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8 Top remote working tips from the Uku’s (lockdown style)

March 27, 2020

The entire globe is in some form of COVID-19 lock-down. 

On Monday evening our President, Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lock-down ending on the 16th of April. And we commend him for making some hard decisions in unchartered waters.

That being said three weeks of being home-bound is a challenge all of us are facing, and even more so across the globe. 

The question is how are businesses handling this whole remote working thing? It practically happened overnight, with no real-time to prepare or get organised. 

So whilst the Uku’s operating from a sunny 21-day closed South Africa, we’ve curated our top 8 remote working tips from across the team. 

Let’s take a look: 

Dane - Since working from home, he’s turned into Clark Kent 🦹🏽‍♂️.  

1. Don’t over commit. Since working from I found that I tend to pile on the items on my daily to-do’s. It feels like I have more time in my day with fewer meetings, no commute (during the lockdown) and fewer office distractions. So surely I can do more

The truth is that we often overestimate how much time a task is going to take. So instead of committing to complete that new strategy, tackle your website copy, and create your podcast focus on one big-ticket item a day. 

It’ll help you stay focused and give you a sense of accomplishment when you actually do, what you set out to do.

2. Use the right tools. For many teams, this switch to working remotely is undoubtedly a massive spanner in their works. The best way to stay connected, keep your projects moving and your team engaged is to adopt the right tools for the job. 

For us, that means a Zoom call every morning at 8:30 for our daily stand up, Asana to keep our projects and deliverable on track and Slack for all our internal comms and file sharing.

For you that could be Skype, Whatsapp, Microsoft Teams, Trello, HubSpot and more. Don’t fight the change. Embrace it.

Nate - He’s acquired an unusual amount of apartment greenery in preparation for lock-down 🌿. 

1. Make time for distractions. Working from home can be quite distracting especially if you have kids or pets or if you have to spend 21-days locked up in a one-bedroom apartment with no one for company except yourself 👀.

You might be tempted to treat the day like any normal day where you get to the office, spend the whole day working, and then head home. Instead, give yourself more flexibility by using the “Pomodoro technique”.

Essentially you break your day up into 25-minute chunks for focused work and then 5-minute breaks in between and a longer 15-30 minute break after every 4 Pomodoros. 

That gives you time to make your partner a cup of tea or to play with your kids or throw the ball for the dog.  

2. Keep team morale up. If you’re used to seeing your coworkers every day then you might start to feel like telecommuting is starting to impact those relationships that are built around day-to-day interactions.

To help keep morale up and the relationships within your team nice and health try scheduling time for a group activity you can all do remotely. Here are some suggestions:

  • Spend 15-minutes having coffee together online before work and catch up.
  • Play Psych! - it’s like balderdash except you use the app.
  • Do a group yoga/pilates sessions.

Claudio - He has taken to adopting the birds on his balcony as his new colleagues 🦜. 

1. Routine. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty easy to blur the lines between work, rest and your personal lives when working from your lounge or bedroom. Those blurry lines hardly scream productivity. That’s why having some form of routine is important.

Waking up at a consistent time during the week, putting on pants (rather be safe than sorry for every video call), setting aside some time for lunch and a time to finish each day will help introduce some structure to your day, that certainly helps the OCD amongst us become a little more productive each day.

2. Communicate. It’s easy to feel or appear isolated when working remotely. There is always a concern that your colleagues or even clients might adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to you or the projects you’re working on, making progress a little tricky.

The secret to avoiding it? Communicate, often. 

Luckily there are a ton of useful digital communication essentials out there to help you get your message across. With around 20% of the world’s population currently in lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s no coincidence that video conferencing software Zoom has surged in valuation during this period. Whatever your chosen product or channel to communicate with is, be sure to make use of it as often as possible when not in the office.

Emma - Sprout has become an honourary Uku since she joins our daily standups without fail 😹.

1. Set the scene. I love setting my workspace. I’m lucky enough to have a small home office with a pretty nifty desk. To get myself into the right headspace for the day, I like to make sure my notebook, a variety of pens, a glass of water with lemon and cucumber are ready to go at 08:30 am. 

2. Change it up. Nope, I don’t mean leave home (hopefully soon). I mean change your posture. There are studies that suggest you should move every 30-minutes. So that’s what I’m being proactive about. 

I’m lucky to have an adjustable desk that allows me to stand when I feel I want to. I also have a gym ball to activate my core whilst sitting. One of my favourite things to do is head out into my garden and listen to the birds in our trees for 5-minutes before getting back to it. 

Key Takeaways 

Those are just some of the things we’re doing to become a highly productive and efficient remote working team. 

We’d love to know what some of your top tips are and if any of these suggestions really resonate with you. Drop us a comment, an email or send us a snap on social media, so we can see what you’re up to. 

Whilst we’re all at home, why not take a look at the content marketing strategy template we created. It’s the perfect time to start researching, planning and working your way through it.  Simply click the button below to grab your copy now 👇

content marketing strategy template