Working from home is the latest trend to hit the workforce, with more and more marketers favouring an at home working pattern to help maintain a greater work life balance. However, due to the current situation we’re in, many people are now being thrust into #WorkingFromHome as a mandatory new policy and safety precaution.
For those who haven’t experienced this way of working, it can be tricky to navigate re-scheduling your day and readjusting your life from working in the office to the home office… (or sometimes the bed).
Working from home is an entirely new routine that challenges your ability to be productive and make good use of your time. Even if you’re a work from home expert, there are still great ways to help make the most out of your working pattern.
Keep reading to find out some of our top tips on working from home as a marketer.
This might seem like a no brainer, as you’re probably used to having a morning routine when you go to the office.
But when working from home, sometimes it’s easier said than done.
With your home office space only a few feet or a floor away from your bedroom, it can be tempting to stay in bed as long as possible and roll out of bed right when 9am rolls around.
However, you’ll find that you may have difficulty starting your day, as the coffee machine and fridge full of food are nearby.
With working from home, there are many distractions, especially in the morning. That’s why it’s best to set aside time for a morning routine so it doesn’t mix with your work routine.
In fact, having a morning routine has many great benefits that are good for your overall health and mind.
Practicing your morning routine as you normally would for work allows you to focus on time just for you, which also improves your mental health.
Get up at a decent time, and get ready (not in your pajamas), have your morning tea or coffee and have a good breakfast.
When your first work hour hits, make sure your office space has been set up prior to working (perhaps even the night before), and get ready for the day ahead.
In fact, it’s best to keep your working hours at home, the same as you would if you were going to the office. So if you’re used to the 9-5 life, then stick to that at home too.
It’s important to make a comfortable working space, and although tempting, it shouldn’t be your bed.
Set up an office space with a table and comfy chair that also has back support.
You want to be comfortable enough to sit for a long period of time, but not too comfortable that you just want to lounge around and rest.
Make a space that reflects you, whether that be super minimalist or surrounded by multiple screens, books, and cushions.
You want to be able to feel good at your space, and too much clutter won’t help. So make sure it’s tidy, but also has a touch of personality too.
There are many different sites you can go to for tips and inspiration, and why not try Pinterest as well?
Set up everything you need on your space: laptop/ computer, notebook, agenda, post-it notes, pens and highlighters, your phone, and a bottle of water etc.
That way, when you need anything, it’s within reach.
A candle or a plant also goes a long way to help brighten up your work setup.
This is something that isn’t just helpful when working from home. Writing a to-do list will help organise your day and keep track of the tasks you’ve set that day.
It also prioritises your responsibilities.
Seeing what you have to do when it’s written down, will allow you to rank the items in order of importance, as a way of setting deadlines for yourself.
Another tip we have is to complete the most difficult task or one that requires the most mind power, in the beginning of the day.
When you start the day organising your list, you’ll feel confident to take on the day. Therefore, you will feel more productive starting the day with the hardest task.
Many people struggle with a lack of motivation if we’re not used to working from home, and by writing tasks down it helps keep us accountable.
As marketers, no task is too small either.
Writing something down as simple as “engagement” (which you probably already do in a day), is important too.
When you’ve completed the small tasks, they will seem like little victories that will propel you forward to tackle the larger tasks, like content writing or developing an email strategy.
Your tasks don’t even just have to be work related.
For example, writing “drink enough water” and “practice mindfulness” are non-work related tasks that will also benefit your work, as they benefit your mind.
There’s also no better feeling than finishing a task, and being able to cross it off. And an even better feeling is seeing that all your tasks have been crossed off and completed at the end of the day.
Each completed task feels like a little win, which will improve your mood and have you feeling motivated for the following tasks to come.
To-do lists are a visual to show what you’ve done for the day, and more likely than not, you’ll be more productive than you realise.
As marketers, social media is a huge part of our communications strategy.
It’s also likely that we are constantly on our personal socials as well; to keep informed, to stay in touch, and to be entertained.
While it’s helpful to pay attention to the social media news in light of COVID-19, the increasing number of negative social media posts that we see on our company or personal socials, can do a lot to our mental health.
It’s critical to be mindful of social media when everything in the world seems negative. We may not be able to disconnect from it completely, especially if it’s part of our job, but we can limit use on our personal accounts.
