What we’ve learnt about working from home

Cross home offices

Lockdown may be upon us. It means adapting to societal changes such as working from home (WFH) if possible and avoiding unnecessary mingling to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus.

To ensure we come back from this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that businesses and individuals come together in holding a positive outlook. The public and other businesses will look to each other for support, information, and encouragement.

One big concern for the many people who have been instructed to WFH, is mental health and wellbeing.

At Cross Productions mental health in the workplace is taken very seriously whilst we get to work creating Niche Magazine and assisting clients with their marketing. But, when we’re all set up at home, it’s become more difficult to ensure our employees are getting what they need.

We’ve been WFH since last Tuesday and have been following this helpful BBC guide. But, Whilst we continue to work hard on Niche Magazine and our digital channels from home, we’ve picked up a few ideas along the way to help you stay focused and remain positive.

Here’s what our team advises.

“Try to have a routine which allows you to get some air and speak to your colleagues over the phone at some point during the day! Have a designated area of your home as an ‘office’ and make sure you turn off when everyone else has – sometimes WFH means you don’t switch off!”

Emily Kirton, Senior Journalist

“I play my favourite music and make plenty of lists to stay on top of work. It also helps to go for walks around the house or outdoors if you can. Plan evening activities or start new hobbies to look forward to throughout the day – I’ve just ordered some colouring books from Amazon.”

Becci Houlston, Digital Marketing Manager

“I think it’s great to get outside for a while – coat on and soak up the fresh air and sunshine. It stops you going stir crazy! I also do love to do some crafting in the evening.”

Tracey Hunter, Advertising Executive

“I have downloaded the game Heads Up! on my phone. It’s the modern version of charades. It keeps the household engaged but also Skyping my elderly father has made it possible for him to join in as well. This is helping to keep some fun and communication and means we are not resorting to Netflix boxsets!”

Sally Smith, Sales Director

“Stepping away from your working environment every so often really helps you to take a break and clear your mind. It also helps you to stay focused when you are in your working environment. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

Rakee Das, Business Development

“Keep a gratitude journal. Writing down what you are grateful for every day will change your mindset. Taking some time to purely focus on the positives you’ve experienced in a day is a powerful tool.”

Jenny Cross, Managing Director

“If you have a pet, take 10 minutes and give them a cuddle. Cuddles with your pet can help to release dopamine, making you happier, so there is some science behind it!”

Sian Cooley, Social Media Executive

“Make full use of the extra time that you have gained with not having to do the daily commute into work. If you can gain 30 minutes, then this is the perfect amount of time to nip out and run a 5k. Not only does this clear your mind, it gets you fired up for the day ahead – and keeps you fit!”

Adam Gowtage, Business Development Executive

“My cat keeps me sane, she is only 10 months old so still needs entertaining. A rolled up piece of kitchen foil thrown up and down the living room is her favourite game. She is always near when I work at home and lets me know when she needs attention.”

Susan Holmes, Design Editor

“Be sure to keep regular hours and times for working and for breaks. Have a dedicated office space that when you step away from, you no longer think about work, and when you’re in it, you can focus. It’s also important to take plenty of breaks and get some fresh air when you can.”

Sarah Hawksley, Office Support

“Move your workspace to a place where you can see the daylight. Avoid working from the comfort of your bed or settee. It’s great that we get to roll out of bed and get straight to work but getting dressed out of your pyjamas puts you in a fresh frame of mind.”

Kerry Smith, Editor