All you need to know about working from home

It seems almost every post on our social feeds at the moment includes some mention of working from home.

A few weeks ago, the Pink Media team uprooted from our office in the Baltic Triangle and set up in our homes instead. In light of current government guidelines, many of us have found ourselves in this very same situation and whilst around only 30% of the UK’s workforce experienced remote working from home last year, that’s now a very different story.

Many of us are new to the concept and it can be tricky to adapt to your new home office. We’ve compiled some top tips to help make your working day that much more productive and help to ease some of the anxieties about working in isolation.

Some research would actually suggest that working from home improves your productivity as it allows you to really get stuck into projects without those typical office distractions. Be sure to structure your day and write a daily project list to hold yourself accountable for the work that needs to be done and communicate that with your colleagues daily, so you know exactly what is going on across the team.

Your home office set up is important and although it’s not always possible to assign a separate room for working, use what you do have to create a comfortable space. Whether it’s your kitchen table or your dressing table, during the working day, try to eliminate all of your usual clutter or anything that could offer a distraction and create a designated space that will lift your mood and encourage creativity. Having a source of natural light is always a bonus alongside some uplifting and inspiring items such as stationary, indoor plants or even your favourite mug or water bottle. Every evening clear your work space ready for the day ahead.

It’s easy to stay in your loungewear when you’re working from home, but try and get yourself ready for the day as if you were heading into the office. One of the biggest concerns that home workers face is the lack of boundaries between office hours and leisure time so it’s important to replicate as much of your regular routine as possible. That way, when 5pm comes around, you can relax and officially mark the end of the day.

On the topic of maintaining structure within your schedule, aim to wake up at the same time every morning and take your breaks as you would do during a typical working day. It’s easy to become consumed by your workload or answer emails over your lunch break but use that time to step outside for a walk or enjoy a meal that will fuel your creativity for the afternoon ahead.

Communication is key at this time. One of the main struggles that researchers have highlighted when studying those working from home is that mental health and wellbeing can be affected, and feelings of loneliness, isolation and stress can set in. There are a number of ways to make sure you still feel connected to your colleagues and your clients.

We are advocates of using tools such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Microsoft Team and Slack to check in with each other multiple times a day. Rather than a phone call, make it a video call and retain that personal face-to-face interaction as much as possible. In this digital world, we have all of the software available to us to make communication seamless.

The New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single one of us as we’ve quickly had to adjust to our new normal.

For the Pink Media team, we all began working remotely from mid-March (before the lockdown was officially announced by the Prime Minister) and we had to instantly adjust our working styles and find our best practises ahead of a prolonged period of working from home.

As an agency, we have always worked collaboratively across all of our clients and within the office, with individual members of the team working on various elements of our PR & marketing campaigns, hosting a weekly Monday morning ‘mega meeting’ alongside daily catch ups.

Fortunately, technology has allowed us to continue to do those things almost seamlessly from home through apps such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime. Each morning since working away from the office, we’ve checked in with each other via video call to discuss daily deadlines, client information and any other business – not only does doing so allow us to create a virtual office environment (and bring with it some ‘normality’), it also keeps us socially connected in a world where social distancing is in place.

From a client perspective, we’ve been working closely with a number of businesses across a range of sectors and have learned that no matter what the individual niche or industry, every employer and employee has had their day-to-day lives turned around in some way or another, and we’ve adapted our service offering to change and evolve with them.

For example, Delifonseca – our longest standing client – was forced to close their restaurant following government guidelines and were left wondering what their business could do to survive. The next day, we were on site (pre lockdown) to work on the production of a social media video campaign to promote their change to business – the food hall and deli was to begin to offer no-contact delivery and collections to suit the changing lifestyles of their customers. The videos went live that very evening and resulted in immediate social media engagement, reaching over 15,000 people locally, and Delifonseca saw a spike in orders that’s kept the business continually thriving in these unprecedented times.

We’ve also had plenty of enquiries from business owners who aren’t sure about best practises when it comes to marketing. Some have closed their business for the foreseeable, some are working at a reduced capacity and some remotely from their homes. Although our answers for each are different, the overarching advice we have continued to give our clients is to keep lines of communications as open as possible.

Now, more than ever, your potential customers are looking to communicate in the only way they can – digitally – which is why this is a great time to optimise your social media and digital marketing presence rather than to step back from it.

What’s more, by changing or adapting your services, you’re opening up the potential for a whole new demographic of customers who could remain advocates of your brand long after the pandemic is over.

This week, we’ll be blogging all about how to market your business when your customers are on lockdown, plus our top tips for working from home.

Stay tuned – and stay safe!