TravelNest’s top tips for working well from home

Dad working from home with his kids

Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are now getting used to working from home. Are you getting into the swing of your new home-based routine or are you finding it hard to stay motivated? Working well from home can be tough if you’re not used to it, or prefer the buzz of your office.

We recently posted on LinkedIn about how some of our team are coping with this ‘new normal.’ It was quite a popular post, so we thought we’d follow it up now that we’re two weeks in. We chatted with our team and gathered their best tips to help you work from home in a way that’s both productive and healthy!

1.Choose a communication channel that works for your business

At TravelNest we use Slack as our instant messaging tool and it’s been brilliant at keeping us all connected as we work remotely. As well as direct messaging your colleagues, Slack allows you to create channels to categorise teams and projects easily. Here’s how we are making good use of Slack now that we’re all working from home:

  • We’re about to launch a #TravelNestKitchen channel – a virtual Slack hangout with work colleagues over coffee or lunch. It’s a great idea for breaks and catching the lunchtime chat that you’d otherwise miss in the office kitchen or canteen. We’ve now got a popular #food channel where we share pics, recipes, and food-related ideas and inspiration.

  • We’ve also set up a #coffeebuddies channel where we can have an online chats over a coffee (or the beverage of your choice!) with employees across the company. You pop your name in and are randomly paired with another employee – it’s a great way to chat with people outside your immediate team and sphere of work.

  • People have varying commitments so it’s vital that we work to support each other. The way we communicate plays a big part in that. Whether you’ve got to take some time out to spend with your kids, take the dog out for a walk or just need time to clear your head, we are all using Slack to communicate and as our virtual support network.

2. Use video calls and regular check-ins

At TravelNest we are big fans of using Google Hangouts for calls. We try to encourage everyone to have their cameras on throughout the call (dressing gowns are acceptable attire!) to ensure everyone gets a bit of face-to-face interaction. When you’re not used to working from home, regular communication is key to keep everyone in the loop. 

To recreate the hustle and bustle, upbeat vibe of our lively Edinburgh office, we have daily check-ins at the start and end of each day for the whole company. We take it in turns to host, and always ask people to react with an emoji to describe how they’re feeling – it’s a great way to see at a glance how everyone is doing and reach out if someone is having a down day.

How is everyone doing

3. Share some virtual positivity and fun

Although we are facing challenging times, and the journey ahead will be tough, it’s important to maintain a bit of perspective, and try to bring an element of fun into our daily work. To do this, we’ve been running daily challenges on Slack. So far, our favourite challenges have been to share your ‘best working from home selfie’, ‘best retro hairstyle’ and ‘best travel destination.’ At the end of the day, the post with the most emoji reactions wins! We’ve had some wonderful entries that have kept us all entertained, and helped us learn more about each other at the same time. 

Working from home can be a bit lonely, or a bit stressful if you’ve got kids around. At TravelNest we use a daily inspirational quote as a way to lift spirits. Try the ‘Your Daily Motivation’ App – it sends you a daily quote to help you feel motivated and inspired.

Quote of the day

4. Keep exercising

Woman exercising outside

With gyms and leisure centres closed and our time outside being restricted, now more than ever, it’s important to stay fit and healthy and maintain a good exercise regime. Find what works for you and try and stick to it, whether that’s a lunchtime walk to break up the day or a morning jog or cycle. 

At TravelNest we’ve started an #hourlyworkout channel. Every hour someone posts a 1-minute workout. It’s a great way to keep moving throughout the day and get loads of new exercises to try. Top tip: Post a YouTube explainer video of each exercise so everyone can join in even if they’re unfamiliar with the exercise.

We are also enjoying taking part in Joe Wicks’ morning ‘PE with Joe’ sessions at 9.00am every day. They are a 30 minute routine that the whole family can do together, and are a great way to kick off your day with some exercise. Find out more on Joe’s YouTube channel.

Summary

For us, the most key things that are helping our team work well from home are getting into a routine and connecting and supporting each other. Now more than ever, it is important to keep our collective spirits up as we try work as productively as possible during this challenging time. Managing your mindset is so important – we have found that regular and meaningful communication, a good routine, and remembering to take breaks for exercise are all good ways to keep a clear head and a positive focus. 

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