Whilst we don’t condone mass hysteria (seriously people – just buy the toilet rolls you need!), it is sensible to plan ahead for the possibility of some or all of your workforce being quarantined at home. As remote working specialists* we thought we’d offer some best practice tips for you.
1. Plan ahead.
If you have the time, make sure you plan ahead. This sounds simple, but rest assured we’ve seen many an occasion where someone in an organisation has planned to work remotely only to discover they’re missing a crucial file, or don’t have access to a server from outside the company network.
Make a list, on paper. Physically write down the items you will need to work remotely. Include everything you can think of: plans, documents, contracts, assets, files. What about paper based items – is there an older contract that is tucked away in a drawer that you’ll need to refer to? Try and anticipate as many eventualities as you can.
Our tip: Sit down at your usual spot at work during a time when it’s quiet and you won’t be interrupted. Look around you – what do you see. It’s likely that you’ll see something you use every day that you didn’t think to take home.
2. Pre-arrange how you’ll communicate with your team.
We have all the communication tools in the palm of our hand these days, but it’s good to know how you and your team will communicate. That means everyone knowing not just how to get hold of teammates, but also everyone agreeing to regular time slots. Just because you can’t all be in the same meeting room at 10am everyday, doesn’t mean that your daily 10ams need to stop.
Our tip: Prepare a contact sheet which includes email addresses and phone numbers. Remember that if you’re not working on your usual machine the email address autocomplete might not work as you’re used to – so include contact details on the sheet that might seem obvious and unnecessary as you compile it. IMPORTANT: It’s crucial to gain everyone’s permission to include personal contact details. Ask them all individually so as to not put pressure on anyone to say ‘yes’ on an extended email string.
3. Take regular breaks
In your usual work environment you will have got into a pattern of breaks. Making the tea, going to the loo, having a chat with your teammates – it’s all part of your normal daily routine and it’s all very healthy. It does you good to get up from your desk / normal place of work and walk around, have a drink and have a chat with a teammate. So you need to be careful when working from home that you observe how you’re feeling and what you body and mind are telling you.
Feeing a niggling ache in your back or legs? Get up and walk around your home for five minutes. Give the dog a cuddle, stand up and look out the window at the world whilst taking deep breaths. Not had anything to drink since breakfast? Go grab a glass of water and drink it. Now get yourself another to have next to your machine.
All these little things help to break your day, keep your body active and your mind focussed.
Our tip: Get lots of healthy snacks in. A biscuit or two with a mid-morning coffee is ace, but we bet you’ll feel brighter and ready for the tail end of the afternoon if your 3pm snack is a fresh piece of fruit (hint: it also helps your immune system). And remember to take your full hour at lunchtime, don’t rush back to work.
4. Partner with expert 3rd party support
Jasmin and I are completely set up to help support you, remotely or on-site. When you work with Cordial Fox you get world-class creative support from experts who become an integral part of your team for the length of the project.
We are an ethical and inclusive creative consultancy, with an in-house design agency and a strong focus on coaching. Our mission is to make the world brighter, kinder and more authentic. Broadly speaking, our services split into three categories: consultancy (helping you achieve creative, strategic or operational goals), creative services (establishing and promoting your brand through all things creative like websites, digital and print materials, etc.), and coaching (helping you be the best you can be, using proven strategies to foster clarity and focus, and to highlight opportunities and resources throughout any or all aspects of your personal and professional life).
Our tip: Get in touch with Adam today to talk through your plans for dealing with unforeseen situations that can crop up, such as a workforce suddenly working from home. Together we can work on a plan so when the time comes you and your team will know exactly what to do and how to do it, minimising disruption.
You can find out more about us on our website: www.cordialfox.com
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*Yes, we’re remote working specialists, but we also love working on-site with our clients. We’re polite, punctual and always smartly dressed (Euan Auld, Deputy Creative Director of The Union even described co-founder Adam as “the smartest dressed creative you’ll ever work with”!). So once all this has blown over, know that you can rely on us to come in and be an a fully integrated part of your team whenever the project requires.
Adam Jennings is co-founder of Cordial Fox Limited. He has almost 30 years experience in the creative industries, working with clients such as Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, BBC Worldwide and Penguin Random House. Adam is available for creative and strategic consultancy, creative support, public speaking and creative mentoring.