Homeworking in the time of coronavirus? Here are our 5 tips

Magali Reu

by Magali
March 19, 2020

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As a mobility startup, we’re all about getting you from A to B. But now that coronavirus has us locked down, the best thing to do is sit tight! That’s a big change for many of us who have never worked from home. We understand: we’ve all been working from home for the last week and it’s definitely a different game. So here’s some tips and tricks to make the most of it, illustrated by our very own workspaces. 

#1 Set up your corona proof work island

The first thing you want to do is set up a sweet workplace to help you get down to business. It’s key to have a spot that’s as comfortable and ergonomic as possible. We get that you might not have an amazing desk and designer office chair set up at home. Probably more like the kitchen table, right? We feel you: especially Alice, our head of customer marketing, whose workspace is pictured below. 

What you’re essentially doing is creating a little work island that feels separate from your domestic life. So focus on getting any clutter out of your way (OK Alice still needs to work on that a little 🤭) to create a clear space that’s dedicated to work only. When you’re done working, call it a day and clear your domestic spaces of work stuff so you can detach from work in the evening. Put that laptop away until tomorrow! 

Alice’s (Head of Customer Marketing) office

 

Watch out though, you don’t want to be too close to the fridge and its temptations. Keeping to a normal eating and break routine is key to staying physically and mentally fit during these corona times. So try to stick to your normal meal and coffee break schedule. Also, give your back a break from that kitchen chair by getting up to stretch and move around at least once per hour.

Or why don’t you simply set up a home office in the garden to increase your productivity, just like our UX/UI designer Nathalie? 🍃

Nathalie’s (UX/UI designer) office

 

#2 Create your own schedule

Another danger of working from home is losing sight of your work-life balance. Because your work and home environments are the same, it can quickly feel like living at work instead of working from home. The best advice we have is to try to stick to a fixed schedule. Does that mean trying to sweat through a 9-5 with a two-year-old chewing on your ankles? No sir! The cool thing about working from home is that you get to pick the moments when you are most productive. 😎Which probably means working when that two-year-old is sleeping like an angel. If all else fails, earplugs or noise canceling headphones could do the trick. 

Benoit’s (Senior Developer) office

 

Make clear agreements with other family members and switch shifts with your partner if you can. Having your desk in a separate room will also help define boundaries. Also, psych yourself up for your “work day” by getting dressed as if you were going to see other people today. Which probably means changing out of your Snoopy pajamas. Probably. As novel and comfy as they may feel, they won’t facilitate getting pumped and focused for work. And if you’re on a work call and you hit the video button by mistake…awkward!

#3 Communicate more than ever

In these times of crisis, communication is crucial in various ways. If both you and your partner are working from home, it’s crucial to establish certain habits and agreements. This makes it easier to adapt to the new situation. If you’re juggling deadlines with the needs of your kids, be clear about this with your employer or co-workers so that they know what to expect. These are challenging times, and everyone gets it’s not business as usual. If you’re on a conference call, it’s fine to tell colleagues that a toddler may wander into the room at any moment and you’ll get back to them as soon as you can. Of course, others are going it solo and may be feeling quite isolated. Thankfully we have more great tech than ever to help us stay connected. Consider using tools like Slack, Zoom, FaceTime and Skype to stay in touch with your team. If your team doesn’t have a chat going already, think about creating one and checking it in between tasks. At Skipr, we use Slack to communicate about work but also just to goof around and feel closer as a team. 🙏

Greg’s (CMO) office

 

Don’t just keep up the connection: communicate more than you normally do to make up for the lack of in-person contact. That way you make sure everyone’s on the same page, and it makes up for the regular chit-chat moments you’re missing.

#4 Finally get around to stuff

Work a little slower these days because everything is shut down and canceled? Are you used to sprinting through the day and feeling a little low because your work is reduced to a trickle? We get that it’s tough, but with a little shift in mindset this could also be an opportunity. 

Manon’s (UX/UI Designer) + Manon’s cat’s office

 

Catch up on all your back burner projects and administration so you feel all organized and on top of things. Read a new book to get up to speed on the latest developments in your profession. Enrich your skills with an online training or webinar. And if you have more free time than usual, this is your moment to do all the things you never have time for: do a big spring cleaning, bake a cake, practice your Portuguese…carpe diem and seize this time to invest in your self-development!

#5 Still going out? Skipr’s got you covered

According to the newest rules of the Belgian lockdown, outings are restricted to the most essential: for example, going to the supermarket or pharmacy. You’ll want to plan your trips efficiently, and Skipr is there to help! In general we advise you to simply limit your travel. Sounds a bit odd for a mobility startup to say, but as your co-pilot we wouldn’t want you to get sick. 😷

That being said, sometimes there’s just no other choice. Your business may depend on it, or you might have to check in on a loved one. In these situations we say stick to what is absolutely necessary and consider alternative modes of transport which don’t take you through busy hubs. It’s also the perfect chance to try out micro-mobility such as shared bikes, esteps and scooters, where you are guaranteed not to have anyone coughing on you. Don’t forget your helmet for safety, and wash your hands before and after (or wear gloves if possible).  And if you’re not big on micro-mobility you can always get your bike out. No matter what means of transportation you chose, Skipr can help you figure out the quickest and easiest way to reach your destination. We also offer real time data from all of our providers, so we’ll always be up to speed on schedule changes.

Our team wishes you lots of strength in these difficult times. Do you have a question or comment? Drop us a line!

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