How we can help each other during the current crisis.

I hope you are keeping well and staying safe.  Three weeks ago, I left on holiday to Costa Rica – that seems a lifetime ago!  It’s been an ‘interesting’ three weeks to say the least and thank goodness for technology!

Our Costa Rica tour was cancelled after 4 days and we were advised to come home.  Thanks to WhatsApp and Ian Gifford from Travel Counsellors, we managed to get on a flight on Friday arriving home on the Saturday.

Whilst still in Costa Rica I was able to use Skype and email to keep in touch with the Concise team and clients as things changed on a daily basis.  Thanks to the BBC app and Google we were able to keep up to date with the latest developments, border closures etc.

Many of our clients have had to pause all marketing activity and I completely understand why. However, I would recommend that unless you mothball the business entirely, you do keep a social media presence on at least one channel – even if it is only a personal presence on LinkedIn or Facebook that you manage yourself.  Use the channel to offer tips/help/support to your clients past and future as we all try to work together in this difficult time.

You may find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands at the moment as we realise some people may have been furloughed whilst the country is coping with this situation. You could use this opportunity to further your education with an online course or qualification

Working from Home

A lot of businesses are having to adapt and carry on with their teams working from home. In our previous blog post, we explored some tools that could help you work remotely. As the team at Concise Training work from home, we thought we would collate some tips to help you adjust to a different way of working.

Working from Home Tips

  • Creating a ‘workspace’ that is separate from the rest of the family. That might be in a bedroom or if you are lucky, spare room/study – try not to use the kitchen table or a heavily used family area. It might be worth talking to Katie Elmer from Huddle furniture if you need additional workspace furniture.
  • Moving about at least every hour as sitting at a desk (let alone your kitchen table or sitting on the sofa with your laptop) can be detrimental to your health. Set a timer on your phone to remind you.
  • If working from a laptop, try and make it more like a desktop and raise it up (on some books for example) so that your eyebrows are level with the top of the screen and use an external keyboard and mouse.
  • Scheduling a lunch break and going for a walk even round the local streets (I take my dog for a walk) – observing the social distancing guidelines. If you have children, why not take them with you to reconnect? It is too easy to sit at your desk all day.
  • Having set start and end times so you put yourself into the ‘working mentality’. When you stop work try to do something at the end of the day. I jump on my exercise bike, but you might want to go into the garden, do some yoga or find another way to relax and switch off. You may miss your commute home as a way of switching off!
  • Regularly communicate with the rest of your team and clients. We use Skype within our team, but you might want to use WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook or one of the collaborative other technologies available. Many of the online conferencing tools have recently been made free to use. It is particularly important now to check in with colleagues to check they are coping with the wider picture but also working at home. One of the potential issues with working at home is the isolation and the fact you may not talk to anyone all day.
  • Use the home working time to experiment with flexible working. You may want to get up early in the morning before your children or work after the children are in bed to give you quality time with your children.
  • Plan your work in advance to give yourself a structure for the day.
  • Use technology to make working from home more effective. Look at our previous blog post to get some ideas.

Do you have any tips to share for working from home? Do feel free to share them in the comments below.