Trying to navigate the obstacles that are consistently thrown at you when living during a pandemic can be exhausting, and keeping your productivity and motivation high at work can feel impossible, but how have we at Shout Bravo gotten through the last eight months working from home?
Not having to deal with rush hour traffic, and forgetting to pack your lunch might be things many of us won’t be missing, but working from home can present many challenges, and the transition from the office to your makeshift desk can seem really difficult.
In fact, Director of Shout Bravo, Hana Bednarova does her very own ‘commute’ to the home office to keep her productivity levels high,
“I like getting up at the same time as I used to when commuting to the office and using my commute time to prep my breakfast, coffee, and have a quick walk with my dog.
“I like working from my ‘home office’ a few days a week, then mix it up and work from the kitchen one day, or living room. A little change of the environment does help my productivity.
“I try to take my lunch break, but also don’t beat myself up if I grab a quick bite and carry on working if I decide to do so.
“Once work’s finished, I do make sure to ‘pack’ in a similar way I would do at the office, so close my laptop, all my notepads and put them away.“
Staying motivated throughout the week, and feeling like you’re up to date with your colleagues are simple things that can make you feel really out of the loop and disconnected, but it can be made easier with some really simple adjustments.
So how have we worked throughout this pandemic whilst keeping a positive mindset as well as productivity high?
Continuing to attain lovely links for our clients, whilst staying on top of multiple campaigns and ongoing research is no easy task, and for us at Shout Bravo, communication is key! (It is in the name…)
Starting the day with a morning meeting is key to get into the mindset needed for the working day. We get the opportunity to discuss what campaigns we are working on, how well they’re doing and any changes we may need to make, and it gives us the chance to offer a hand on different tasks.
These meetings not only keep us up to date, but they help us all feel included and are a good way to collaborate as a team and share different ideas, something that is key to improving ongoing and upcoming projects.
But, it’s not all work! We love grabbing a brew and having a chat with each other about how our weekends were, how our new puppy is settling in, or perhaps celebrating a negative coronavirus test result, always puts a smile on our faces and helps us feel connected with each other.
A morning meeting isn’t where communication ends however! We also have a go-to hub for teamwork. It is key to staying up to date with what the rest of the team is working on. Having a live chat with the whole team also helps to hone in on unnecessary emails, reducing the chances of an overflowing inbox.
So having these morning meetings and a live chat with our team not only helps us keep up to date with what others are up to in order to stay connected, it helps us keep productivity high.
Also, there’s nothing better than some party popper emojis in response to some good news!
Recognising the success of a campaign is always important to us as an agency, as often weeks of work will go into securing links for a client. But when we’re working from home, sometimes we need a little bit more of a celebration than a quick chat message.
Monthly get togethers on video calls are our way as an agency to feel valued as employees and to keep us connected. Treating ourselves to a few drinks and some indulgent choccies is the best way to celebrate our agency’s achievements as well as a way to enjoy a chilled out evening for a couple of hours to see what we’re all up to.
We can’t forget about Christmas either as our Director Hana explains,
“This year’s Christmas do will be a bit different too. At the moment we are trying to understand what will be the case when it comes to work Christmas parties, but to keep everyone safe, we have decided to do a virtual festive party.
“Every employee will get their Christmas dinner delivered to their house, and we will meet online and toast to the Christmas season.”
Struggling to stay motivated and productive is something that all of us can relate to in some way when adjusting to working at home, but how have our other members of the team felt during these strange circumstances?
Louise Lea, Senior Digital PR Executive said,
“Working from home was something the agency introduced us to post-pandemic, so I personally found the transition from the office to home to be a familiar and straightforward experience.
“The agency has done all they can to ensure working from home is as comfortable as possible by providing us with all the equipment needed to carry out our roles. Having video calls once or even twice a day has helped my productivity and general mental health, as this provides me with structure and sets me up for the day ahead.”
Zoom isn’t just for meetings, client calls and family quizzes though!
The Digital PR industry is a constantly evolving and changing landscape, and keeping up to date with the latest tools, tactics and insights are key for us as an agency to stay in the loop!
Introducing webinars that help us to develop our skills alongside our work is an invaluable resource that we can easily fit in alongside our work. Whether it’s Brighton SEO webinars that focus on niche topics, or a panel of journalists talking about what they’re looking for from pitches, any extra interaction with the industry can only help!
To help us stay motivated and productive when working from home, we also have relevant training in place every quarter. The next one is, for example, all about Productivity and Motivation While Working from Home.
We’ve also welcomed a brand new team member whilst working from home, Laura Wilson, who took the position of Digital PR Manager! But how has she found settling into a new agency from the comfort of her own home?
“Starting a new job from my own home was an interesting experience, the agency ensured that I had everything I needed to work sufficiently which helped me a lot, the strangest part is having to work and try to get to know a team that I’ve never met before but they’ve all been very welcoming!
“We have video calls every morning which has helped me to get to know my team better and we will be doing a virtual social soon to chat more on a personal level which will be great.”