Given the sudden change in the nature of our working lives due to the coronavirus pandemic, I thought it may be useful for pharmasol to share some of our experiences in remaining productive whilst working from home.
Many of the pharmasol crew have worked from home for many years. The nature of our Argus and psiXchange implementation projects and the associated support roles lends itself easily to working remotely, but that still leaves us with some unique challenges and some creative ways of dealing with them….
Let me start by saying…distractions are going to happen, and of course there may also be the kids to look after at the moment. Here are my tips for staying focused…
1) Keep to a routine (as much as you can) – start and finish work when you normally would.
2) Have a dedicated working area set up and stick to it, boundaries are important for mental health at home. It will also help with the little ones knowing when you’re not to be disturbed.
3) Be strict with yourself, stick to your todo’s. The novelty of working from home soon wears off and you need to have an established good work/home life balance.
4) Try to avoid putting on the TV… this doesn’t end well!
Good communication is KEY! With our interconnected world there are so many forms of communication media, but here are some of Tim’s top picks…
1) Stick with the company tried and tested tools; Teams, Slack, Skype for Business etc. Whichever it is, try not go off-piste as that can lead to lost information exchanges.
2) Get personal: now that we are all working remotely try using the video conferencing feature during meetings (that also keeps us reasonably dressed!)
3) Call someone instead of emailing: it helps with better understandings all round, plus self-isolation is exactly that …ISOLATING… so give them a call.
4) Set up a WhatsApp group for your immediate colleagues/team. Try to keep this light-hearted and fun for brief exchanges during the day.
We have all heard that sitting still is the new smoking. Louise tells us how she mixes it up…
1) If you have one, listen to your movement tracker… stand for a few minutes every hour or better still pop your laptop onto a box/printer/anything stable of the right height and stand at your desk for a bit.
2) Set a time of the day to go for a walk with the dog/kids/partner/good audio book. Lunchtime is always the good time to get fresh air and reflect on the morning so far (I live in France and I have to remember to fill out my form!)
New found autonomy
Working at home does mean you’re now responsible for your own time management but be vigilant as not being present in person may also make people super-conscious waiting for the deliverables. Iain shares his modus operandi…
1) Be proactive: keep your line manager and colleagues up-to-date with your projects, it’s even more important now to foster the trust both ways.
2) Answer that call: give a brief message in return to a message / email to say when your think you can provide the information requested.
3) Planning is even more important when you’re on your own so write a daily list and try and complete everything in your schedule by the end of the day… there is always a rabbit hole to fall into otherwise!
BUT most off all BE KIND to everyone… these are tough times and they are likely to get tougher.
Ask how people are at the start of your teleconferences.
Make allowances for personal circumstances, everyone wants to do their best.