OTE

REM

LET’S ROLL WITH IT

GOING

IN THIS GUIDE

INTRO 3

YOUR KIT 5

YOUR HOME WORKSTATION 7

WORKING REMOTELY 10

OUR RITUALS MADE VIRTUALS 15

YOUR KIT

Before you work from home:

  • Make sure you have everything you need; laptop, charger, headphones (ideally a dedicated mic + headphones combo), trackpad, an extra screen, etc.

  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection.

  • Is your laptop in good shape?

BE EQUIPPED

YOUR HOME-STATION

SET UP YOUR WORKSPACE

When working from home, your desk setup should be no different than if you were in the studio.

Here are a few things to think about when setting up your home workstation:

  • Make sure your chair is at the right height and your forearms are at the same level as the desk.

  • Make sure your screen is around 50 cm from you and that the top of your monitor is at eye level. Use monitor blocks (or those heavy design books)to raise your screen to the right height.

  • Use a footrest if (and only if) your feet are dangling. If you don’t have one you can ask studio management.

  • Ensure you are sat right back into your chair and that your lower back is supported. If you haven’t got a decent chair, consider an accessory like the lumbar support.

  • If you’re using a laptop, you should also use a laptop stand (or some books!) to put the screen into a higher position to avoid strain on the neck ;)


ENVIRONMENT TIPS

  • Have your ‘work area’ in a different space to your ‘rest area’ (i.e. avoid working from your bed where possible), ideally, somewhere close to a source of natural light ☀️

  • Clear your work station at the start or at the end of the day to keep it 🌬

  • Mind your cables!

  • Add some inspirational reminders and 🌵to your workspace.

WORKING REMOTELY

SORTING THE BASICS

  • When starting your day, act like you are going to the studio. It will help you switch into work mode 🤓

Some people take a walk around the block because at the very least, quoting Juan, “you are forced to properly dress up”.

  • Structure your day. Make your schedule and stick to it 💪🏽

  • Try to ensure any roommates, siblings, parents, partner, etc. respect your space during work hours.

  • Work when you are most productive but be considerate of the core working hours (10am - 4pm).
  • Make sure you take regular breaks from your screen, stretch, look into the distance to prevent eye strain. Don’t forget to have lunch, take care of yourself and get some fresh air.

  • Interact with other humans (under COVID-19 guidance).

  • Pick a definitive finishing time each day.


OUR REMOTERS TIPS

  • Interrupting or talking over one another is a lot more disruptive on remote conversations because of the split second delay. Some of our teams have started to use hand signals to indicate a desire to speak (such as raise your hand when you want to talk).

  • Similar to the above, lively conversations and roaring laughter are wonderful in person but can shut out remote team members.

  • To improve AV quality of a hangout shut down other applications that hog bandwidth, for example Slack.

  • Internet - Quality is key. Use an ethernet connection if possible.
  • Video calls - Configure your sound options appropriately. CMD+Space then search Sound. Reduce/Increase the sensitivity of your mic on the “Input” tab
  • Google Meet - can have up to 250 participants
  • Overheating - Macbooks need to breathe, placing them on a hard flat surface (not bedding/cushions) will provide better air flow and reduce thermal throttling.

OUR TIPS

MORE REMOTERS TIPS

  • If you’re feeling lonely or need to bounce some ideas with someone book a call. You can even both sit and do your own work and just hangout a little, just as if you were sitting next to each other.

  • Don’t stay in your PJ’s all day. Take a shower and get dressed, as if you were heading out.

  • If you can go out for a breather do it, staying inside for too long can have you and your family/flatmates climbing the walls. Of course be mindful of any guidance and precautions needed at this time - always follow guidelines from authorities.

  • Make sure you plan something for the evening, even if it’s just family dinner, or games night at your home. Having something planned helps you disconnect and stop working at a given time.

