Weekly Training Booster Episode #4: How to Work from Home Effectively/ Remotely

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Making Business Matter (MBM)
Making Business Matter (MBM)
Weekly Training Booster Episode #4: How to Work from Home Effectively/ Remotely
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Make Working From Home More Effective

Join Andy Palmer and Darren A. Smith in the fourth episode of the Weekly Training Booster. This episode was about how to work from home effectively. Also, known as remote working. We discuss the M.I.N.D.S.E.T. mnemonic that will help you to work from home more productively.

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Learn how to work from home effectively with Darren and Andy

You Can Read the How to Work From Home Effectively Episode Transcript Below:

Andy Palmer:

Okay. Good morning or good afternoon, depending on when you’re watching this video. Welcome to this week’s MBM Weekly Training Booster. So we’re running these 10-minute videos all of you to help boost your training, with lots of top tips, useful techniques that you can apply, whether you’re working from home or back in the office, which I know a number of us are starting to return to. Mentioning that, that’s exactly what this week’s about. It’s about how to work from home effectively. It’s about managing role, remote working, and bringing to life some of that stuff that we’ve all got going on, and how to overcome some of those challenges. So, Darren, good morning to you. Let’s hear your first top tip about how to work remotely.

Darren A. Smith:

All right. So we’ve got an infographic on this and also a mnemonic. Mnemonic is just the Greek word for remember. And I’m going to offer this mnemonic, which is MINDSET. So imagine those seven letters and each one represents something. That’s how we can help these guys work remotely better.

Andy Palmer:

All right. We won’t talk through all of those letters, but if you were to grab one or two, which ones come to mind from MINDSET?

Darren A. Smith:

I think I’m going to go right over to here, to the S, S for sierra, but in this case, it’s S for space. A lot of people struggle with working from home, and they’ve got used to it, but they’re still now in a place where they’re probably at the kitchen table. They might have the kids running around or the husband’s coming in or it’s the husband working and the wife’s there. And it’s a space. Now I get not everyone’s got a place where they can have separate spaces, and I didn’t for a long time. But if you can have a separate space, even if you make it a part of the living room or part of another room, it’s much better, because otherwise, you’re always at work and over time, you’ll resent it. Because if you’re at the kitchen table working, but then you’re there eating, but then you’re there doing the kids’ homework, you’re always working. So separate space is what S is for.

Andy Palmer:

Good. I like that one. I think you’re right. It’s that differential between, that’s my home space and that’s my work space. As lots of people are now embracing a hybrid way of working, whether that’s being in the office for a couple of days a week. I think I heard the phrase TWaTs mentioned not so long ago. So just to clarify that, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. People maybe are in the office for those days, home for the Monday and Friday, or vice versa. But important to have that space. All right, good stuff. Good. I could grab a letter, but I’ll let you pick one.

Darren A. Smith:

Okay. All right. So the next one I’d like to talk about is the N, N for November, but in this case, N stands for neat. I [inaudible 00:02:46] that a bit to make the MINDSET work, but I’m sure they’ll let us off. Neat is about making sure… Again, that mindset is so important, which is why the mnemonic is MINDSET. We need three separate wardrobes. Now, I can only imagine anyone’s bedroom, certainly not in mine. [inaudible 00:03:02] three separate wardrobes. In my head, I’ve got work clothes. This is what I wear when it comes to work. I’ve got clothes when I actually go into the office, and then I’ve got clothes where I’m just chilling. I try and make sure they’re different; otherwise again, we blur the lines between work and home and all goes a bit crazy on our heads. So when you go to work, even if you’re in the office or particularly when you’re at home, make sure you wear something different.

Andy Palmer:

I think there’s also the respect as well of how you’re viewed. If you’re rocking up to a meeting in your college wearing shirts, and you’re in a football shirt, there can be some views on that. I’m wearing my work T-shirts there, so it is not [crosstalk 00:03:45].

Darren A. Smith:

Even the T-shirt, you might just have my work T-shirts here and I’ve got three or four. Then my two shirts I wear with Mickey Mouse on at home, that’s cool. You need the separation; otherwise, your head will fry.

Andy Palmer:

Absolutely. So thinking about that and thinking about the perception of that, it gets me thinking about meetings. Lots of us are now having our meetings online, where we’re the group of our colleagues, we’re not face-to-face as much as we were a bit. We know we’re returning to that. So in terms of your thoughts around meeting management for online, but what does that look like to you?

Darren A. Smith:

I see lots of clients and people that we are working with, and we’re just supporting, who are creating a calendar that looks like Tetris. You remember Tetris. We’ve got as blocks that come down and you’re trying to fit the flaming things in.

Andy Palmer:

[crosstalk 00:04:33].

