Working from home will be the new normal for a while to come!  Following yesterday’s announcement, we are now all effectively on lockdown.    Our office is closed, and all staff are working remotely,

We understand that this is a particularly worrying time for everyone, and how important it is to use technology to keep in touch with each other and to keep spirits high in these difficult times.

We’ve come up with a few ideas to help – we’d love to hear what top tips you have!

 

Crowded House

We’re all in this together!  Some people will be alone, and feeling isolated, others will be feeling the strain as all families are in the confines of home.

We’ve all been thrown into a new strange environment, working from home with pets and children certainly has its challenges.  However, the more relaxed we are, the more relaxed our children and pets are.

Children

First and foremost don’t worry, and try to apply a sense of perspective.  Most importantly children need to feel loved and secure.  It’s a real period of uncertainty for children who were supposed to be taking exams this year, but we have to have confidence that it will work out in the end.

Sign up at https://ed.ted.com/daily_newsletter, for fresh daily inspiration.

Education isn’t just about rote learning, or being plugged into an ‘educational website’ it’s about observing and copying and having fun.  Learning through play has never been so important.  Baking a cake together – that’s maths, English and art all covered in one session!

Routine

This will be extremely hard for some people, but try and keep a routine and establish boundaries.  Have clear times for working, relaxing and family time.  You might have to establish a rota for working – who works where and when.

Collaboration

Everyone’s circumstances and worries are going to be different, and more importantly how well do we really know our colleagues? Although we use technology on a daily basis to communicate, it’s very different when it is our only option.

Group Chat

It’s important to keep in touch with your team – try Microsoft Teams or WhatsApp.  It’s important not to feel isolated, and to have a single source of information to keep everyone in the loop.

  • Check-in with your team members – it’s ok just to say Hi, how are you?
  • Celebrate achievements small and large together

Daily Stand-Ups

Try having a 15 minute daily stand up with your team by phone, use this time to

  • check everyone’s still dialling in.
  • find out what impact the restrictions are having on people, and how you can best support them.

Etiquette

We need to fully appreciate the strain that this pandemic is putting on people, and be as resilient as possible.  Remember we’re all in this together – always assume that people are being positive, sometimes the written word can easily be misconstrued, use emojis to add emotion.

interesting article on etiquette here smallbiztrends.com – online-business-meeting-etiquette

Video Calls

As the days turn into weeks, video calls will become increasingly more meaningful – although this does create a whole set of other problems –  what do you wear when working from home, which could well be another blog post.

I’m sure we’ve all seen the child interrupting the BBC news interview BBC Interview; there’s an excellent spoof  on Spoof BBC Interview

Here are a few tips for running a successful video meeting –

  • Try to reduce external distractions as much as possible.
  • Before you start the meeting, check to see what is in view of the camera range – make sure you aren’t inadvertently oversharing.
  • If you look at the camera, it will look as though you’re making eye contact.
  • Make sure all participants have the chance to speak.

Look After Yourself

Have Fun

There are lots of quizzes, and video clips in circulation – share these with your colleagues – never has laughter been so important.

Lunch

Food !!  Normally at lunch-time, there are weird and wonderful smells coming from dbfb’s kitchen, on the whole, we’re quite a well-fed bunch!  Take time to have a proper lunch, you’ll probably need to be quite imaginative with store cupboard ingredients, but that can also be fun!

Exercise

Under current guidelines, you can go out once a day to exercise.  Especially with the weather getting better, and the lighter days, take advantage and go out for a walk, or take up running – use the Couch to 5K app.

There are lots of online classes that are available for free –

Sleep

Sleep is incredibly important when dealing with stress.  Allow yourself time to unwind and relax before going to bed.  Try to establish a regular pattern, and allow your body to be as strong as it can be.

 

So, good luck and stay safe.  Please share any top tips you have, we’re all in this together!

For help and support on technology for remote working, please contact us, email discover@dbfb.co.uk, we’re here to help

 

Author Dawn Maclean

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