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Working from home effectively: Team AA’s tips

/ May 21st 2020 / Ellie Mason

Our usual way of working, and living, has been flipped on its head due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequential lock down. Offices are shut, we can’t hold meetings or events in person but the work continues, so we’re delivering that from our homes in locations across the UK. We have team members in London still, but also in places as far away as Guernsey, Cornwall and Scotland.

Wherever you’re based at the moment, you may have gone from three monitors in the office to one small laptop screen at home, from 5 big physical meetings in a day to 10 virtual meetings and numerous phone calls now, from being in the ‘work zone’ in the office to now trying your best not to get distracted by the kids, the doorbell ringing and all the other things that surround you in your home. For some, this time might mean going from being around people all of the time to spending every hour of the day on your own. It’s a lot to adjust to!

Considering this, and the fact that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, Team AA have pulled together our tips on working from home effectively, which hopefully will be of some use to our colleagues across the industry!

1. Not every meeting or call needs to be a video call – a good old-fashioned phone call is brilliant and it’s good to change it up regularly.

2. Find a working rhythm that’s right for you. You may work better in the mornings, or afternoons, or have a particular way of working the most effectively for you, so work to your own productivity and you can always let your colleagues now so that they are aware too.

3. Cut yourself some slack! Some days will be less productive than others and some will be extremely busy, and that’s ok. There’s no need to beat yourself up if you aren’t 100% productive every day.

4. Change the view. Switch up where you work from time to time if you can to keep it fresh.

5. Exercise in the middle of the day if your diary allows. It’s an enforced break and  enables you to clear your head while doing something that’s good for you! Equally just getting outside is helpful.

6. Put your lunchbreak in your diary so that you stick to it and also so that others can see it too, and know not to disturb you during this time.

7. Use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on the Outlook mobile app out of working hours so that emails don’t pop up and you only see them if you deliberately check.

8. Take the approach that if its your lunchbreak/day off/out of hours, if it’s really urgent, someone will text you!

9. Take breaks little and often

10. Find 5-10 minutes to call someone to help ease the stresses of the day

11. Trust your abilities and that you are doing your job properly

12. Establish boundaries – stick to your normal set hours of work if you can, as you would in the office.

13. Pack your work stuff into your bag at the end of the working day, as if you are leaving the office, and then unpack it the next morning. It helps to switch off for the evening and set the working day.

14. Keep a to-do list and try having one for what you want to achieve in a week and then break it down for each day.

15. Try and set some time to have normal catch ups with your colleagues that are non-work related, as we now don’t have that opportunity where we aren’t all in one place.

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