5 tips for working from home the Arekibian way
Over 100,000 people are estimated to be working from home in Ireland at the moment. This joint attempt of Irish enterprises to stop the spread of covid-19 virus is truly impressive. We believe this step is as indispensable as it is hard.
Last Friday we had an internal learning series, where Arekibians who regularly (or always) work from home shared their experiences. Here are our five best tips on how to be effective and efficient, while being alone together.
1. MVS = Minimum viable setup
Before you start working, it is extremely important to have a comfortable setup. The rule that applies here is short term gain equals long term pain. Sure the sofa and coffee table are convenient, but your back won’t thank you after the first day. Be proactive and mindful of your health and wellbeing, as well as your efficacy in performing your role, when setting up your new home office. This applies especially when choosing the following elements:
- Decent computer with additional monitors if required
- Good chair
- Proper desk
- Headset for communication
2. Communication is key
Joint office space has one major advantage over a home office – at almost any point of time you can go over to your colleague’s desk and catchup. This can be both a benefit and a curse. Distance between our new home offices makes it much harder but not impossible! Here are some tips for you to better your team’s communication:
- Make sure you are added to all the team chats and calls and have all the tools to part take (shall it be Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Slack, Zoom, or other).
- If you have a question, it is often easier to just pick up a 2 min call with your colleague instead of drafting a half page email.
- At the same time, when calling a colleague, do not expect an immediate answer. People may be busy or in another call, but they will certainly get back to you once they can.
- Check up on your colleagues! Just calling someone to check up on how they are doing can make someone’s day!
3. Mind the interruptions
Your home is now your office. It will take you some time to adjust to, and it is totally okay. One thing to remember – you will get interrupted. Unlike the dedicated office workspace, your family members, neighbors, and pets are used to using their living space. Not to escape, but to minimize the interruptions:
- Ideally have a separate room like an office separate from the living space and inform everyone else in the house that you’re in work and not free to be interrupted.
- Notify your flat mates when you have an important meeting, communicate it to your family beforehand, maybe even share your work calendar.
- If your work computer is your personal computer too - create two accounts: business account and personal account and switch once your workday is over signifying you’ve finished work.
4. Yes, you are doing enough!
For many, working from home brings in the feeling of unexplainable guilt. The questions like “Am I doing enough?”, “Do I deserve to take a break now?”, “Would I have done more if I was in the office instead?” may arise in your head from time to time. The advice here is to not be too strict on yourself, your colleagues and clients are in the same situation. In times like this, it is important to trust each other, be understanding and flexible.
At the same time, you could try to apply result-oriented mindset. List your most important tasks for the week and track your effectiveness on how these tasks are being accomplished. Along with that, sending weekly updates to management will help you to see what you have achieved.
5. Work hard – play hard
Try to find positives in working from home! You may consider taking reading, walking, or sports breaks instead of classic coffee breaks. And remember to have fun with your colleagues by sharing support and humor, taking joint coffee breaks, playing mini games for example, the Houseparty app.
Find out about Arekibo’s Continuity plan during the Covid-19 outbreak.
One year on, we asked our team what they've learned and they shared their responses here.