In light of recent events (re: the coronavirus) people who are able to work from home are doing just that. For some – I’m looking at you, fellow introverts – this is a dream come true. For others it’s a nightmare.
Regardless of whether you’re jumping for joy at the prospect of spending the entire day working from the comfort of your home office (which we all know means bed) or are wondering How the heck can I possibly work from home?!, the fact of the matter is that this is now a reality for many people. Here at Passion, it’s no different. Although we’ve always had the option to WFH every now and then – and we even have some full-time remote workers in Spain and Germany – we now think it’s in everyone’s best interest to spend their work days at home until the immediate threat of coronavirus has passed.
Some of our Passionistas’ home office setups
Keeping Our Employees and the Community Healthy
You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the coronavirus through social media, the news and your friends, family and colleagues – although that may arguably be the safest place for you to be right now! To ensure that our Passionistas stay healthy and avoid accidentally spreading the virus, we’ve decided to implement a recommended working from home policy until further notice.
Owen, our Head of Digital, had this to say:
“There was obviously a lot of uncertainty last week and a lot of mixed messages about the severity of the coronavirus situation. Channing, our Recruitment and HR Manager, kept us up to speed on all the government guidelines, and attended webinars throughout the week advising businesses on how they should respond. By Thursday afternoon there was no clear directive from any authoritative source.
At that point Mike, the Founder of Passion, decided to advise people to work from home if they felt more comfortable doing so, as the welfare of our staff and their families comes first. We made sure we got that message out on Thursday and made sure that message was very clear.
We are well-equipped to work from home, and this doesn’t affect our ability to meet our client commitments. Our staff can WFH until we have a clear directive from the government announcing that it is no longer necessary.”
Working from Home: Tips from Our Passionistas
While in theory a home-based work policy is great, many people may be worried about how they’ll handle it, especially now that it’s probably not the best idea to head to your local coffee shop and work from there. We asked our Passionistas for their top tips for staying productive and properly balancing a personal life with a working life.
If you’re one of those many people worrying I’ve never done this before – what work can I do from home? Will I get it done? Will I fall behind? Will I go crazy?, here are some tips and tricks to help you stay sane, healthy and productive.
“Definitely wear PJs all day*, but get up every hour and take your eyes off the screen, make sure your desk is neat and tidy and go for a walk at lunch… and, of course, tea on the hour!” – Kyle, SEO Manager
“Wake up early, do some meditation and have a short workout at home to prepare yourself mentally and physically before starting the day. This will keep you motivated and awake throughout the day.” – Carolina, Marketing and PR Assistant
“Stick to a routine and don’t wear your PJs all day*, go out for a walk or do some type of exercise at home during lunch and use Pomodoro to make sure you do work and take breaks.” – Kat, Marketing and PR Manager
“Slack calls, video calls and team meetings in the morning. It’s what the web team does.” – Stephen, Junior Fullstack Developer
“Incorporate structure – even if it’s as simple as going for a walk every morning before work. Consider work and rest space separation. If you and your flatmates are going to be home together more, promote open and honest communications. For example, possibly agree on virus talk being kept to a minimum or at least not allowed during work hours. It can drain you and bring you down. Also remember to be anti-nest – it’s tempting to burrow in when you have all your amenities easily on hand, but make sure you do get out and about and stay active.” – Nathan, UX/UI Designer
“I love working from home. My tips are always get up and showered at your usual time, take your lunch and don’t be a slave to Slack. Lots of people will say ‘set up a proper desk’, however I usually just work from the sofa – but that’s each to their own. DON’T TURN ON THE TV, instead put music on here and there and go outside at some point for a run or a walk. When I first worked from home about 10 years ago, I wasted the day. The following day, I regretted it and felt guilty. Keep that feeling in mind. Above all else, it’s a great opportunity to get your head down and focus in a familiar environment. Embrace that concept and you’ll be dandy.” – Michael, Head of SEO
“Always have a good, non-invasive playlist on so that you’re not sitting in silence for eight hours solid.” – Rosie (that’s me!), Content Marketing Manager
* Uh oh, looks like our Passionistas can’t quite agree on a pyjama best practice – guess you’re on your own with that decision!
We’re lucky enough to be in the digital marketing business. Each and every one of us has a work-sanctioned laptop and the ability to easily get our daily tasks done from home. However, not everyone has that luxury, such as those who work in retail or customer service. In this time of uncertainty, it’s important that we look out for one another and support ourselves and our friends, family and colleagues however we can, whether that’s making time to video chat with loved ones who are far away, spending extra time with our pets or ensuring we stay safely inside if we suspect we’ve contracted COVID-19.
My WFH setup
If your business has recommended you work from home, make sure that you maintain a routine, look after your mental health, keep in touch with your colleagues and remember that you’ve got this! And, if you’re a homebody who much prefers your new 10-second commute to the living room over your usual 45-minute journey on the tube, enjoy that extra time in bed.