Darren A. Smith:

Go.

Andy Palmer:

I say I’ve got the tune in my head now. [crosstalk 00:04:40]

Darren A. Smith:

The diary’s like, “I can get another block in here.” They’re maxing it and they’re almost proud to share. “Look at my diary. I can’t think from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day, Darren. It’s absolutely banged out.” This can’t be the way. Now that’s easy for me to say, they’re busy. They’ve got to achieve certain targets. Their boss is on the case. I get it. They also get that you need some space between the blocks, even if it’s just 10 minutes. You need space to think; otherwise, you’re buzzing for one meeting to another and you’re not achieving great amounts. Also, my other top tip is if you’ve got to put the blocks in, put a block in for you. I’m going to do a big piece on this project. It makes a big difference. It’s worth an hour and a half. I’ll book a meeting with me, and then no one else books the meeting. Love it.

Andy Palmer:

Good, I like that. Yeah, absolutely stops other people inviting you to a meeting because you’ve given yourself time. I think for me, one of the advantages of working from home is you get to get up from your desk or your sofa or your kitchen table, and take that time for a quick walk around the garden or down the street and back just to get that refresh going on. When we’re in an office, we’re typically glued to our desk. We might get to go to the canteen or walk down the corridor. The reality is we can embrace some of this stuff right now and give ourselves time to come back a little bit more refreshed because we’ve taken time for ourself. We’re not being that person that go, “I’m going to sit here for eight, nine hours straight,” because the time you hit two, three o’clock in the afternoon, you’re getting diminishing returns. You are nowhere near as efficient as you were at 8 AM when you started.

Darren A. Smith:

I could almost hear some of the people that I’ve coached in the past say, “Yeah, but Darren, I’m so busy.” I get you’re busy. We’re busy. I get it. If you don’t put that space in the middle, your productivity will go like this.

Andy Palmer:

Yeah. Good. I think for me, busy equals job. It’s as simple as that. If you’re not busy, then there’s different questions to be asked. Okay, cool. More for the time. Coming back to the MINDSET infographic, and we’re going to put the link to that in the bottom of this video so people can go and fully understand each step of that, but let’s pick one more that stands out for you as a last takeaway point.

Darren A. Smith:

I think I will come back and I’ll pick up on the busy a bit more. It’s very easy to be busy. Busy, as you said it, equals job. Absolutely. It’s whether we’re making a real difference on whether we’re hitting our targets. Now, one of the things that really distracts us, particularly as we’re at home is we’ve got the screen in front of us all the time. We’ve got this little bit at the bottom here that pops up and I call it the four-minute badger. Imagine you’re driving, Andy. You’re concentrating to drive. You can do that. It’s very natural. Then a badger runs out every four minutes in front of you. “Ugh, I’ve got to… Bloody badgers.” That’s what’s happening with email notifications.

On average, you get about 122 emails per day. That means every four minutes, this thing pops up and we all know you do it. You sneakily ever look, see if it’s an email you want to respond to, then you go back. But what that’s actually doing is taking you out of the deep work you were doing, which hopefully is big, significant, making a difference work, going into that, then coming back. Imagine doing that 122 times a day. You’d want to run yourself over, let alone the Badger.

Andy Palmer:

I know that you need to be a math genius to quickly run that calculation and figure out exactly how much time you are indeed losing. All right, good stuff. So I think what we’re saying is consider switching off that email notification. Let’s shut it down or best shut out, look down for the hour. I know people are going to go, “Oh God, I can’t possibly miss an email. It might be urgent.” The reality is you still have other meetings where you don’t review your emails. Sometimes it’s good to be selfish for you to get that important work done. Okay. Good stuff.

MINDSET is our acronym that we’re hanging on how to work effectively from home, how to work remotely. We’re going to get that link in the bottom. Likewise, if there’s questions or thoughts, add them into the comments, drop us an email, give us a call. As you said, we’re starting to get return to work, return to office thing happening now, but reality is hybrid is here for long-term and we should be embracing it. All right. Final thoughts from me. That was them. Anything from you, Darren, before we close this week’s Weekly Training Booster.

Darren A. Smith:

I’m just going to hop back so I can hear people almost saying, “Yes, but you don’t understand. My customers expect me to read emails.” One, let’s find another urgent form of communication, text, WhatsApp, instant message because that’s what it’s there for. Email isn’t urgent. The second thing is if you really need to, set up rules where customer emails come through as notifications, everyone else doesn’t.

Andy Palmer:

Nice, I like that. Good stuff. Great top tip. Darren, thank you. See you again and hopefully everyone else in our next Weekly Training Booster.

Darren A. Smith:

Take care, all. Bye-bye.

Take a look at the How to Deal with Conflict video on our YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog.

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