With the outbreak of Covid-19, ordinary life has been impacted for everyone around the world. In a bid to stop the spread of the virus, most companies have asked employees to work from home – a first for many. At Rostrum, however, this is something we are used to , having switched to a flexible style of working last summer (you can check out our blog on our new working policy here: https://rostrum.agency/hot-desking-and-flexible-working/)
We have been affected by the crisis like everyone else – we’ve had team members getting sick and self-isolating, we’ve replaced our face-to-face client meetings with conference calls, and our office is temporarily closed – but despite that it’s more or less business as usual for us. So, as veterans of working from home, we thought we could offer some top tips to others.
Communication is key. As a public relations agency we know how vital communication is, and although we may all be working in isolation, this doesn’t mean we need to stop talking to our colleagues. We are not only in constant touch through email and instant messages, but also make a point of picking up the phone to each other. Having a proper conversation allows us to have some much-needed human interaction during the day, and also allows for more fluid and creative discussions than email.
It’s really helpful to have a dedicated workstation set up. This means getting out of bed (!) and setting yourself up for the day. Not only does this help us mentally focus, but it’s also good for our physical health. Before we moved to a flexible working policy, we took advice from a number of health and safety experts, so we know the importance of adopting the right sitting position, having adequate light and creating a comfortable environment.
Lastly, make sure to take breaks. This one might be slightly more difficult whilst in isolation, but time away from your laptop screen is necessary to stay focussed and productive. Many people worry that if you don’t email someone back within 60 seconds when working from home, your colleagues might think you’re slacking off. However, your managers should make it clear you are absolutely entitled – and must – get away from your screen just as much as you do while in the office. You should also make sure to take your full lunch break and do something non-work related with it.
All of us at Rostrum are committed to serving our clients and maintaining business as usual during this unprecedented time. We’re also committed to checking in on each other. We know that staying at home is keeping us all safe and well, and helping to control the spread of the virus. This situation could well have a longer term impact on the future way businesses are set up and run; it’s conceivable that this crisis will redefine office working forever businesses.