Repeat after me, we can make working from home work for us!
As we head into the depths of the winter months the post-Christmas blues are here and many of us will also be returning to the working from home lifestyle. Throughout these somewhat long Covid-19 dominated months the change in lifestyle from office work to working from our own homes has taken its toll on many. The general theme within the media focuses upon the benefits of the WFH lifestyle – it emphasises the cut in travel costs and commuting time and the added bonus of only looking smart from the waist upwards. Having said this, there can be a few daunting cons of this working system. Below I will outline a few of the negatives (not often addressed by the media) and how to overcome them if restrictions are tightened further at the beginning of 2022. Repeat after me, we can make working from home work for us!
Routine, routine, routine! Trust me when I say I know how easy it is to get lost in your phone or distracted by passers-by. However, there’s a simple solution to this problem when working from home – stick to an easy routine that works for you. If your job allows it, its easy to cater your day to your needs. Night time person? Great, clock on in the late afternoon and work when your brain is switched on. Morning person? Get those items ticked off your to-do list before the world starts moving. Regardless of how and when you work, working from home can work for you so long as you keep a routine. For example, if you are indeed a morning person, stick to early nights and early mornings and give yourself a set workday in which you must complete your daily list. By sticking to a set workday you can put aside specific points of your day for yourself and in giving yourself some ‘me’ time you will decrease the risk of burnout. And don’t forget to give yourself a substantial break during your workday to recharge.
WFH brings more flexibility, and this can be great. But it can also make it difficult to find peace and quiet with our families around. Even when we limit our own attempts at distracting ourselves from our work – AKA procrastinating – we can encounter distractions from family members or housemates during the day. Setting boundaries with those who we live with is key to mental wellbeing and sticking to our workday routine. Have a discussion with your family about your needs and remind them that you need some quiet time so that you can complete your work and spend time with them afterwards.
Similarly, it is essential that you set similar boundaries with work. It is so easy to stay logged on and logged into emails when your home environment is your work environment. This inability to switch off your computer, and your mind, can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Try your best to switch off your computer when your set workday is over. Enjoy your free time with loved ones or take some time for yourself – that could be as simple as a bath or walk around the local area with your dog.
Separating work from home
So…this one can be tricky especially when your home is your workspace. Despite this, it is not impossible. If you haven’t got a dedicated workspace within your home, try opting for a quiet place that resembles your normal workspace the most. For example, rather than choosing to sit on the sofa, opt for the dining room table. Make sure you have everything you need in one place as this will allow you to fully focus. One piece of advice that has helped me since I was a teenager is, as tempting as it may be, try not to work from your bed. Keep your space of rest away from your space of work. This will help you to relax more easily in your home and sleep a lot better.
Running your own business and need some help?
Yes, all of the advice above can help you make working from home work for you. But if you run your own business, regardless of its size, working from home can be even harder. The additional jobs it brings as well as the extra responsibility can be overwhelming at times and the instruction to work from home inhibits your search for a physical office space (if this is something you are looking for). Maybe a virtual office could help you! Here at the High Street Centre we offer virtual offices. We can provide you with your own receptionist who takes calls for you in your company name and organises your post, so you don’t have to! We can give you more time for your company and well as yourself!
Give us a call on 0208 249 6000 or email us at email@example.com!
Written by Olivia Lumley.