Instead of disconnecting your account completely – unless that’s what you want to do, you can filter posts to limit certain types of content from certain users, or turn off your notifications.
Or, another idea is to set specific times in a day to casually scroll through your own feed. That way, you won’t be picking up your phone every 3 minutes to check your feeds.
It’s refreshing to see content that has 0 mention of current negative news.
Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritise following content that brings you joy.
Follow accounts such as: baking recipes, fitness videos, educational info, inspirational quotes, breathtaking landscapes, or comedy accounts- whatever sparks your interest!
The important thing to remember is to follow positive content that makes you happy, so you can take breaks from negative news as you balance using social media for work-related and personal use.
Staying connected virtually couldn’t be easier it seems; with all the useful tools we have at our fingertips.
With the inability to physically meet your colleagues, it’s essential that everyone on the team is caught up with the latest company news and aware of certain tasks or responsibilities that the other team members are working on.
Make use of email notifications, use group to-do-list apps like Microsoft To Do or Trello, and instant messaging apps like Slack or WhatsApp.
Video apps have also seen a rise in favourability when working from home. There’s Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and others to choose from to best suit your team.
Frequent video meetings are the best way to reconnect with colleagues, ask questions, and share information about the different tasks you’re working on.
They can also be used as time to catch up on things that aren’t work related, so you can keep connected socially, and bond with your colleagues.
Another great benefit of staying connected through video call is the ability to collaborate with your teammates.
What was maybe only a one-on-one meeting with a colleague before in the office, is now an opportunity to share ideas with many different team members at once.
This allows for cognitive diversity, as different team members with different job roles and thinking styles, will have diverse opinions or solutions to problems.
And greater collaboration allows for better ideas and end results!
Breaks are necessary to clear your mind after working hard on any specific task.
Some marketers write loads of content per day, so taking breaks is especially useful to help prevent mental blocks.
When you’re writing for many hours or stuck on a specific task, at some point you just need your mind to clear.
Frequently clearing your mind can subconsciously allow for more ideas to come into your head without you thinking actively about them.
When taking breaks, leave your home office area and take your eyes away from the screen.
That way, you can rest your eyes and your mind.
Breaks are also a great opportunity to spend time outside; especially with rules in place that limit your contact with the outside world.
Why not use your next break as an opportunity to get some fresh air too? Go for a short walk to stretch your legs, remain active, and catch those rays!
COVID-19 is taking its toll on everyone, no matter what industry. Especially, if you’re on lockdown and can only leave the house once a day.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.
We’re all in the same boat when it comes to feeling a bit down these days, due to all of this uncertainty.
It’s necessary to check in daily with your mental health and notice how you are feeling.
As marketers, we are constantly bombarded with information as we research and navigate the marketing landscape; whether this info is good or bad.
A good tip is to keep a journal to write down your thoughts.
This is also a general great tip in order to help filter all of the creative ideas floating around in your head as a marketer.
There are a number of resources that you can use to check in with your mental health, or even different apps like Headspace, Calm and Aura.
Small ways to practice mindfulness will make a big impact in your workflow and general well-being.
Why not even challenge your coworkers to have a mindfulness session for 10 minutes a day before the work day starts?
That way, you can quickly take your mind off of irrelevant things, so you can set the pace for the day and get down to business.
Staring at your computer all day is not only tiresome for your eyes, but also your mind.
The lines of work and home can be blurred when working from home, so it’s important that when the work day is done, you are too.
A good tip is to clear and tidy up your workspace, especially if you’re working at the kitchen table.
Turn off your work notifications on messenger or video call apps, as well as your email.
If you’re still going to use your computer for personal use, close all of your work tabs or any documents you have open. Or, turn off and store away your computer completely.
Clearing up and putting away your workspace will help feel as though you’ve left the office.
This is important for winding down and coming back into your home/ family life.
Remember that although you’re seconds away from jumping back into work life if you get a message notification, if it can wait until the next work day, then don’t feel pressured to answer it.
When working from home with the ability to always be connected to our colleagues, it’s still essential that marketers maintain healthy boundaries between home and work.
Don’t forget to be mindful when using social media for personal use as well.
When it’s time to wind down after a nice productive day at your (home) office, treating yourself to a nice meal and a glass of wine can’t hurt too.
We hope you enjoyed reading our tips on working from home.
You can check out our other blog posts here.