Whether you're a yogi or a budding baker, immersing yourself in a hobby is a great way to make sure you're not just staring at your laptop 24 hours a day! For more ideas on how to look after yourself during isolation, you can read our piece here.
We want to turn this uncertain time into a positive experience and stay stronger than ever as a team, and we hope with these simple solutions you can too. This is a tough time for everyone, but it won’t last forever.
We've also created a platform to keep you up-to-date with all the latest Coronavirus news, as well as the latest useful industry responses to the ongoing pandemic.
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