The CHS guide on remote working. Written by the Pros!
CHS Group is a remote-run company with team members all over the UK (and some around the world). CHS is ahead of the curve; we've learnt the pitfalls and understand where the challenges so many employers and employees will face in the coming days and weeks when it comes to supporting a remote workforce.
We asked our team, what their biggest hurdles are when it comes to working from home, and what they have put in place to have a happy work life ❤️.
Julie Phillips, Chief Operating Officer
My biggest positive about working from home has to be that I have no commute which means extra time every day with my family.
I have zero interruptions working from home, I can focus my time on what needs to be done and not get distracted by others , but this does come with the negative of its own, you do miss the ‘water cooler’ moments, those little ‘natters’ with colleagues over the small stuff in life.
At CHS, we have put in place mechanisms to try and alleviate that FOMO (fear of missing out) on office life. We schedule regular video calls so that everyone knows exactly when they are going to speak to someone. Each call takes place over video, that way everyone gets to see someone during the day too.
Furthermore, each call always starts with a positive focus; this can be something positive at work, home or taking place in the week.
Using this tactic, as a Manager, helps identify if an employee is struggling, if they are finding it hard to find something positive to say about the week ahead, I know that I need to spend some time with them to check on their wellbeing and how they are coping with workload. This is where so many businesses can struggle with remote working, if mechanisms are not in place to support workers wellbeing, many feel isolated and consequently become lonely.
Embrace that times are changing, and we NEED to use technology to communicate. We have a closed Facebook group, open to only the CHS staff members to share what’s going on behind the scenes. We share if we’re on annual leave, business wins, nipping out for a coffee or general positivity. We want to build up our team and we use our group to create a safe space full of GIFs, office banter and lovely positive vibes you’d usually find in an office.
When we all get together, we often find that people cannot believe we don’t work in the same office, as we are that close.
Clair Whitecross, Sales Director
Positive vibes only!!
Take this time whilst working from home to take note on what you’re doing. It’s a great opportunity to become totally focused. You can analyse what you’re doing. Can it be done better? How can you improve it? It’s also a great opportunity to look at possible new opportunities to generate revenue for your business and monitor what your competition is doing! Basically – time to take stock and learn from the past 6 months and let’s get a super amazing plan in place for the next 12 months!
Biggest hurdle – Family affairs
This is an extremely unsettling time for the events/hospitality industry. My advice is to keep positive - we'll come out of this at some point, we don't know when, just yet.
A possible hurdle will be working from home with family members there. Distractions will need to be overcome with distancing from other family members and keeping structured routines for children. I'm already looking at this and getting ready a structure to manage kids and work with a routine for everything (ever the organiser at heart!)
If you start to feel lonely, catch up with the industry, don’t rely on emails - Skype or Zoom. Keep in touch. Grab some playtime with your dog or cat! At CHS, we are all on Skype, add us if you want to see a friendly face!
Main thing – Get yourself focused
Keep focus, get up at your normal time, get dressed as if you were going to work, keep everything moving forward and don’t lose hope!
Chloe Watson, Sales Executive
Choose to be optimistic, it feels better
These are my key reasons why working from home is awesome!
- You can be more productive
- Less time spent on travel and petrol
- So much more comfortable at home (thumb-up loungewear!)
- You can take each day as it comes because every day is probably going to be different
- Take the opportunity to have regular breaks, start planning for the coming months, BUT REMEMBER, THIS IS ONLY SHORT TERM!
You’re definitely NOT alone!
Keep communicating with your friends, family, work colleagues, pets and if it comes to it the four walls! It will take time to adjust to remote working, but with regular communication given the current situation and supporting each other we will get you through it.
Just don’t hide behind emails, now is a great time to reach out to people because everyone is in the same boat!
Rebecca Stenson, Marketing Manager
I started working from home just over three months ago and everyone who knew me thought I was going to find it challenging… I am a natural social butterfly – or caterpillar – take your pick 🐛!
Who moved my cheese?🧀
One thing I would highly recommend, and something I watched at my previous company was - Who moved my cheese.
it’s a short video about change and how you have to adapt to get the goals you desire. It’s also a book available here, if you prefer to read. During this very challenging time, we have to learn to adapt, diversify and help one and other where possible.
So, it’s a little different to working in an office, basement or even a swanky open plan space! Make the most out of it and embrace this time to make a difference in your career. You can be so much more productive by working from home – put it to the test!
Set yourself 30 – 40 minutes of time to seriously focus on a task, from a spreadsheet, data – whatever it may be and see what the outcome is at the end of it. You will want to beat the set time (or competitive people will anyway).
Make sure you maintain a healthy work/life balance, remember to enjoy it and schedule in regular breaks. In an office, you would usually have regular break offs - counter these in with coffee breaks or even 10-minute exercises ( take a look at Blogilates - she's great!). Try do something that will take your mind off the task at hand, so you feel refreshed and ready to get back to the task in hand!
Jenna Potter, Social and Content Executive
The Pomodoro method
The "Pomodoro" method has really helped me stay focused when working from home. One of the amazing benefits of working remotely is that you have flexibility over your schedule and location, but that can also lead to more distractions.
The Pomodoro method encourages you to focus on a task for a set amount of time without straying from it, and then you get a short break to go put laundry in or watch a fun YouTube video. I repeat this rhythm until my work-day is done! There are loads of apps and websites that help you do this (tomato-timer.com is my favourite).
The 21-squares is a fantastic tool that keep help you manage your time effectively whilst working from home. To download your free template, see below.