Flexible working – how to make working from home work

Woman working at home, typing on laptop

As a creative business, working from home isn’t a new idea for many of us. Our team is a vibrant, busy one and our culture is one of working together and creating together, sharing ideas and pushing projects forward. So, we thought we’d share with you how we’re staying connected whilst social distancing – and how our team is managing workloads, whilst caring for ourselves and our families.

Staying in touch

You can’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face working. It feels more personal and immediate. We use Microsoft Teams to message one another. It allows us to have face-to-face meetings and share presentations with our clients, enabling live feedback. Staying connected means we can still work as a team. Seeing a friendly face also really helps combat feelings of isolation and anxiety.

Trev the deputy as Robin Hood during a MS Team meeting

Managing home schooling and work

We understand the demands of juggling homeschooling whilst trying to work. The way we’re handling it is to share childcare and ‘teaching’ roles with our partners wherever we can, and we’re working flexibly within our teams to ensure we’ve got everything covered.

We know that things are currently different and unpredictable for everyone. But here’s how we’re getting on.

Working from home with children
Keeping motivated working from home

For conference calls, along with providing all meeting members with a PDF, just in case anyone has technical issues, I usually make sure the kids have something to keep them quiet.

Lucy - Account Marketing Director

Our top tips for staying sane in lockdown

Make the most of your commute

OK, the truth is that now, for most of us our commute is just a hop from the bed to the spare room or to the kitchen table, and that can be a good thing. Use the time you normally travel to work, to get your day off to a good start.

That could be family breakfast time, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out when you ‘go to work’ and your partner does their teaching stint. Tackle those chores that you’ll be tempted to do during the working day. Go for your ‘one permitted outdoor exercise’ session. A run will boost your mood and there will be fewer people about if you go early.

Stick to a routine

Get out of bed, shower and get dressed. No one wants to see you on an impromptu meeting sitting in your PJs. It will help you feel like you’re going to work and it will also help the family to understand that this is ‘work time’.

working from home desk space

I’m being strict with getting ready and dressing just as I would if I was going in to the office, it helps with my mindset and distinguishes work life from home life. I’m also following the sun around the house, a bit of variety I wouldn’t normally have.

Beth - Strategy Lead

Keep moving

Try to move around in your lunch break and have a good stretch every now and then, as many home workspaces may not be ideal or as comfortable as they could be.

I’m sticking to my usual routine and eating lunch when I would do normally at work, it helps to keep me focussed and motivated. I also find that to switch from work to home mode I do something different first, like taking a bath or play on my Nintendo (something I don’t normally do straight after work).

Sophie - Office Manager

Choose your workspace wisely

If you can, don’t try to work where you or other family members normally relax or eat. This will help you to avoid interruptions. It is important to think about being comfortable as well as your posture.

Check where you get the best Wifi at home. Homeworkers and online school lessons may make things a bit slower than you’d like.

I’m currently working in the hall, I’ve set up a workspace here. It works as I’m separate from everyone else in the house, so I can concentrate. I’m having more breaks than I’m used to – to help with the kids (they like baking and drawing) – but I make up for this with flexible hours and shorter lunch breaks. Luckily my wife is a school teacher so she’s got homeschooling sorted!

Dan - Creative Artworker/3D Visualiser

Stay motivated

Make the effort to pick up the phone or dial-in to your team. Stay connected and share ideas, you’ll come away feeling more creative and energised.

Make a daily ‘to do’ list, and prioritise jobs by urgency, don’t be tempted to leave the difficult tasks for later, by getting them done early you’ll feel like you are achieving more.

Get rid of distractions. The TV is a biggie, but also don’t be tempted to keep checking your social media stream. That’s unless you’re checking out our team’s #shelfies or #creativelockdown pictures.

We’re trying to exercise together as a family, walking and doing reruns of Joe Wicks PE. That way I feel like I’m getting quality time with the kids and quality work time too. Surprisingly, I’m fitter than I thought!

Caroline - Account Marketing Director

Your space or mine?

As we’re a visual bunch, we like a picture or two; so we thought we’d share some of our team’s home office spaces.

So, that’s how we’re staying in touch, staying sane and staying motivated during lockdown, we’re carrying on and powering your projects on.

If you’d like to get in touch, we’d love to help. Alternatively, for the latest branding, design and marketing news, head on over to our Articles page.