How to set up your fully-fledged remote work?


15 simple and useful tips for working from home, staying focused and preparing to come out of self-isolation.

1. Try to start your morning with good news
One study, in which participants received negative news in the mornings for only three minutes, showed that this was enough to reduce participants' happiness by 27% by the end of the day.
2. Adhere to the schedule
Even if you work from home now, you should do everything to continue working on schedule, otherwise it will be very difficult to start on time, keep up and not stay up until 23:00 because of unfinished work. Set up your own schedule. The number of working hours should not exceed the time you usually spend at work. To make it easier to adhere to the schedule, you can print it out and hang it on the wall near the work area.
3. Tell your team about your schedule
Now that you have a new schedule for working from home, it is important to inform everyone who is involved in your tasks. First, it will help your colleagues to be aware what can be expected from you in the near future. Second, research shows that when you publicly state your intentions, you are more likely to go through with them.
4. Do not neglect your own physical health
When you are at home, it's easy to stay on the computer for 10 hours in a row, go to bed at three in the morning or miss your traditional jog and eat another dessert instead. However, research shows that our physical health is directly related to mental, so do not forget: sleep, healthy eating, exercise and rest are the best measures for staying healthy.
5. Communicate with your team thoughtfully
A useful side effect of remote working is that you may be less distracted by other employees. But contact should still happen to a healthy degree. You still do projects together, so it is necessary to communicate and keep in touch regularly. And not only for work - informal calls and correspondence are also good practice, serving as a replacement for conversations in the office kitchen. This way team members will be able to see each other not just as colleagues, but on a personal level.
6. Give people specific responsibilities
Often during video conferencing a few people speak and others just listen (or just pretend to listen). To correct this, let each participant have an active role in the meeting by giving them specific responsibilities. Someone can write down what was said, others can make adjustments to the team calendar, another can prepare a report on what happened in the organization during a week. Tasks do not have to be artificially invented, there will be enough necessary and useful things for everyone.
7. Bring out your sense of humor and positivity
Do this even in the most difficult situations and, importantly, share these emotions with the team. Scientists confirm that humorous interactions help people feel more motivated, draw out a sense of social belonging and encourage positive feelings of being recognized.
8. Set clear targets and meet them
You can become a source of stability for yourself. Set daily targets, make checklists, stick to what you have planned and be responsible for the results - all this can support you in chaotic situations, and also improve your efficiency.
9. Invest time in your professional development.
Studying new information, receiving answers to questions and gaining new knowledge launches a reward system in the human brain – in short, while studying, you feel better at the biological level.
10. Question your prejudices
They say that online meetings are not effective. They say that working from home is just impossible. They say that everyone is depressed, and you should be too. However, is this really the case? We suggest that you go with your own gut and analyze the actual results. Maybe everything they say has nothing to do with you.
11. Don't drill yourself
Now is not the time to set unhealthy efficiency goals and work 24 hours a day, it is more important to stay healthy and strong. That's why you should only require yourself to do that which can really be achieved in such difficult circumstances.
12. Take breaks
If you haven't used Pomodoro technique yet, it's time to give it a try. First you work in a focused manner for 25 minutes, and then rest for 5 minutes. According to research this helps not only to be more productive in business, but also to relax better. Using this approach, you know that you have a specially planned time to be distracted by something pleasant, so there is simply no point in doing it while working on an important project. Another useful trick is to set an alarm to get up and move every two hours: hold a plank position, do sit-ups, or at least just walk around the apartment. All this is definitely better than sitting in the same posture all day.
13. Look for reasons for excitement
Behavioural science and positive psychology confirm that if you remember at least three good things that happened to you that day every night for a month, you can become happier. The method seems primitive, but its strength is in the fact that you teach your mind to focus on the good, rather than meticulously analyzing reality and looking for flaws.
14. Take time to reach out to people
Physical self-isolation should not interfere with your relationship with your loved ones. Scientists claim that loneliness can be as traumatic for the human body as smoking. So, find an opportunity to get in touch with those you care about, so you will not only have fun but also be healthier.
15. Don't forget to reward yourself
Let the desire to get something nice help you to resolve all matters on this day. This can work as a simple condition: "if I finish all my tasks, then in the evening I... [insert your version]". Such actions will help you to further stimulate yourself and have a spare portion of motivation when your main reserves run out.
16. Plan something new and inspiring for the future
Harness your motivation and make a plan for "after quarantine" that could really inspire you. This way you will be able to organize your actions, encourage yourself to do things you've wanted to do for a long time, and also get rid of the demotivating feeling of uncertainty.

Tips source: BVA Nudge Unit.

The Practice Guide was developed by
M.Sc., Ph.D.
Communication expert for social and behaviour change

Anastasiya Nurzhynska
Media manager and behaviour sciences researcher and co-founder of the Creative Lab and online magazine
Maria Fronoschuk