Agency life working from home

Laura Boatman

Group Digital & Technology Director, Vizeum Sydney

When Vizeum Sydney initially migrated to our work from home set-up in mid-March, I initially found it quite alien and it took me a little while to really find a good rhythm. Fast forward to today, and, I know it sounds crazy, but working from home feels very normal now. So, what does a typical day working for a fully remote agency look like now, and what do I do to stay balanced, productive and healthy?

1. Create a comfortable home office

The most important thing for me was to ensure that I have a proper desk set up and a clear distinction between working and personal space. Initially I was working from the sofa with a laptop but once it became clear that COVID wasn’t going anywhere I realised that a proper working space was essential.

I set up a desk on my dining room table, got myself some screens and a desk chair. The screens and the desk chair were life changing! I also decided that if working from home is going to be the new normal, that it was important for me to make my desk a space that I enjoy, so I bought a desk lamp, some flowers and all the necessary office supplies like highlighters, sticky notes and everything that I would typically have on hand in the office. I also try tocreate a really calm and enjoyable office environment during the day with candles, music, and healthy snacks always at hand!

 2. Establish your boundaries

I think it’s really important to distinguish office and personal time, which can be difficult considering my office is now a few metres away from my living room! However, I have made a conscious effort to try and keep my work and personal life separate to avoid both blurring into one.

I typically get up in the morning and do a coastal walk before work several times a week, making sure I stop at my favourite coffee shop on the way. This usually sets me up nicely for the day, getting some fresh air and my caffeine fix! I also use this time to listen to a podcast or catch up with friends and family back in the UK.

3. Stay fit and mindful

I’ve found that exercise is super important during this time to maintain a healthy body and mind. Luckily, I have some amazing co-workers who run virtual exercise sessions which have been lifesavers for me. Dec, our Group Strategy Director at Vizeum, hosts 30-minute lunchtime HIIT workouts three times a week which I always make sure I find time to do.

Meanwhile, Alex, our Digital Manager, hosts virtual yoga classes every week, which I always leave feeling super chilled – a must to help get through the mid-week madness! In the evenings, I always take the time to meditate and do something that I love whether that’s reading, painting or trying to cook a healthy meal from scratch. 

 4. Keep connected

One of my concerns when we initially started working from home was that it would be hard to collaborate with co-workers during this time, particularly on team projects. However, I’ve found that so much can be achieved through live chat and video calls. We have a rule here at Vizeum Sydney to make sure cameras are always turned on – this helps to create a much better team working experience, so all our usual meetings such as client meetings, team WIPs, and general catch ups still go ahead as usual.

I also run the social and wellbeing committee here at Vizeum Australia, and to ensure that are all staying as connected as possible, we have ensured that all of our usual social activities still take place. We have a weekly trivia session on a Friday, often hosted by a media partner, and we have also set up art, cooking, and book clubs to help keep the agency connected and social during this time.

 Overall, I feel really proud of how our agency has really quickly adapted to working from home during this challenging time. Whilst I’m super excited to get back into the office and hang out with my team mates again, I’m really trying to appreciate and value this unique time which allows us consciously relish and manage our time, as I’m sure it won’t be long before we are back to office life and living life at a million miles an hour!