Working from home – our best advice!

Working from home is now a part of our everyday life. To make the most out of it we have asked two trainees to share their best tips and tricks!

First out is Måns Wallentinsson who has his first rotation at IAPI Metallurgy. What are your best advice when working from home Måns?

As I have now realized, working from home can be done without making cutbacks on the quality of the work or my well-being for that matter. Even though I am a person that really needs my everyday dose of socialization, as I receive a lot of energy by being around people, I still manage to enjoy working from home by using some small tricks. Approximately, I work from home 3 days a week and I would not call me an expert (yet). Still, I have managed to come up with some routines that really works for me, keeping my focus and energy levels up while simultaneously making my day a bit more fun.

My first recommendation is to really consider the light when your work. This may not be the most energy efficient advice, but really turn on the lights at home if it is your workplace for the day. You can use efficient light bulbs! I have also noticed that by facing a window, instead of being directed oppose it, you feel a bit more energized throughout the day (and you have a lot more to look at). Also, make sure to take micro-breaks. At the office, some of these breaks comes naturally (by going to the fika-room or asking for advice at another department). However, it is easy to be fixed in the same position for a looong time if you work from home. Get up once and a while, stretch, do some squats or spy on your neighbors for all I know. Just don’t sit in the same position for too long, it will result in stiff body and cloudy mind.

Another recommendation is to book small and casual 15-minutes meetings with co-workers instead of sending them long emails. Of course, you cannot do this in every matter but when you have questions or topics to discuss that is a bit hard or time-consuming to do via email make a video call. Often, it is more time efficient to book a suitable 15-minutes meeting than to write an email with several questions in it. It is of course more fun as well!

Finally, take the opportunity to go on half-hour joggings or other trainings (preferable outdoors) during lunch break. It is a good way to clear the mind and body after a morning of meetings and work. If you eat by your own, a 30-minute lunch is fair enough. I really recommend you to do this in a small group, to get some extra energy out of it.

Secondly, we have asked Sara Narbrink who has her first rotation at Robotics. What are your best tips working from home? 

During the days at my home office I try to include the small things to make the working day as fun and efficient as possible. I find it easiest to imagine a day at the office when it comes to the overall schedule. In the morning I have my regular morning routine and once I am done with that I “go to work” as if I would go to the office. This could be just a walk around the block or a walk up and down the staircase before sitting down by my desk. I also find it beneficial to have a designated workplace, that you only use for work, so you can set your mind to work mode when the day starts and leave work once the day is over. Creating a distinct difference in this way helps me to create a better work life balance even though the physical space is the same.

Throughout a day at work I usually have a few meetings combined with some time to work on my individual assignments. My best tips during meetings is to turn your camera on, one reason being that it feels more like meeting the person and the other one being that it is easier to communicate. Especially when starting a new job, it is nice to see who your colleges are and for them to see who you are. Also book informal meetings with your colleges to get to know them, to have those conversations that you otherwise have waiting in line for the coffee machine at the office. As for working on your own I would recommend trying to be creative in the way you work, maybe you can sketch with pen and paper before making the presentation digital or brainstorming ideas while being outside on a walk or at the bench in the park? I find it both more efficient and fun having the variation in the tasks and not getting stuck by the computer all day.

With this being my first weeks of working from home I am still learning and trying out different methods. But as for now, these are the things I am trying out and have enjoyed. Finally, and most importantly, remind yourself to take proper breaks! If you have a hard time remembering to take a break– add a reminder in your calendar and consider it just as important as the meeting coming up after the break. I hope some of these tips and tricks has been inspiring to you and keep sharing what you learn to friends and colleges, we can all learn from each other! Keep up the good work!

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