Tips for working from home

Working from home

At Fleming Homes, we’re new to home working. A handful of the team have experienced it in previous roles, and our sales manager Jason and the marketing team are used to it, but the rest of us find ourselves in uncharted waters. Nearing the end of Day 3 of lockdown we thought we’d share some of the things we’re doing to help productivity and keep projects moving forwards.

Getting dressed for the office 
Some of the team have been getting up and dressed for work as if we were in the office. We know this is true for Business Development Manager Stephen because he can still be seen wearing his Fleming Homes jumper in our video calls. Stephen says getting dressed for work helps him stay disciplined. Office Manager Marisa is on the same page. She’s putting on her make-up and getting ready for work as usual. Our intrepid owner Hayden, on the other hand, is loving working from his stand-up desk at home in his rugby shorts and bare feet! In stark contrast, our Head of Planning, Scott has confessed to keeping his slippers on the radiator overnight to ensure toasty feet in the morning.

Getting the tunes in
Marisa has taken inspiration from Designer Bernard and is now listening to Classic FM for inspiration while she works. Scott agrees and has found himself an awesome play playlist on Spotify to keep motivated. Operations Manager Michael is also using relaxing background music to help focus on the task in hand.  Lyndsey from our online team agrees that background music can be beneficial but if you’re sharing your working space at home, she suggests headphones!

Working to a schedule
A seasoned professional at homeworking, Jason’s advice to the rest of us is to keep to a schedule. He’s up at the same time every day, takes regular breaks and enjoys getting out with the dogs at lunchtime (within government guidelines, of course) to clear his mind and set himself up for a productive afternoon.

For many of us, it’s not just one adult working from home it’s two and in some households where grown-up children are still at home, it’s more! This may well have led to territorial desk space land grabs and conflict. Both Construction Design Technician, Will and his wife Lorna are working from home with a toddler, Anna. Will’s advice is to take shifts so that one parent has undisturbed time in the home office.

Wrangling children
In addition to Anna, there are lots of small members of the Fleming Homes family. Co-owner Sally’s advice is to set the kids up with a timetable, a workstation and plenty of snacks. Preferably at the other end of the house. MD Sarah’s strategy is to sanction a 24-hour Fortnight challenge which will leave them sleeping until well into the afternoon. Joking aside, home working with children can be highly stressful and result in epic guilt trips. Sarah’s advice is to be kind to yourself; it’s going to be near on impossible to be the perfect parent if you’re working from home with kids.

Keeping connected
Construction Design Technician and Designer Dave stresses how important it is to keep in touch with each other. At Fleming Homes, we’ve set up a whole company WhatsApp group and we’re using Microsoft Teams to stay connected, so that everyone can easily ask questions, seek advice, avoid isolation and keep the banter going.

Recognising the challenges
A couple of the team (let’s not mention any names) will be struggling to keep their workspaces tidy at home. Others will be missing having their cup of tea made for them and the risk of consuming too many chocolate biscuits will be a temptation for everyone except Hayden. And we’ve all agreed that the sun isn’t over the yardarm until 6pm.

Ask the experts
Our design and web team have been working from home for too many years to say. They’ve compiled their own Cohorts by Design guide for working from home which you can find here.

If you’re working from home too, we hope that by now you’ve created the optimum workspace, have perfected your routine and whittled the distractions down to a minimum.

Happy home working from all of us!

Photo credit: Adidas

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