So for most working from home in the event industry, we’re about a week in. This is the point where some cracks might start to show. Are you being way less productive than you thought? Is the siren call of homes under the hammer proving just too much to ignore? Or perhaps a daily 2 pm nap has become your new ritual.
All jokes aside, working from home in the event industry is really hard. It took me (Rebecca) a good 6months – 1year to form the habits which allow me to work the way I do now. You can see more about that in our previous post. We know we’re going to be here for at least another three weeks. Today we’ll be sharing practice tools, apps, and tricks so you can fast track finding your WFH groove.
Schedule things in your calendar
If you’re used to working in an office, it might be quite a shock to the system to go from quite a structured day to no structure at all. You can try and replicate this by purposefully putting meetings/calls into your diary and allocating blocks of time to work on certain things. Think about it. In an office, it would be completely bad etiquette to just jump into a meeting room every time someone approached your desk. You’d never get anything done. In the same vein, you shouldn’t feel like you have to answer your phone every time it rings. You’re in charge of your own time.
Chat productively to your team
What I mean here, is keep constant instant messaging to a minimum. I listened to a great podcast by Rachel Hollis yesterday where she explained how her team uses Slack. Slack is brilliant if you have lots of employees all working on different things, as it allows you to categorise each conversation rather than just having one free-flowing conversation thread like WhatsApp. Like email though, I’d encourage you to only check Slack three or four times a day, rather than constantly having it open. For some, I can see how that would be a massive distraction.
Use a project management system
When you’re not in an office sitting with your team, it’s hard to stay up to date on the progress of so many different projects that you might be working on. Particularly now things have changed, you may be working on totally different projects than you were a month ago. For us, Asana is an absolute dream. Think of it as allocated tick lists. We have a separate project for each event, a content calendar, BD board, accounts, marketing, you name it, I have a board for it. All of the team are on Asana, which means I can allocate out projects and assign them to people. The team can comment on projects and tasks, meaning everything stay beautifully organised and together. You can add due dates too, making sure everything keeps moving forward.
I honestly can’t recommend it enough. Even if it’s just for your own use and planning out when you have to do what, I couldn’t work in the same way without it.
We all know that our phones are really little boxes of temptation. That little ping of an Instagram notification is enough to send you off course for hours. Hold is an app designed to make you pick up your phone less. It blocks all calls and notifications until you un hold it, and you get 20 points for every 20 mins you don’t look at it. As we well know, points mean prizes. You can transfer them into all sorts of things, like discount codes, mystery prizes, and charity donations. Its handy timer will really make you realise just how often you go to pick up your phone. I put mine in work mode, so at the end of the day, I also get a lovely serotonin boost when I see how long I’ve worked for.
Invest in a good coffee machine
We’re not in London anymore. Your local niche coffee shop isn’t two seconds down the road for your 3pm caffeine hit. But if like me, your veins need to be at least 30% coffee at all times, you should invest in a good coffee machine/filter coffee. You’ll be at home a lot over the next few months, so make sure you give yourself a treat!
I genuinely font understand how people take calls without headphones anymore. It’s so uncomfortable to hold your phone to your ear, and have you ever tried to take call notes with one hand? Impossible. Headphones will be your little lifesaver to these problems. Plus, I like to get up and walk around the office when I’m on the phone. We have a sofa in our office, so I take a seat there to take less serious calls.
You can be on Skype without talking
Sometimes, if we’re working on a big project, we’ll have skype on and connected in the background but not actually be talking. It simulates an office environment, in that you can say at any point “hey Sarah, what do you think about this?” and there’s someone there to immediately respond. However, remember to mute when your family comes into the room…
My final point on working from home in the event industry is this. The adult version of a sticker chart. Sometimes when you’re working from home it’s really hard to just make yourself sit at your desk and do work. A bed can be all too tempting. It’s unique to working from home because I’ve heard it’s frowned upon to walk out of your office for a nap halfway through the day. Reward yourself for a solid period of work by spending 15 mins on TikTok watching stupid videos or go outside for a walk.
I hope that’s a useful article and will make working from home in the event industry more enjoyable for some of you. We’ll be publishing two more articles in this piece: Mindfulness when Working From Home, and Planning Events while working from home. Join the club if you want to stay up to date with all the latest news, articles, and developments. Plus, sign up to be there first to know when our new podcast drops!