It’s no secret that here at Sei Mani, we truly practice what we preach. We work from home by default, in fact, the thought of going into an office strikes fear into the majority of us. Commute? More than 7 seconds? No thank you! Heck, I even make my lunch every day in my own kitchen and save, probably thousands on the venti hazelnut lattes I haven’t bought over the last few years.
Spread across 4 countries, in 8 cities, we come together through the power of the technologies we help our customers adopt. We keep the conversations alive in Slack, we video call constantly through our Cisco DX units, we use Webex Meetings, Zoom and Skype for meetings, and we store and share information using Jive and Workplace by Facebook.
Now, we’re not saying that technology replaces our need for face-to-face contact, we absolutely get together in person when we need to and make a special effort to bring the whole team together at least twice a year. But, no longer are we chasing the coveted air miles that George Clooney’s character so aimlessly did in ‘Up in the Air’; we’ve hit the flexible working jackpot.
But working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds. To hit that productivity sweet spot, balancing your conferences calls between the pull to stick another load of washing in is an art form in itself. So, I asked the experts of working from home, our team at Sei Mani, what their top tips for working from home were (over a video call of course).
Let’s talk desk and chair first and just come out with it; the kitchen table really isn’t going to cut it. Just ask our co-founder, Leon, who works from his every day. Whether you need a remote control standing desk or an antique executive desk with a splash of Annie Sloan paint, make sure you have something that works for you. And, a comfy supportive chair is worth its weight in gold, says Stu. Avoid headaches and costly trips to the chiropractor by having the right set up.
My mum calls it her “Hen Den”, but no matter what you call it, you need a space of your own. Somewhere to have everything you need to be successful every day. It doesn’t always have to be a room of its own, especially with house prices it isn’t always feasible to have a stand-alone office space, taking a slice of a room will work just fine. Jo recommends making sure you can close the door of distractions; That moment when the kids come home from school or the dog starts barking at the postman will inevitably happen when you’re on that really important call.
But that’s not to say you can’t move around your house. If it’s sunny, head outside to catch some rays or pop into the kitchen to change-up your scenery when you’re working on a new task. I like to sit on the couch when I’m writing, cross-legged and balancing my laptop on my knee. I might be a little more relaxed but it’s when I feel most comfortable to write. Just make sure you have plenty of natural sunlight as you’ll inevitably be spending lots of time in one space. But you’ll need to get the balance right, there’s nothing worse than the sun blinding you.
And, lastly, the little things can make a real difference in your workspace. Personalising your space with the things that feel “you” have been shown to increase productivity, well-being and creativity. One study by the University of Exeter has shown a 15% increase in productivity just by being able to see a plant in your line of sight. Nicola has her Hawaiian bobblehead to remind her of a recent trip, I hopelessly try to keep an aloe vera plant alive and Kieran has posters he collected at the Facebook offices in San Francisco last year. Making your space work for you is key.
Having a well set up work environment will not only give you a new lease of life every day, but it will also open your mind to be more creative and focus you on the tasks you need to get done. It’s your nest and your safe space during the week, and in the evenings and weekends you can step away and enjoy some quality time “away from the office”.
Feel inspired? What would you change about your home office space?