Following the situation with COVID-19, lockdown and closure of workplaces, many individuals are having to adjust to the new ‘normal’ of working from home.
Whilst ostensibly many of us may prefer this arrangement as it cuts out travel time, there are some benefits of being in an office environment that are lost once everyone switches to home working. These include interaction with others, the economic benefit of office workers to local shops/bars plus the mere fact of having a clear demarcation between work and home. However, with many of us now seemingly set to be home working much more often it’s worth discussing what can be done to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Be as comfortable as possible
This doesn’t mean being slouched on the sofa with your laptop. Instead if you can, get a proper desk and ideally office chair that will support your posture. Not everyone has the space to do this but if you can this is far better than working from the kitchen table.
Get a decent broadband connection
Most offices come with high speed internet due to multiple users being online for long periods of time. Likewise if you are going to be online during the day, running conference calls, watching webinars or sending large files then you need a broadband package commensurate with this activity. Go online and look for the best broadband deals in order to get the best price.
Take regular breaks and exercise
As there will no longer be the dividing line between office and home, it’s important to get out of the house during the day. If the weather allows, do some physical exercise such as walking or jogging, to refresh your senses. If it’s inclement, try and do something other than looking at your computer screen.
Stay in touch with colleagues
This may happen as part of your working routine but it’s beneficial to keep in touch all the same. One thing that home working does is deprive us of the social interaction associated with going into an office. For some individuals who live on their own, this can really have the unintended impact of them becoming more isolated. To help mitigate this, drop in on colleagues even if it means contacting them about a non-work matter.
Structure your day
This one is really important as not having to travel to an office means you can blur your hometime with your work time. This could either mean starting really early (when you would otherwise have been travelling) or alternatively deciding to start late as there is a double episode of Cheers on More4 at 9am. Do make sure you take your breaks and lunch whilst only working the hours you would have done previously. If catching a train meant you always used finish at 6pm when in the office then follow the same routine when working from home.
Get out the office (house)
If your employer allows it then work from other remote places such as coffee shops, bars or co-working spaces. A change of scenery means you are not left looking at the same four walls 5 days a week. This should help you better appreciate and enjoy your non-working time at home.