Working From Home

Recently, I have been working from home which means that in the space of a month, I will have experienced both this working style as well as a 9-5 job in an office. It has been interesting, and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to try out both of these styles. I feel that I will be able to make a more informed decision in the future, if the need to work from home presents itself again. Here are a few pointers I’ve learned to follow. There was a fair bit of trial and error, but by the end, I was pretty happy with my routine.

  •  Get showered, dressed, and be ready to start at 9am, as if your were working in a regular office. This is a pretty common piece of advice but it is so effective. Personally I go a step further and put some smart shoes on as it makes me feel more professional.
  • Have seperate to-do lists for work and for home. Though I keep all my lists on the same page in my journal, I will not look at my home list until I have finished for the day. Otherwise I’d be off every two minutes trying to tidy up or do house chores.
  • However, allow yourself to have regular short breaks. As a sociable person, I find it difficult to sit in the same room for hours, with no one to interact with.
  • Similarly, take a good lunch break. Eat something nice, reward you morning’s work by reading or watching an episode of a TV show. Hopefully you’ll feel more refreshed afterwards.
  • Make plans to go out in the evening. Whether this be to see friends, to go to the cinema, the gym, or to join a community choir or dance group, I think it’s so important to leave the house and switch off at least once a day, when you’ve been at home. Furthermore, it’s nice to have something to look forward to when the day is dragging.
  • At the end of the day, close all of the work related tabs on your computer. Even seeing that little Google drive icon makes me less likely to relax!
  • If you can, create a workspace with a plain wall as a background. During video calls, you’ll come across as more professional if you don’t have your unmade bed behind you. I’d probably only consider working from home again if I had a separate room I could use as an office. My bedroom didn’t seem formal enough.

I’ve also compiled a little list of advantages and disadvantages, if you’re trying to figure out whether it’s for you or not.

Advantages

  1. The time you save commuting to the office can be used for something else.
  2. You don’t have to wake up so early.
  3. You can spend more time around your family.
  4. You don’t need to buy or remember to make a packed lunch as the fridge is just around the corner.
  5. If you’re in charge of your own schedule, or if your boss allows you to work flexitime, you can pop out or put work on hold if something urgent comes up.
  6. It’s great if you’re not a people person, of find it easier to work in a room with no one else in it.

Disadvantages

  1. Because you don’t necessarily need to start working from a set time, it is so easier to start later and later because you want that extra ten minutes in bed and no one’s going to tell you off for it.
  2. There are distractions everywhere.
  3. You need a huge amount of self discipline.
  4. Even if you are able to stay motivated and focussed, your housemates or family may not be so understanding. Prepare yourself for interruptions.
  5. One I particularly felt was that if you’re not working in the same office as someone, you have to phone or email to ask about every detail, no matter how small. You can’t just shout across the room to them, or ask their opinion at a mutual trip to the water cooler. You can quickly feel like you’re becoming a bit of a nuisance, unless you manage your questions carefully or use your initiative.
  6. You may feel too comfortable in your own home to feel motivated.
  7. You have to make a conscious effort to leave your work alone. It’s not like an office where you walk out of the building at 5pm and don’t come back until 9am the following day.

What are your thoughts on working from home? And with that, it’s time for the weekend. Have a good one everybody!

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