If you are one of those who are working from home or teleworking as normal, this post is for you. Personally speaking this way of working suits me perfectly, and I got used to it a few years ago, although curiously enough, in the 21stCentury, my current day-job actually requires me to physically be in the office – but that’s another discussion for another day.
With respect to work, perhaps the greatest impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our working lives has been that it has forced us to set up the “Home Office”, or, in other words, do our jobsfrom home. I know it has come as something of a shock to many of us, but we should see this as an opportunity to make the most of. Here are a few of my personal tips:
- Choose a spot in your home that is your office space, where everyone knows they must not interrupt you. Avoid the living room if possible, as this is where your family/housemates will automatically congregate. Of course, if you live alone, or already work from home, you won’t have that problem! The problem you will have, however, is the temptation to relax on the sofa while you write an email, or take a phone call, just like they do in the movies. In my opinion this is a mistake, because you can end up relaxing too much, so always use your office space, and it will be much easier for you to disconnect when the working day finishes.
- ¿Can I work in my pyjamas? Most of the articles I have read on this tend to say “No”! But I suggest that if you establish a simple routine you won’t need to automatically go directly from bed to coffee table/dining table or whatever it is you have set up as your desk-substitute.
Take a shower to freshen up (if that’s what you do every morning) and then energize yourself with a light breakfast, including your favorite mug of tea or coffee. Spending a few moments on how you look is always time well-spent 🙂 ! and it makes always you feel goooood!
Are you one of those that needs a while to get dressed and ready in the morning? Maybe you could use a more casual, comfortable look, even pyjamas, as long as they aren’t the ones you slept in (that’s probably not too good for your mentatl health…).
- ¿What about my coffee? No problem. If you need a coffee or two in the morning (especially on Monday, right?) have one while you’re talking with your closest colleagues – you won’t be breaking any rules. Make a present to yourself of those 5 minutes, and make your pick-me-up while you send a message asking your co-workers how they are. Isn’t that easy?
- Conference calls. These are usually calls without the conference aren’t they? (yeah, I know…). Anyway, to avoid potential embarrassments (pets, kids, the doorbell etc) don’t forget to keep your microphone on mute until it’s your turn to talk, and, when you do, remember to perk up because a sleepy voice is noticeable at the other end of the line, be it a conf call with a group or a simple one-to-one call. If you are making the call with your laptop also keep in mind that you always look at least half decent, just in case you switch on the camera by accident or because your curious boss asks everyone for a “fun image at home”. The worse these images are, the longer they last! Dressing up just a little could save you years of ribbing from your colleagues, or even save your career…
Think about the advantages of working from home and stay motivated.
- More time for your family.
- More time for an exercise routine as soon as you “clock off” (I’m sure you can do that in your pyjamas but I could be wrong!). 😉
- More time for your hobbies (writing, reading, maybe even a movie that you’ve never quite managed to see).
- Less “dead time” spent on the daily trip to the office and back.
- Increased productivity.
- You’re saving money on gasoline and work lunches.
Whatever you do, do not confuse flexibility with absence or lack of effort. We must maintain the same strong work ethic as we do when we are in our “normal” office environment, although of course that does not mean going to the other extreme, and chaining ourselves to the laptop 24×7.
The decade of flexibility is upon us. Let’s not waste it.
Hasta pronto and #keepsafe.