Working from home is here to stay
For most of us working from home started at the kitchen table and making do with what we had grabbed from the office. Some of us where lucky enough to already have a desk but in the average household there still wasn’t enough desks to go around. As lockdown continued and the national shortage of desks in places like IKEA continued, we tried to find better workspaces in our homes. As it was becoming a more permanent part of our working lives, we have even been altering our homes to accommodate this new trend.
However, despite all the positives working from home has brought there are some negatives mainly around the blurring of work and home life. So, it was with this in mind that made me think about what we could do to help separate our work and home life because we need to evolve and adapt.
After extensive reading, thinking, and talking with friends/clients I think there are some very simple steps you can take to stop the blurring of the two. I think it is particularly hard at Chase & Holland as recruitment is not a 9 to 5 job, but you can still put yourself in the right mode at the beginning and end of the day.
So, the 3 things that I think really help are as follows:
- Commute to work – when you are working from home what tends to happen is the start and end of the day blur. The office/kitchen/bedroom and all parts of your home become your place of work. So, to start the day go for a 15-minute walk (yes physically leave the house) and arrive home to start work (it does not have to be 15 minutes pick your commute time to suit).
At the end of each day do the same thing, make a point of closing your work stuff down and again physically leaving as if you are commuting for a short walk. This does not mean you can’t answer the phone or do anything work related, but at least it starts to separate the day into work and home life.
- Lunch – like being back in the office it is too easy to make lunch something you do at your desk and with no real break from work. Again, I get it sometimes we must work through lunch or shorten our lunch breaks, but we should aim for a quality break whenever possible. I now work at home as does my wife, so we get to have lunch at the dinning table a couple of times a week together away from our desks and it is awesome. In addition, I now when possible go swimming twice a week at lunch time for 30 minutes, I could not do that before.
Make lunch happen and make it a proper break when you can it does not have to be for an hour it can be for 30 minutes but make it a quality break from your desk.
- Holidays – so if this is now the way it is, we can’t keep going on pretending we don’t need proper holidays. Our excuses are things like it is a waste to use holidays if we cannot go out or away somewhere. At some point we must recognise that productivity is better if we allow ourselves to have a proper chance to recharge from work. As a business at Chase & Holland we have asked people not to take holidays for the first couple of months back to allow us all to get up to speed. However, there must be a time when people start to use holidays in a normal fashion. You must take proper breaks from work otherwise you will not be the best you can be and your business really needs you just now.
So, go on then try these simple things and see if it helps to make you more productive when you are working from home.