Working from Home
Working from Home?
Here’s what we have learnt.
PF+A have always embraced flexible ways of working but at our heart we are a collaborative organisation where good communication is fundamental to our creative process.
Ordinarily we enjoy working in a studio environment where we can share information and learn from each other. Our office is still open as usual but since the outbreak of COVID-19 half of us are working from home and we are learning how to collaborate remotely.
As designers of happy offices, we wanted to share our top-tips for those working from home and keeping yourself happy and productive.
Get together every morning
PF+A do a virtual huddle first thing every morning connecting the office with those working remotely. It only takes ten minutes to run through what everyone is working on and it keeps everyone feeling supported and connected. With restricted social interaction it is important to maintain the health and morale of the organisation by listening and communicating together.
Locate your workstation
Find an area that you can be productive and separate from your private life (I am working in the dining area that breaks off from the main living zone). Choose somewhere with an opening window and good light but not excessive sunlight that would cause glare. Perhaps this is an opportunity to de-clutter and provide some space for some flowers.
Get some air
Working from home is a great opportunity to have uninterrupted time without the distractions of a shared office but it potentially means you don’t leave the house all day. Use this opportunity to have a proper lunch break, get out the house and get the fresh air. Whilst we are mindful of the need to avoid getting distracted by household chores these tasks can have there uses. Folding the linen or chopping some carrots can be quite meditative and give you a fresh insight into a problem that you had been contemplating all morning.
In an ideal world you already have a remote working strategy and a cloud-based VPN where you can mirror you work screen at home. If you are a smaller organisation without an advanced, IT system you can still use Google docs to share files for collaborative working and have conference calls on your phone or use other collaborative software like Slack. Pick up the phone to talk to colleagues, rather than email or text and if necessary, allocate time slots for phone calls. Lastly let everyone know when you have completed a piece of work which keeps everyone informed and gives you a sense of achievement.
Look after your family
It can be difficult working from home in amongst other members of the family. Take this time to show family members what it is you actually do at work and give them perspective on your job. Explain the situation to children and plan ahead if you need time without disturbance. It can be stressful dealing with the disruption to our working life and all the distractions in the global media and work will still need to be done but our priority must be to look after our family and stay happy and healthy.