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Making the most of remote working in these unique times

With the global changes we've faced in recent months, a lot has changed, but we're still supporting our colleagues as normal, ensuring they have everything they need to succeed - including practical tips and tools.

If you're a current Barclays employee, a future candidate or are just looking for advice in these unsettling times, here are our top tips to ensure you remain productive and motivated while working or studying at home.

Tip #1: Create a morning routine

It's easy to slip straight out of bed and into work, but this isn't a great way to start your day. Give your morning some structure and stick to it. Set aside time for breakfast or a cup of coffee - you could even go for a walk, as long as you're following government advice. Whatever you choose to do, having a morning routine will help you to focus on the day ahead.

Our colleagues are doing just this. From completing morning exercise routines to ensuring they eat a healthy yet hearty breakfast, they're adapting to working from home and are energising themselves before their day starts.

Tip #2: Find ways to motivate yourself

With pets - or children - seeking your attention, the TV calling your name and your family or flatmates chatting away, it can be hard to focus and motivate yourself when working from home.

So, how can you tackle this? For us, setting targets with a rewards system works best. Write out your to-do list and set achievable milestones to hit before your next break. This will encourage you to stay focused and help you to keep your motivation levels high while your productivity increases.

Tip #3: Communicate, communicate, communicate

When you're not in the same building as your colleagues or classmates, communication can be difficult. We're lucky to live in an age where technology provides a variety of communication tools - from email to instant messaging, the list goes on.

We're encouraging our teams to use a variety of communication tools and are urging them to speak on the phone where possible. Staying in touch verbally will help you to feel connected to others, it will avoid miscommunication, and, ultimately, ensure you stay in the loop, no matter where you're based.

We're still supporting our colleagues as normal, ensuring they have everything they need to succeed.

Tip #4: Separate work and home

Drawing a line between work and home isn't easy - especially if you're working and living in the same space. To ensure you're productive during your work or study hours without letting this spill over into your evening, it's important to make a clear distinction between your personal and professional lives.

For our colleagues, we're reminding them that although they're working from home, this doesn't mean we expect them to work more. By advising them to put their equipment out of sight when their working day is done, we're encouraging them to shut off and enjoy their free time.

Tip #5: When you need help, don't forget to ask

If the way you work has recently changed, you may be looking for new ways to tackle projects alone. It's easy to forget that your colleagues and classmates are still there to offer support and advice - they're just a phone call or text away.

Here, we're ensuring our colleagues have access to constant support. With their manager on the end of the phone to offer help and our health and wellbeing team on hand to provide wellbeing support, we're ensuring every Barclays employee knows that if they need help, they only have to ask.

Tip #6: Socialise with your colleagues

In this period of uncertainty, we've found that maintaining our sense of community is key. In the office, chit-chat is normal, and we often learn a lot about our colleagues' personal lives from our daily lunch and coffee breaks.

So, we want our colleagues to continue staying in touch with each other, and not just for work purposes. We normally take an interest in each other's wellbeing and working from home shouldn't change this. Don't let your social distance affect your social life, check in with each other and find time to talk.

You may be finding new challenges to overcome every day - whether that's keeping your cat off your keyboard or adjusting to working remotely in general, a lot of us are learning to adapt to our new working lives. Until the day comes when we can get together - physically - we'll continue to support, champion and motivate each other, exactly as we would face-to-face.