An agency guide to working from home effectively

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As an inbound marketing agency, Bolt has been fortunate enough that all our team are working from home during this time. This transition hasn’t been without its challenges and has taken some getting used to for everyone involved. Trying to run a business and keep all your employees, clients and customers connected takes real adjustment.

After a few weeks of working from home, it’s safe to say we’ve learnt a lot in a short period of time. Here are Bolt’s key takeaways from working from home effectively:

Hannah Benton, creative lead:

I’ve really enjoyed building my little home office on my dining table, but there are challenges. The dog doesn’t understand I’m not at home and available for playtime or door opening duties constantly. I have to refill the kettle a lot and there are still not enough hours in the day. But the positives are that I still feel connected to the team. Living alone means I really value time on calls with the team and seeing their faces (I do that TV presenter thing where I wave at everyone, cringe). There’s no commute anymore and we get to share more dog pics!

Tom Wright, apprentice web developer:

Good communication is key, even more so at home. As there’s so much distance between people, you can’t just shout across the room. Keeping everyone up to date about what’s happening in the company and our general daily lives really helps to keep motivation high. It means everyone is in the know about client goings-on which is needed when working on large projects.

Ellie-Paige Moore, inbound digital lead:

Flexibility has never been an issue for us here at bolt but working from home for the foreseeable future just adds that little bit more. You see a lot of comments and views of people saying to treat the day as if you were in the office which is definitely still something you should do. But if you need to do a little bit of cleaning that you were going to do in the evening and have a spare minute, I say go for it! It takes our eyes and minds away from the screen for a short while and it does give you that flexibility. So even if you’ve worked your full working day, you've been able to do those little jobs around the house meaning your evening is fully dedicated to yourself and relaxation.

Jamie Clifton, head of commercial and strategy:

My main takeaway is walking and talking. Usually, in office-style meetings, you might see people sitting around desks, slumped in a poor posture and yawning because they didn't sleep well the night before, for example. It’s not necessarily people being disinterested but they’re not in their most engaged position. I've seen clients, the team and myself be more enthusiastic when walking and talking during conference calls. The way that we convey ourselves is better when standing up and we come up with more ideas. Are walk and talk meetings the future?

Thomas Coughlan, inbound marketing executive:

Having Cloud storage in place has made working from home a lot easier as all our work is accessible for everyone when they need it. It’s meant that there’s no work left in the office as we can access it wherever we are. Having work saved in Google Drive has meant that storage can be saved on my laptop. Using Google Sheets and Docs allows us to work in the same documents without having to be sitting next to each other. This means we can still collaborate on projects by jumping on a call and working on a document.

A downside of working from home though is with more people working from home, the internet can sometimes be slow or cut out completely for a minute or two which isn't great when most of the work is done online.

James Coughlan, head of operations:

Having a dedicated workspace and great music is what helps me when working from home. Your own area to work away from distractions reduces the dreaded procrastination, as well as making sure I keep my work-life balance separate. Music also helps me zone into the workspace I've created and keeps me on point throughout the day.

Ella Mawer, digital designer:

A positive take away from working from home is that I can skip the commute to work every day. Travelling to work for one hour ten minutes takes up a lot of time and is costly with the money I spend on fuel. Having zero commute has freed up my morning and saved so much money. Usually, time is wasted travelling but now I can use it more effectively, like completing a morning workout, carrying out household chores and getting an early start to the day. I’m completing my daily tasks earlier and having more time in the evening when I’ve finished work to wind down, relax and have more time with loved ones.

Laura Greenhalgh, copywriter:

Wear whatever you want! We’ve all heard it somewhere that we should wear what we’d wear to the office while working from home. It’s supposed to be good for routine and get you in the work mindset but for most people, it just isn’t realistic. You should put on whatever you feel comfortable and productive in. Whether that’s the same pair of joggers all week, your gym leggings, pyjamas or dressing gown - wear it!

Sam Blevins, graphic designer:

Working from home has had its challenges. From sharing workspaces with family to relying on messaging or phone calls for communication instead of the usual face-to-face interaction we’d have in the studio. With that said, I believe we’re pulling together and working as efficiently as we can to ensure morale remains high.

So there you have it, bolt’s key takeaways from working from home. Communication is a major issue that’s required a lot more effort from the team to stay as connected as possible. Comfort and flexibility are everything. Whether that’s being in your pyjamas, listening to your favourite playlist or breaking up with the day with the washing up - you can keep your mind focused and productive. Plus, there’s no commute which means we’ve all got time to spare and money saved up!

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