We asked our Senior Character Artist Jonathan MacDonald (JMac) and our Gameplay and Platform Programmer Dave Smith how they are coping with working from home, also if they can offer you any tips on how to get through this smiling :)
How do you get ready for the day ahead at home?
JMac: My new routine would be an extra cup of coffee and a spot of yoga or exercising. Whichever I can make myself to do that morning!
How is the team staying motivated during this time?
Fabrik is doing multiple things similar to how we were doing them before – every morning there’s a digital stand up, which is more of a sit-down now, where everyone describes the work they are currently undertaking. On Fridays, there’s a show and tell, where everyone demonstrates any new features that are in the game. After this, we have a digital ‘happy hour’, where people are encouraged to have a chat and relax at the end of the week. We received a little care package the other week containing some cookies (hence the self-portrait above) and brownies, which was a great little morale boost!
Do you have any tips to share that's helping you and the team be motivated whilst working from home?
Communication! That is definitely something I find is helping me stay on track, along with setting realistic goals, just like I would do with any client or personal work. If you make a list of manageable goals for each day you will find that you will be more productive and get a lot more done. I personally also love music and have a lot of different setups I can choose depending on my mood, which helps me focus on what I am doing.
On days where I am really struggling to focus, I then employ the Pomodoro Technique which requires you to set a timer for 25 minutes, work as hard and as focused as you can for that time then, when the alarm goes off you take a 5-minute break, go get a drink, stretch. Then rinse and repeat. It really works great for those days where you are just not feeling it as, unlike when you are in the office you have the freedom to just let your mind and body wander.
How are you finding balancing your work and home life?
I already had a home office set up, but I’ve been spending a lot more time here recently. I try and keep the desk clear of any non-work items where I can. Without commutes and by working in a smaller room instead of a big office, it’s important to rest your eyes! Having a window nearby is good to let your eyes rest on something further away.
I’ve always found it tough to get the work-life balance right. One of the things that helps greatly is to only use your work equipment for work – I don’t sign into any personal websites on my work machine and when I turn it off for the day the work is done. It’s a good way to compartmentalise things.
What are you looking forward to most when the lockdown is over?
Firstly, seeing the family will be up there at the top of the list, our little one hasn’t seen her grandparents or great-grandma in far too long. I am sure that will be at the top for everyone!
Second, which will be no surprise to anyone is, I need to get out and go climbing! I’m fed up of climbing these four walls at home!
Stay safe everyone!