- Angela Duckett
So You Wanted To Work From Home?
You've always wanted to work from home, huh? Now, due to this unprecedented global pandemic, Covid-19, your wish has come to pass. In the past few weeks there have been some wild claims made about work from home life. I’ve been working from home for several years so let me set the record straight on some of the recent advice I’ve seen.
Getting dressed for work.
The advice that you should get dressed as if you're leaving the house is completely ridiculous. Period. Here’s what you do. Wake up. Wash your face. Brush your teeth. Grab coffee (or tea) and log on to your computer for work. Do all of this in your pajamas. Yes indeed. In your PJ’s. You can shower much later in the day…if at all (Just keeping it real). Listen… If you are getting fully dressed to work from home, I promise you that will wear off. Just give it time. Who needs all that extra laundry anyway? That's ridiculous!
Lunch all day.
Beware, the kitchen is close by. The temptation to eat all day is real. Here's my best advice, shop wisely. If it's in the kitchen, you will eat it so just don't buy junk food. Stock your kitchen with healthy food and you will eat healthy food. Simple.
Temperature control is expensive. Depending on the climate where you live, the cost of heating and cooling your home all day may be surprising. When you were going into the office, you would have never left the air running all day at home. Well... now you will be tempted to. Watch those bills go through the roof!Space heaters and fans will ease the strain on your utility bills a little but I’m sorry to tell ya, the surge is inevitable.
You will work hard.
When you work at home, people think you spend your time watching your favorite TV shows. Not so. You will actually work harder at home than you did going into a physical office. The most common reason is because there is a need to prove that you are actually working. While it seemed ok to have some unproductive days in the office, you'll find yourself endeavoring to leave hard evidence that you're working and adding value while working at home. Some companies actually move to remote work models just to increase productivity so hunker down.This will not be a recess my friend.
You will miss people.
I know those co-workers got on your damn nerves, I know. But trust me, after a while you will miss seeing people. For some that void will hit in just a few days. For others it may take years but it is bound to happen. The fact is we were created to be communal. Time alone staring at a screen will catch up with you... eventually.
Stay away from the bed.
How many times have you been at work and thought "All I need is a quick nap"? If you're like me, you may have even taken a few naps in your car while at work. Well now here's a wonderful opportunity, right?! You're working from your home office and it would be fantastic to slip back into your own bed for that quick nap. Wrong!
Don't do it! It's a set up for disaster.
If you do manage to set an alarm and truly take a timed nap, chances are you will kill your afternoon productivity and you won't be motivated to do anything after that.
The other alternative is even scarier. There's a greater danger that once you pull those comfy covers on you might sleep the rest of the day away. You'll wake up in a panic trying to figure out what day it is just to realize you missed the entire afternoon. Sure, maybe no one will notice this one time but a habit of this will be dangerous.
Stay away from the bed. Resist naps completely.
Take your breaks.
Take your breaks and lunch as scheduled. It's the law and it's good for you. Get up. Stretch. Take a walk outdoors. When you went into the office there was a lot more walking involved. Working at home can make you stagnant and stiff. Be intentional about your breaks and get some fresh air and movement every day.
Piggybacking on that first tip, I’m doubling down that getting dressed as if you’re headed to the office is still silly, but of course you've got to shower. In time you will find a schedule that works for you. Afternoon or maybe even evening showers may become your thing.
You may also want to invest in some lounge clothes. It's not quite getting dressed, but it’s a step up from pajamas which just feels more human over time. I like to call it "remote-work chic".
I hope you’re able to make the most of your work from home experience during these challenging times.
Welcome to the remote workforce.