Coronavirus – A Simple Guide to Working from Home
As a team of developers and testers, we’re already used to working from home. At Chester Apps we’ve been doing so way before Covid-19 made an unexpected appearance, and maybe we can help you do the same. Change can be scary, especially when there is a global pandemic in full swing, and that is why it is so important to create a relaxed atmosphere while you work from the comfort of your own home. Many companies have decided that their employees will stay working from home for a lot longer than initially expected, and so the temporary workspace you have probably set up, needs to become more permanent.
There are a few things to remember when working from home:
Communication is Key
As a team of app developers, here at Chester Apps we are used to working from home and so we understand the importance of communication. In a busy office environment, it is much easier to communicate with your fellow employees, whereas working from home you can feel more isolated and less likely to reach out to colleagues during the day.
You might be less like it to reach out for help if you’re struggling with a certain task, or lack the information you need because it isn’t as simple as calling someone over to your desk. Don’t let this get in the way of your work! There are some great platforms for keeping in touch with people that are really helpful for keeping in contact with your colleagues, such as Skype and Zoom.
At Chester Apps we tend to use Skype for day to day communication, and we have our own bespoke communications system in place to discuss specific projects and tasks which we developed ourselves. For weekly meetings, Zoom is a great option, as it allows multiple people on the same call, and you can opt to have the video on or off. Both of these platforms are great for effective communication, sharing updates, and keeping up productivity.
Your Environment Affects your Mindset
If you’re new to working from home you might have slipped into the habit of lounging around in your pyjamas, working from the couch with the TV on in the background, or in bed with a cup of tea. This might feel more relaxing, but have you noticed your productivity drop?
You need to create a designated workspace, somewhere that is specifically for work and work alone. Once your brain associates a part of your house with an activity you can get easily distracted and find it difficult to focus on anything else, so no more Skype calls in bed or checking emails in front of the TV!
Try to stick to your usual working routine as much as possible – get up at a similar time on a morning and try having your breaks at similar times throughout the day. Make sure your work area is comfortable, but also a space where you will feel productive rather than too relaxed, and that you have all the equipment you need to do your job properly.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Even though we have to remain physically distant from others, we can still take time to appreciate the great outdoors. Try to spend half an hour each day in your garden, and if you don’t have a garden then try to go for regular walks. Usually, you would spend time outside of your home commuting before and after your workday, so maybe incorporate a morning run or evening stroll into your new routine.
Staying inside can seem appealing, especially since we don’t really need to go outside, but it can also lead to feelings of laziness that can be hard to get out of. Staying inside all day can also be detrimental to mental health, and can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s really important to look after your physical and mental health so you can not only perform better while working, but also so you can more easily navigate your new life during lockdown.
Working from home doesn’t have to mean reduced productivity and distractions. With the proper measures in place and a bit of organising you can make your remote working just as productive as in the office (and sometimes even more so)!