Before I joined the work from home crowd last year, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew is that I couldn’t stand working in an office any longer and I wanted to be at home, comfy in my pyjamas, tapping on my laptop in bed.
Now, with more of us than ever working virtually, home working is likely to become the ‘new normal.’ So, what can we expect?
1. People don’t believe you’re actually working
I haven’t done myself any favours here. The few times my mum has popped over during the working day, she’s caught me in my workout gear doing an online yoga video in the front room. I swear I do actually work during the rest of the day.
And whilst my schedule might be slightly more flexible than it was before, if a client emails me with something urgent, I need to do it. When it’s time for serious work, shut your office door (mine conveniently has a lock on it) and buckle down at your desk.
2. Humans and pets will walk in on your video calls
Just like yesterday when one of the cats decided to jump up onto my desk and started drinking the water from my glass. The worst part was, he didn’t quite make the video screen so the recipient could just hear the constant lapping up of the water. My fault for not shutting my door.
3. You should get dressed
I hate to say it because I’m a big advocate for wearing your jammies or onesie when you feel like it, but my days go so much better when I actually get dressed in the morning. This is mainly because I have some clients who like to schedule an impromptu video call with no warning which can lead to pretty embarrassing consequences.
Disclaimer: I have attended a video call in my onesie recently — with an ‘office top’ pulled on over the top.
4. You need a routine
I was pretty naive and thought my new working days were going to be super chill and I could lie in past 9am and roll over to my laptop. I did do this for a while but I ended up feeling more tired and unproductive, plus I had no time for myself. I also had an issue turning off from the working day and blurring the boundaries between work and home life.
“Establish a pre-work routine and an after-work routine. Working in the same place where you wake up, eat, and sleep can make anyone go crazy without proper boundaries in place.” — Marissa Owens, Opportunity Business Loans
5. You’ll do the household chores when you should be working
There’s nothing worse than being home all day if the house is a tip. I actually kind of miss those days when you’d take a quick glance at the state of the house as you walked out of the front door and thought ‘fuck it’, I’ll deal with it when I get home. Those days are long gone.
Try and set yourself boundaries. Don’t run the washing machine or dishwasher during the working day (unless you literally have nothing better to do).
6. You’ll get lonely
And you might end up talking to yourself or your pet friends much more than usual. Which is totally OK. Pets understand so much more than humans do — and they don’t answer back.
Sometimes though, you don’t leave the house for days on end and you miss the office banter, which can lead to a real case of cabin fever. Make it a habit to leave the house once a day and get some fresh air. Then, find people like you and build an online tribe you can check in with each week.
7. There will be occasions when you day drink
I’m not proud of this — well maybe a little. But sometimes, it’ll be 3pm and really sunny outside, you’ve worked really hard, and the gin is calling you. I don’t recommend doing this if you have an upcoming video call or team meeting, but every now and then embrace this little perk of working from home.
8. Overall your health will improve
Aside from the day drinking, your mental and physical health will improve. You now have control over your life — your time is yours. There’s no more long commutes, you’re in control of the kitchen (so it’s down to you if you choose to eat break time biscuits or birthday cake), and if you really want, you can even squeeze in an at-home workout.
. . .
A final note from Alex Muench, Product Designer at Doist:
“Remember to enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere and the flexibility to adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.”