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50 tips for remote working

by Charlotte Leedham
25th March 2020

The parameters of remote working are largely undetermined.

That's because everyone’s different and what works for one, isn’t guaranteed to work for another.

To enable teams, businesses must think of their employee experience – especially given today’s extraordinary circumstances. To help you on your way, here’s a starter for ten courtesy of the Foolproof team:

  1. Get out of bed – duvets are not conducive to productivity and lying at an obscure angle is terrible for your posture
  2. Switch off the telly – to remain focused, you’ll want to minimise distractions
  3. Stop checking notifications and the news – this is a tricky one, particularly at the moment. You should timebox check-ins and maximise productivity
  4. Do a workout – be kind to yourself and move around. This is especially important for your physical health
  5. Surround yourself with plants – bring the outside in, foliage is a friend. They also purify the air and give off a nice scent
  6. Share a remote beer at the end of the day – why not?
  7. Hot desk around the house – mix up your surroundings, just make sure you can sit up and plug in
  8. Adapt/upgrade chat and co-working tools – email and standard desktop applications aren’t fit for what we need to do today
  9. Get/borrow a pet – furry companions make the world go around and relieve stress
  10. Open a window – embrace the fresh air
  11. Check in on colleagues – self isolation can be lonely. Hold impromptu calls, have a remote lunch, or think of new ways to have fun together
  12. Don’t work in the room you relax in – that’s if you can help it
  13. Set a personal goal for each day which goes beyond work - read a book, do some yoga
  14. Make something with your hands – assemble an IKEA flatpack, or five
  15. Share your hobby – host e-lessons with friends and/or strangers
  16. Keep your mobile phone in a separate room – another distraction you often don’t need
  17. Play video games with friends – immerse and lose yourself in a captivating first-person shooter, or simply thrash your mate at FIFA
  18. Take time away from screens - read a book, do a jigsaw, play a record
  19. Be strict about timings – step away from your laptop when you need to and don’t feel guilty about it
  20. Listen to very loud music – this can be really cathartic… but don’t go disrupting those around you
  21. Eat well – nourish those braincells
  22. Stay hydrated – water yourself
  23. Buy a good chair – think of your spine
  24. Remote show and tell – walk through some design work you’re doing or dust off your old Panini sticker albums
  25. Through the keyhole – take your colleagues on a guided tour of your humble abode
  26. Keep sharing work – we have a ‘showcase’ channel on Slack to celebrate work we’re especially proud of
  27. Turn your video on – showing your face makes conversations easier and promotes familiarity
  28. Don’t cancel 1:1s – checking in on your colleagues is important for your mental wellbeing and theirs
  29. Listen to classical music – or whatever gets you in the zone; preferably something without lyrics.
  30. Stop rearranging your furniture – it’s tempting, and Feng Shui is a thing, but does the coffee table really need to move two inches to the right?
  31. Remote group exercise – get moving together
  32. Leave a glass of rosemary by your desk – it’s aromatic, and proven to reduce stress
  33. Stretch – get up, walk around, touch your toes
  34. Practice gratitude – make a list of all the things you’re thankful for i.e. fresh running water, your backyard, colleagues (and tell them)
  35. Have a chat – working in isolation is lonely, talk to someone
  36. Share things that make others smile/laugh – we recently launched a new Slack channel devoted to feel-good news stories
  37. Host a Netflix Party – this is a nice way to unwind and reconnect with others
  38. Share playlists – listen to something new, stimulate your senses
  39. Learn something new – safeguard time to develop your skillset
  40. Draw – this can provide a source of creative gratification and freeplay
  41. Cook - exercise those culinary skills
  42. Listen to the ambient music – background noise can remove the eeriness of an empty room/house
  43. Have lunch with a partner/flatmate – instigate social interaction
  44. Create a window box – put those green fingers to work and reap the rewards
  45. Take a walk – step outside and clear your head
  46. Keep on top of your surroundings – tidy up a little, no one wants to work amongst clutter
  47. Do housework – but not too much. Tidy environments help some of us focus
  48. Organise your sock drawer – restore peace and order
  49. Get ready as usual - perhaps consider a fake commute? This is proven to increase productivity
  50. Call someone you haven't spoken to in awhile – they’d (probably) love to hear from you

At this time, the main message you need to be thinking about is how can I flexibly support myself and those around me.

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