With it becoming increasingly likely we’ll all have to embrace home-working ways we’ve compiled list to get to grips with working solo to make it easier for you.
Adopt the four-hour rule
Use this time to discover what part of the day you’re most productive.
I’ve found I work better on tasks in the morning when my brain and energy is fresh, and I’m at my most creative in the afternoon.
Protect your morning from calls, meetings or other interruptions and get through the work that needs your full attention in the first four hours of your working day.
You’ll be more productive and will be rewarded by working on the “fun things” after lunch.
Admit Dolly Parton Was Wrong
The hardest thing about working remotely is breaking free from the 9 to 5.
You may be missing out on productive time because you’re forcing yourself to keep your laptop off during “downtime”m and pushing yourself through unproductive moments just because the clock hasn’t ticked to 5pm.
Assuming you have a boss that isn’t going to be demanding photos of you next to the oven clock to prove you’re at home and working, use this remote working time to create a schedule that works for you.
Feeling buzzed at 8am and want to log on and get started? Go ahead.
Want to work longer on Mondays and take Wednesday afternoons off? Crack on!
Remote Doesn’t Mean Lonely
We know a lot of our Fundraising Everywhere friends around the world have been asked to stay indoors but we must be careful that social distancing doesn’t extend to emotional distancing.
Make sure you speak to someone every day.
Call a friend, family member and even your donors to have a conversation and stay connected to the world around you. You can even use video tools like whereby or Google Hangouts to bring a more personal touch to your chats.
Communicate More Than Usual
I’ve made the mistake when remote working of trying to protect inboxes and have realised how being away from teams you’re working with needs an impeccable level of communication in a way that sometimes feels like over-communicating.
A combination of these methods can make teammates feel informed and included with work and decisions:
- Weekly updates of what’s been worked on and results – including highlights and challenges. Clearly headline your updates and highlight sections where you need a response or input
- Virtual drop-in sessions: Work with Google Hangouts open so they can drop in with a question or extra face to face time if they need it. Kind of like an online water-cooler!
- Weekly calls with each level of the teams involved so everyone has been updated with the same information
- Follow up emails from the calls with what we’ve discussed and clear actions for each person
- Quick catch-up sessions mid-week to check progress and catch anything that’s slipping
- Not being rigid to the booked meetings and asking for a chat as and when you need it.
If you’re like me – you can’t sit still when you’re on the phone.
If you have a virtual meeting planned don’t just sit at your desk or move to the sofa and secretly watch Netflix on mute – grab your headphones and get outside.
Go for a walk, sit in the sun or even just grabbing a cup of tea and pacing can help switch things up.
There are dozens of other articles about remote working digital tools and I can’t stress enough how important it is to embrace these beyond just using your Outlook for letting teams know what you’re up to.
We use Trello for multi-person projects, Google Docs for file sharing for all projects, Google Hangouts for calls, Calendly for scheduling meetings, and Zoom for delivering remote virtual training and recording podcasts.
Through Fundraising Everywhere we host regular virtual socials or problem-solving clinics that anyone can join for free. Check out the listings for the next one.
Bonus tip for hosting remote calls with more than one person: when one person dials in remotely, everybody dials in remotely.
I know pjs are comfy, and yes there may be some days you’re so into your work you don’t shower until lunchtime.
But getting dressed does wonders for your mood and productivity.
Get up and showered straight away as if you would leaving for an office job, but embrace the freedom of not being out in public so much and let that hair go wild and wear something comfy.
Be Kind to Yourself
There are days where I suck at remote working.
The neighbours seem to have a thousand parcels that I have to sign for, the house feels too messy and I can’t concentrate until I’ve cleaned it, or there are too many distractions like cute kittens or cups of tea.
Some remote working days are hard.
But the beauty is that you’re freed from the shackles of presenteeism and can take yourself out or away from the bedlam to reset and start again.
Invest in Yourself
Use your commute time to do something to improve your way of working.
Listen to that podcast or read that book you’ve been putting off for ages, learn a new skill, or take an online course.
You can instantly access over 25 hours of fundraising training online via Fundraising Everywhere if you want to start right now.
We have a weird few months ahead of us and it’s completely normal to feel a little lost or overwhelmed.
Be kind to yourself, use these tips to make your transition to home working a little easier, and join us online for a virtual social if you feel yourself getting a little too isolated.
We’re all in this together.