10 tips for working from home

tips for working from home with kids and pets

Could working from home be a blessing in disguise? We asked our team for their best tips to navigate everything from work/life balance to homeschooling. Here are 10 tips for working from home like a boss!

Boost efficiency 🚀

Miscommunication can be so time consuming, so start saving time by staying connected with colleagues. 

Daily stand up meeting

Keep team communication flowing. Think about scheduling a morning catch-up, keep it casual,  just like you would when you walk into your office and ask your team what they’re working on. It’s good to set tasks for the day and/or check on progress in the evening so everyone knows how the project is moving along.

Take virtual lunches together

On a normal day at the office who would you be hanging out with? Popping to the shops, grabbing coffee… Keep that going (remotely of course). Applications like Slack are a great way to keep in touch with your team, you can create separate channels or groups for non-work stuff or for specific projects you’re collaborating on. It’s a nice way to keep in touch and it’ll actually minimise chit chat at the beginning of every conference call because you already know how everyone is doing.

Build your happy home office

Not everyone has a spare room but ideally you want to work somewhere separate from your living or sleeping area. This will allow you to take breaks away from your desk. According to our IT Operations Manager Simon, you should avoid spending extended periods of time sitting on the sofa, bed or toilet… Because it’s not good for you! So get a desk and adjustable chair, you might even be able to get your second monitor shipped from the office! Pick a spot with plenty of natural  light (no glare though) and surround yourself with positive vibes. Curate your perfect work playlist, listen to the radio or whatever works for you as long as it keeps you happy and productive.

Get your IT together 💻 

At Neos, we’re pretty good at working remotely. So naturally the first person we spoke to was  Simon. Here are some tips for working from home company-wide.

Best for video conference calls

The Neos team is split across our London and Brighton offices, while ¼ of us work remotely. So we’re used to virtual team meetings. Choose a tool like GoogleMeet or Skype for Business, they’re perfect for virtual catch-ups. Have a little induction with your team so everyone knows how to use it. Then off you go! Turn on your video to catch up with colleagues or switch to presentation mode to share your screen so everyone knows which pdf you’re talking about.

Best for file-sharing

Leverage cloud services to access files remotely and share them with your team. Google drive is a great way to work collaboratively: you can keep track of edits to documents you’re working on, or ask a colleague to fill-in the numbers on the last slide of that urgent presentation. Plus you can set your privacy setting so that only your team has access to it, or just you, or the whole company.

Safety First

Both online and offline! Make sure you password-protect your laptop or computer and that it’s encrypted. This is particularly important if you’re working from a personal laptop. And if you’re not the most tech-savvy person just ask your IT department about how to keep your files secure.

Home-working with little ones 👶🐱 

Working from home with kids… Hard to explain unless you’ve been there. So how do you work + keep an eye on kids + make sure you don’t run out of toilet paper, all while keeping your sanity? Here are a few tips for working from home while making the most of being together.

A daily routine

Everyone is having to re-adjust so consider what works best for you and your household. Single parent? Neos offers flexible work hours to help parents manage their time. Be realistic and schedule family time throughout the day: an hour of board games, an hour in the garden, quiet tv time, homeschooling, etc. It gives your kids structure and makes them less likely to barge in while you’re trying to get work done. Also gives you a chance to unwind and enjoy each other. 

Don’t stress out

Wish you could be in two places at once? Consider moving your SmartCam to the nursery or playroom. Being able to check in on the kids from afar can put your mind at ease and also give them a chance to feel more independent. Who actually wants their mum or dad looking over their shoulder all day? Give them their space, we all need some of that right now! So whether you’re fixing dinner in the kitchen or simply wondering why their room sounds suspiciously quiet, just open the Neos App to keep an eye on what matters most.

Fur babies

Not everyone has human babies at home, cats and dogs can also find it hard to adjust to having you around all the time. Dog walking is a great reason to get out of the house – while respecting social distancing. Schedule walks when they make most sense for you: go for a run in the morning so they’ll be happy to relax in their dog bed and let you get on with work until lunch. Same with cats, a little play time to tire them out is often the best way to keep them out of trouble. 

Now the big question: how do I keep my cat from sitting on my keyboard? 

Cats often get a bad rep for being mischievous, but more often than not they’re just trying to get your attention. Right now, your computer has all of your attention. Plus it’s nice and warm which cats love. So make an even more attractive spot for them in your home office! Just think about the kind of place your cat likes to relax in, for inspiration. Fold a fluffy blanket on the seat next to you so you can pet them while you work. Or hang it over part of the sofa so they can snuggle inside for a quiet nap.

Got more tips for working from home? Share with the #NeosCommunity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.