The Team’s Work from Home Routines

Holly Cowley
Holly Cowley

July 8th, 2021

An office in your home

There is no denying that organised routines and healthy habits are essential in boosting productivity. However, it’s also no secret that routines are much easier to uphold when you’ve got an 8.30am bus to catch ready for a 9.00am start in the office. When working remotely, it can be easy to become overly settled into home comforts, distracting you from the work you need to get done. Now, at Tell, we have sung the praises of remote working in a number of past blog posts. Yet, we also recognise that in order to reep the benefits of home working you must be well-prepared. We have put together a comprehensive guide of how to get the most out of home working. We advise on how to streamline your focus and boost your productivity with tips and tricks used by Tell’s team.

The room you choose to work in is incredibly important. For example, working from your bedroom can make it difficult to switch off after a long day. For those lucky enough to have a dedicated office room, it’s an easy fix. Many people, however, have to work with smaller spaces. Kat, our event’s operator, found it useful to move her desk from her bedroom into the conservatory to separate work from relaxing and is able to enjoy some natural light whilst doing so. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer here, just make sure that the room you work from is comfortable for you and encourages focused activity.

Place is one of the most important factors of remote working and finding the right place to work can be vital to your success. I know it's called ‘working from home’, but that doesn’t mean we can't switch it up a bit. Consider the environments around you that may be conducive to a productive atmosphere. Perhaps you work one day a week from your favourite coffee shop, or take some of your work to a park on a sunny day. A simple change of scenery can enhance your productivity and make the everyday seem new again. If the coffee shops are closed, or it’s raining outside, dont fret! Even by working in a different room of the house you can mimic the same results.

Planning your day, before launching into your work, is also a really great habit to get into. It is one that I have found extremely beneficial to my own workflow. In the morning, before starting my work, I reach for my planner. I schedule what needs doing, when, and for how long. A roadmap helps you to be realistic about how much you have to get done that day and can garner a real sense of direction. Kat finds it useful to set herself smaller, achievable goals and expand them a little more each day so her workload never feels too daunting. When planning your day, it is essential to allow for plenty of breaks as and when you need them. Coming back to work from taking a moment to make a cuppa can help give your brain and eyes a rest. When you do return to your desk you’ll be ready to go again with a fresh perspective. It is important not to feel guilty for taking breaks when your mind and body need them! Also consider when you work best. For me, I find it much easier to work later in the day. Where as many people on the team find their productive peak to be in the mornings. Just remember when starting early, in the wise words of Tell’s Watson, eat breakfast!

We also appreciate, as a team with many overseas team members, that time-differences can be hard to maneuver. Our project manager, Maris, encountered this when working from California for a month. She said her biggest hack was waking up at least 30 minutes before your scheduled start time. It may be ridicuslously early for you wherever you are, but will give you a little time to have a coffee and feel a bit more human before getting down to business.

‘Space’ is a little bit like ‘place’. It refers to the environment from which you work. However, where as place is more general, space considers the specific details of where it is you work. For example, is your space comfortable? Is your chair supporting you? Do the objects around you excite and inspire you, or do they distract, or even bore you? One of our associates, Edgar, finds that a three-screen setup really enhances his productivity, proving that the equipment you have access to and the layout of your space is essential. If most of your work takes place on a laptop, it is probably not helpful to work in a space without a table or desk to work from. If you have a deadline coming up that afternoon, it is probably not practical to work in a room with a flatscreen TV. We definitely don’t advise working from bed, no matter how tempting it may seem. When considering your space and set up you need to ask yourself - Am I well equipped with access to what I need to complete focused work?

Frame of mind
Adopting habits that are good for your frame of mind are important to keeping your morale up. It should be easy, when working out the routine that works best for you, to inject some mindful activities into your day. For example, both Kat and Erin on our team start their day with a bit of meditation! Lots of our team members also play music throughout the day to help them focus. If music doesn’t work for you, try a podcast, or even some ASMR specifically for productivity.

Sometimes even tricking your mind into thinking you’re at work can help! Sometimes I’ll get up and get dressed and go for a walk so that when I come home it feels like I’ve had that all too familiar ‘walk to work’. Chris, one of our technical producers, says he even has to get dressed in work-appropriate-atire to trick his brain into getting into work-mode.

It’s also important to remember that working from home doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. Make sure to take time to check in with your colleagues. The Tell group chat is always popping off! If you don’t have a work group chat, schedule in work dates with your friends or family, even if it’s via FaceTime. Or, head down to the pub with friends after logging off for the evening. Watson, our technical producer, finds this option particularly motivating!

Relaxing and downtime is important so make sure that when you log off for the evening, you’re also allowing yourself a break from thinking about what's got to be done the next day. For Juliana, relaxing means watching a film or playing video games with her hubby after work. For Erin, our social media queen, taking some time to read before bed helps her to unwind. Alex, another of our events operators, says that working from home allows him to fully enjoy his evenings with friends.

Now, we know that working from home is still a relatively new concept, one that companies are only just starting to implement indeffenitely. The comfort that comes with remote working is excellent for promoting creativity and happiness in employees. However, we appreciate that it takes a level of self-discipline to inject motivation into home working. So, not only have we collated the best bits of advice our team has to offer, but we’ve also linked to some resources for you to get started. Good luck and drop us an email if you have any additonal tips or tricks that you would like to share with us!

Work from Home Resources:
Listen to music on our Spotify with new playlists released weekly

Pop on some ASMR specifically for working to

Listen to some of the hottest podcasts right now Jameela Jamil

The Euros

Or even Ted Talks

Get yourself a fabulous new planner

Download or create your own planner

Try a free mindfulness app

Try a guided meditation!

Start your day with a bit of light reading of current events

Understand how to be healthy and safe while working at home