A History Lesson in Working from Home

01-Apr-20




 The year is 1665 and the Great Plague of London is spreading through the nation’s capital and its neighbouring Counties. A chap by the name of Isaac Newton is forced to work from home as Cambridge University temporarily shuts its doors and many flee to the countryside to avoid the epidemic. What followed next?...
 
A twenty-two-year-old Newton spent the next two years working from his manor in Lincolnshire and is said to have been at his most productive during this period. Here, he developed his theories of calculus, optics and gravity.
 
So, while all non-essential workers in the UK move to a remote working set-up, how can you reach Sir Isaac Newton levels of productivity? Here are some tips from freelance veterans of remote working, as well as a few from mustard XP colleagues and I, having completed our first week as WFH novices.
 
  1. “Make the most of relevant software and apps – Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a 17th century Lincolnshire manor you will likely be familiar with Skype. Other video call software exists though and at mustard we are regular users of Zoom Call (#notsponsored). Zoom allows all users to screen share during the call, which means you can all be viewing the same spreadsheet or PowerPoint at the same time. It also allows you to record and save calls if you need to refer to what was discussed. Other useful applications include Microsoft Teams for instant messaging and OfficeVibe which can be used to monitor employee satisfaction and happiness (team members receive direct messages with questions about their overall mood and satisfaction, with answers sent anonymously back to team leaders).” – Jamie Rogers, mustard XP
 
 
  1. “Avoid LinkedIn/News during peak working hours – Amongst Boris’ daily briefings and the countless articles online charting the spread of coronavirus, it can be difficult to stick to a day plan without being distracted. As a recruiter, LinkedIn is an essential platform for me to use on a daily basis. It’s equally important for freelancers looking to build their next pipeline of work, companies sharing their latest news and those who are looking for a new job to hear about the latest vacancies. However, setting aside half an hour at the beginning/end of the day and closing your LinkedIn tab for the remainder of your working hours will ensure you stick to the tasks at hand.“– Josh Howell, mustard XP
 
  1. “Set breaks. It's tempting to power through and keep going, especially when busy. I find taking a scheduled break allows me to be more productive with my time. Unless out of hours work HAS to be done it’s a good idea to stop working at a similar to time to that of an office day. It helps to ensure you maintain a work life balance...and some sanity when stuck indoors.” – Hannah, Senior Events Producer
 
  1. “When I first started working from home, I came across a top tip... wear work shoes when you are actually working. Even though the temptation is to put on T-shirt and joggers, if you wear work shoes it separates the time at home for working and time at home for you... otherwise the temptation is just to work all the time. Shoes off, clocked off.” – Steve, Senior Graphic Designer/Studio Manager
 
 
  1. “Recreate a commute to your new office at home. It’s very easy to slip into a routine of waking up at 8.58 and commuting out of bed to the living room for your 9.00 start, while working from home. However, I found it generally took me about 20/30 minutes before I was actively engaged with whatever I was doing first thing in the morning. I started going for a short walk/run in the mornings before starting work and this meant I was generally better prepared for the day come 9.00” – John, Creative Director
 
While you may not discover gravity during your self-isolation, hopefully these tips might help you stay on track for the next few weeks while working from home!
 


This blog was written by Jamie Rogers, a consultant in mustard XP, a specialist division of mustard placing professionals in the Exhibition, Events and Experiential industry. When he’s not researching the studies of Isaac Newton, Jamie recruits for designers, project managers, client services and logistics staff in the South of England and can be reached on Jamie.rogers@mustardjobs.co.uk or 0117 284 0072.

www.mustardxp.co.uk

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