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Hongsie Namingha

Rocking from home – Rockstart goes #WFH

Like most companies today, Rockstart has shifted to “home base” with this literally being home for all its employees. For some this change is easier than for others, so we want to give you 9 of the best tips we found online to help you make the best out of your new home-office.

1. Still act as if you are going to the office

Keeping a routine although you are working from home is key to having a successful remote workday. Having the mental awareness of getting ready for work, being in the “office”, and being back “home”, can make you productive – even from your home-office. 

Morning and evening routines are especially important so your mind and body can adjust. Get dressed like you would go to work, put away your phone when working (if not needed), and end your day at your regular times.

2. Choose dedicated workspace(s) and hours.

Make yourself a dedicated clean office space in your home. Even if it is only one corner of your dining table – reserve this corner for work. You can also create multiple places to work from so that you have a little home co-working space to change places. This will increase your tendency to walk around and stretch during work. Leave your workspace clean after you are finished, just as you would do in your regular office.

As some of our colleagues are working from their home countries now, make sure you are available in the core hours of your company in its local time zone. Make sure to not vary your working hours every day and avoid doing overtime in your home-office. Otherwise it might be difficult to make a mental disconnection between home and home-office.

3. Get a break helper

In the office it is easy to take a short break by getting a coffee, talking to a colleague or walking through to the building to get to the next meeting. At home, it tends to be a bit more difficult. Get yourself a software or an app to help remind you to take breaks, drink water or stretch. Movement is really important as you are sitting (or maybe lying down) the whole workday. And let some fresh air in – ventilate your room and office space at least every morning and afternoon to help with productivity.
You can further look into:

  • Pomodoro technique: Have effective sessions of 25 minutes, followed up by 5-minute breaks to stay more focused.
  • f.lux: helps decrease eye strain by reducing the blue light produced in your laptop light. Also, great for when you are back in the office.
  • Time Out app & software: helps you take short and long breaks in which you can add tasks such as stretch or walk around.
  • WaterReminder Chrome extension: helps you to stay hydrated when your colleague isn’t there to ask you for coffee breaks anymore!

4. Do some laundry

In-house app(liances) can help you take breaks and get movement going on as well. Doing laundry provides not only a timer but also clean clothes! Put the laundry on, start tackling that spreadsheet, *beep beep*, the laundry is finished. Now you can have a break while hanging up your fresh smelling clothes. You can also do the dishes if you’d prefer!

5. Be virtually social

Get involved in your company slack channels, stay connected and join in the fun! Slack and other apps are now your virtual breaks to share some chit-chat with your colleagues which you would usually do over a nice hot coffee in the office. Participating not only fills in some time but it helps to boost the overall team spirit and keeps you connected to your colleagues. So post that meme, like that picture and join challenges!

6. Background noise

Some of us enjoy the buzz of the office/cafés and struggle to get work done without it. Being in a silent home during work hours can mean that you don’t feel as productive anymore. Try out some background noise instead of music. This can either be your TV running on a low volume or listening to specific playlists on Spotify such as Cafe Sounds or Office Background Noise

7. Block social media

We probably are all guilty of checking social media and news to stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 updates. Try to minimize your intake during working hours. This will not only make you more productive but will also help your mental health. You can use your browser’s settings to block websites or download websites time counters to only spend a certain amount of time on them.

8. Plan your day and your week

We know this tip from our regular workday but now it is even more important. Put tasks in your work calendar. This is also a good way to show your colleagues when you are busy working on projects. Try to not block every hour in your schedule to leave space for meetings and, where possible, adjust your schedule to meeting requests. Be flexible with your schedule for yourself and others but be aware of not changing it too much.

9. Put in some family/partner/roomate time – if possible

Having virtual meetings with your colleagues during the day is important. However, it is also important to acknowledge that you are in a different working environment now. It is o.k. to have a chat with a “real” person, if available. Make sure that they know about your workload and regular working times. You can also take a break with your pet. If you have a dog, take them on a short walk. If you have a cat or other pets, have a break to play with them. All of this will increase your social contact and will help you relax during your workday.


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