By now you’ve seen articles suggesting how PR pros can adjust to working from home. In short, the suggestions attempt to make your home office feel relatively close to your company's office. For example, it's recommended that PR pros:
- set up regular work hours
- have a pre-work routine (wash, make the bed, drink coffee, put on shoes and socks etc)
- designate a workspace in at home that's separate from your living space
- carve out a regular lunch period
- take periodic breaks
- avoid doing personal, non-related work tasks during work hours
Those suggestions deal with the conscious self. What about the unconscious? How can you 'convince' your body that it's working in the office, despite never leaving home?
One tip is to trick several of your senses, says Ashley Perkins, director of digital content at Sachs Media Group. Below are a few ways to do that.
Awaken Your Senses Through Sound
Research suggests that ambient background noise can improve focus and help PR pros maintain energy throughout the workday. Perkins tells us that when she sits down in her home office, she turns on one of her favorite rotational Pandora 'work' stations. Those she highly recommends include: Chill Out, Downtempo, and Electronic Ambient.
In addition, she finds instrumental music — without lyrics — is especially good when working on projects that require a lot of creative or strategic thinking.
On the flip side, podcasts or music with lyrics can help when you need to complete more mundane tasks, Perkins says.
More Ear Candy
Beyond music, here's another tip: If you miss the sounds that the hustle of the office create, YouTube has videos of ambient noise. To get PR pros started, Perkins recommends:
It Smells Like The Office
Perkins also is a fan of aromatic scents, which, she says, can influence mood, concentration, and energy levels. When she’s overwhelmed or begins feeling an afternoon slump approaching, Perkins often lights her favorite candle or incense. This helps her regain a sense of calm and focus. There's a bonus: “my home smells amazing.”
We know, the above 'tricks' will take you only so far. Perkins has you covered. An introvert, Perkins says she “can easily spend hours by myself and be perfectly content.” She realizes, though, not all PR pros are like her.
For extroverts, or anyone seeking the mix of ideas and inspiration that huddling with colleagues brings, Perkins suggests chat platforms such as Slack.
In addition, Slack offers a video call feature, so you can have face-to-face conversations with up to 15 people at a time. You can do even more with Slack's paid plan, Perkins says.
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