Whilst the world adapts to a new normal many of us are trying to get accustomed to working from home. WFH used to be a bit of a perk, now it’s an obligation, so we all need to work out how to do it effectively and, unfortunately, for a long period.
So here are my top tips to get you through the coming weeks and months…
Get tech savy
As the old saying goes, it’s never a good time to have a global pandemic however we’re lucky to be living in time in which we’re all extremely connected, at least online. At Briffa we use practice management software called Clio to organise client matters, Slack to communicate quickly (the most popular channel being #quarantine-chat) and video calling services like Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts to speak to clients and team members face-to-face… just like the old days.
This keeps everyone connected, helps fill the gap left by office interaction and, most importantly, encourages us all to get dressed. Which brings me to my next point…
For some, not having to get dressed might seem like the best thing about working from home but in reality, it will only make it harder to get in the zone. Assuming, which I think is fair, that you’re normally clothed in the office, doing the same thing at home office will help establish the boundaries between work and play, whilst also ensuring that you’re prepared for an impromptu video call.
Establish a proper workspace
If you’re going to be working from home for a while, which seems to be the case, then you’re going to need a place to do it. So rearrange some furniture, designate a desk space and create something as close to your office as possible. Somewhere with natural light often helps but sofas and beds are definite no nos. It turns out a lot of people are accustomed to standing desks (who knew) but this can be easily created with an ironing board – although you should still have some ironing to do, as long as you’re observing the above tip.
Keep a routine
I’ve definitely felt the lines between home and work blur over the last few days and it’s hard to know when to actually switch off. So don’t forget to exercise, set yourself a normal working day and structure it with regular breaks. A particularly effective way to do this is to adopt the Pomodoro Technique, which basically involves taking a 5 minute break for every 25 minutes of work done. Research suggests that this is more effective than taking longer less frequent breaks as it allows your mind to keep active. So stand up, move around and grab a cup of tea.
Finally, when you come to the end of your day, make sure you properly switch off, leave the [home] office, maybe even get changed, and if at all possible, stop looking at your emails.
Luckily everyone at Briffa is now a home working pro so we’re carrying business as normal and we’re to help with all of your IP needs. Just give us a quick heads up if you want a video call.
Written by Will Miles, Solicitor