  • Exercise! Remember, your daily steps and general activity will naturally go down as you stay inside more. Make sure to keep an eye on it, take advantage of your fitbit/watch if you have one and exercise, stand up, walk around your house regularly. Do 5 min of house chores every hour and you’ll move AND have the tidiest house ever.

  • If you feel less productive do not feel guilty and work until 22:00, as that is unlikely to help. It’s normal for remote to feel weird in the first days, but you’ll get the hang of it. Having regular check-ins with your team and team mates help.

  • Find your routine - make a cup of coffee just like you would at the office, read your book while having breakfast since you don’t have to commute (omg, so much time!), and enjoy your remote life - there’s some lovely things about it!

OUR COMMUNICATION TOOLS

SLACK

  • Make sure your Slack status is reflective of what you are doing.

If you are in a 🗓or don’t want to be disturbed on🍴, set your status to reflect this.

  • You are expected to be available on slack throughout the working day, respond to messages as soon as you can. We appreciate you may not want to be bombarded with slacks when focussing on work, but make sure you check slack regularly 🤓

HANGOUTS

  • If there are more than three of you, nominate a facilitator.

  • Try to set up video calls when possible. It’s so much better when we can see faces :)

  • Sit in a quiet space where there will be minimal interruption.

  • Check in with everyone first - see how you all are before you get to work.

  • Use earphones!

  • Remember to mute if you aren’t talking and are on a call with lots of people.

  • Don’t multitask when on a call, it shifts your focus and you might miss some important info.

EMAIL & CALENDAR

  • Add to the top of your calendar that you are working from home so anyone who checks your calendar will see it.

  • Make sure your calendar is up to date (including you-time).

  • Accept meetings you are attending and reject any you can’t attend.

OUR RITUALS MADE VIRTUAL

FAM

Fam is a long standing tradition that we love. We will just do a few things differently.

If you are the host:

  • Follow the instruction on the FAM guide to get ready for show-time!

  • At 3:55 pm, click on the hangout link on the FAM invite, select present, make the presentation full screen, keep your mic open and wait until 4:05 pm to start (for late-joiners).

  • As you are presenting from your desktop, you have all the power and you’re the one controlling the slides. Stay tuned and change the slide when you are asked to ;)

If you aren’t a host, join the hangout and set your mic on mute until it’s your turn to present the project update. If you want to speak or ask a question raise your hand or send your message on the #studio slack.

FIKA

Fika is often translated as "a coffee and cake break", which is kind of correct, but really it is much more than that.

Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat.

Is it possible to share a coffee and a snack remotely? Of course!

See the hangout section on page 14 for a few tips.

DAILY CATCH UP (STAND UP)

WHY?

Aligning regularly in this way assists the group in keeping the correct trajectory for the project as well as supporting each other in removing blockers as fast as possible.

Regular contact signals commitment to the project and keeps it at the forefront of priorities.

WHAT?

A short daily ritual (15 mins max) where the core team meet on hangout to share:

  • What you worked on yesterday
  • What you will work on today
  • Anything slowing you down

The team should run the session via hangout and:

  • Nominate a facilitator
  • Speak succinctly
  • Keep it relevant
  • Keep track of work that’s completed, and remaining

FRIDAY WINS!

WHAT?

This is a chance to call out a win from the week (work or otherwise) and give shout outs! A great ritual to end the week.

Grab a refreshment from your fridge, join the hangout, set your mic on mute and enjoy the wins!

MIND YOURSELF,

SUPPORT EACH OTHER

At times of stress, we work better in the company of others and with support. Try and keep in touch with your fellow ustwobies via slack and hangout, and of course with friends and family. Contact Healthy Minds EAP for professional support.

It is a good idea to stick to your daily routine but if you could not and you are feeling particularly stressed, here are a few tips to decompress:

If you are sharing content about the virus, use only trusted sources, such as Gov.uk

or WHO and remember that your friends might be worried too.

STAY CONNECTED

ustwo.com

LET’S LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER!

And keep washing those hands

Remote Working - Google Slides