Daniel O’ Shea shares how he has been getting to grips with working from home.
If you’re anything like me, after one day working from home I can’t wait to get back into the buzz of the office. At Pegasus, the company has now broken through the second week of WFH and, although it has taken quite some getting used to, I’ve learned a lot about how myself and my team like to work.
Here are a few things that might well help you too …
- Set a routine – What may have once been my frenzied attempt at grabbing a burnt slice of toast whilst rushing out of the door to catch a train, is now a very different exercise entirely. I have to be disciplined, which means getting up early, dressed and ready for the day as if I were going into the office. My colleagues tell me they have been making the most of not having to commute by using that time for exercise, a great way to boost your mood at the start or end of the day. While I’ve been using my daily walk to catch up on some podcasts I’ve been meaning to listen to for forever, like The Gary Vee Audio experience (a digital marketing business entrepreneur and huge sports fan!)
- Brevity is sometimes best – A good tip from my colleagues, try to counter the increased number of calls by shortening those one hour meetings to 45 minutes instead, to allow for a breaks on those busy days. Keeping those virtual meetings focused on very tight objectives helps to ensure they don’t consume people’s days
- Show your face – Video calls can feel risky: a child, or a pet might make a surprise appearance at any moment! But using video on calls with clients and colleagues helps to build rapport and make everything a little more human. Daily or weekly check-ins with teams and individuals helps to create some normality, even if the chat is about what you watched on Netflix last night
- Set boundaries – You can’t always be available immediately and that’s okay. Like me, you will likely be managing a range of new responsibilities and commitments that you probably weren’t just a few weeks ago. I try to respond as quickly as is feasible but try not to be too hard on myself. Colleagues and clients will understand this and will be in the same position themselves!
- Create a workspace – Your kitchen table may not be the easiest place to work when there are lots of distractions. Try to find somewhere you can be comfortable and concentrate. If you can identify it as your workspace, it will help you to switch your ‘work brain’ off when the working day is done. I always power off my computer, so there’s no temptation to check my emails just before bed
If some good can come out of these challenging times, it may be that you are able to see the best of how your colleagues and clients can adapt and connect with each other. There is more going on in life than the nine to five and the sooner we can relate and empathise, I believe the stronger and more authentic the connections to the people we work with will be.