Surviving and thriving while working from home. *without referencing THAT That Mitchell & Webb sketch.

Where do ideas come from?

Great ideas can come from anywhere.
Trust me, Rich and I have been escaping the office for nearly 30 years to have them.
Finding little hideaways without a phone signal (that occasionally serve a glass of vino or two) and avoiding the pressures of sitting in an office. Texting each other at 2am with a brainwave that at 8am never seems to be quite so great. Chatting over a problem while wandering round the block only to solve a completely different one.

With the recent trend of that dreaded open plan environment taking over agency layouts, creative inspiration has been harder and harder to come by within such an environment.

So embrace this new WFH clampdown we’re being forced into. The ideas will still flow and you’ll find yourself even more productive and creative.

It’s all a bit rubbish outside, folks queuing for petrol (even though they have nowhere to go) and losing their shit over loo roll in a ram-raided supermarket.
We’re fortunate to work in an industry that has the technology to stay in contact with our colleagues and clients and hey, the best ideas tend to spill out onto a blank piece of paper (my favourite weapon of choice – a 2B pencil, I know, total dinosaur).

My rules for working away from the office:
Have a kettle nearby.
Get half dressed, at the very least and be ready for one of those unflattering video calls.
Mix up lunchtimes and make sure you take one. Remember garlic and warming up last night’s curry are now socially acceptable.
Find a table to sit at. Laptops tend to overheat when on your knee and you yawn too much lounging on a sofa or in bed.
Put something on in the background to break the silence – not rolling news.
Podcasts are all the rage these days. My favourites are Dave Dye (of course), Behind The Billboard (just wonderful listening) Top Flight Time Machine (very blokey and very sweary), Full Disclosure (bit lefty but so am I), Undr The Cosh (hilarious football related chat while the season’s cancelled) and The Verb (with friend of the agency, Ian McMillan)
Make sure there’s someone on the other end of a phone/chat to bounce off or you’ll be soon bouncing off the walls.
Ban yourself from the treat jar until at least 3pm. Same applies to social media, too many rabbit holes.
Stick to office hours. It’s easy to give yourself a prolonged break and then end up spending all evening catching up. This is when the 2am thoughts creep in.

While it’s all going to hell in a handcart out there (and I really don’t mean to be flippant, as some people really are suffering or simply cannot work remotely) please try and keep your sanity if this whole ‘social distancing’ is new to you. You’re not on your own, well you are but you know what I mean.