It can feel like a stressful time at the moment.
We’re having to change our daily habits in a way we’ve never done before, and one of them is – for many people – working from home.
You may be working from home for the first time. How’s it going for you? Is it a welcome change or does it feel like a challenge?
As a business book ghostwriter and book coach, I’ve been working from home for years and thought you might like a cheerful list of the best things about this way of working – in my experience.
After all, we all need a pick-me-up at the moment and you could find a nugget in here that will make a significant difference to you. Take advantage!
- You can take breaks whenever, and however, you want. Dance around the living room to Livin’ on a Prayer; go for a walk; watch a sneaky Netflix episode. Presenteeism is no longer a dead weight you have to carry.
- You can snack how you like. Make a cup of your favourite brand of coffee rather than drinking the icky stuff in your office kitchen; heat up last night’s leftovers for a delicious lunch; indulge in a chocolate digestive without having to share the packet with your colleagues. Seasoned home workers may have the expanding waistlines to prove it, but for now you’re free to enjoy the proximity of your fridge with no restrictions.
- You can revel in the peace and quiet. Okay, so this might not apply to you if you have kids off school or if your partner is also working from home and has a round-the-clock conference call schedule. I appreciate that. But if you don’t, marvel at how much you can get done when you don’t have a colleague yakking on the phone behind your desk, or someone popping their head around your door every half hour saying, ‘Do you have five minutes?’ Uninterrupted thinking time is something to be cherished – you may even come up with an idea that changes everything.
- You can wear whatever you like. Oh, the joy of comfy clothes! Abandon the office uniform and dress yourself however you dang well want. You might have to put on a smart top or shirt for a video call, but no-one will know you have your trackie bottoms and slippers on below. It saves on the ironing and dry cleaning too.
- You never have to miss a delivery. Have you increased your online shopping to avoid social contact on the high street and supermarket? Never fear. Now you’re working from home you’ll always be in to receive the orders. You can banish the ‘while you were out’ cards from your life and suddenly buying things became less complicated.
- You can integrate your chores into your working day. I know some people say you shouldn’t let household responsibilities interfere with your work, but I say to hell with that. Putting on a load of washing and then taking it out are good breaks from your desk, and take no more time than strolling over to the office water cooler or picking up documents from the printer. Then when it’s time to relax, you’re free.
- You can go on social media and no-one knows or cares. You may work in the kind of place that’s cool with people checking Facebook or Twitter whenever they like, and that’s great. But more likely, you don’t. And now you’re at home all day it’s important to keep up with friends and family to avoid the feeling of being isolated. So scroll away to your heart’s content now that no-one is looking over your shoulder.
- You can lunch with the company you choose. If your other half is also working from home, why not take advantage of the opportunity to see more of each other? You could make a daily lunch or coffee date. If you’re working alone, you could listen to a podcast or radio show that you’ve been meaning to try for ages. It’s your lunch, your way.
- You can be yourself. In a way, this underpins everything in this list. When you’re working from home you have the freedom to do things the way you want, when you want. It takes a lot of energy to fit into others’ expectations of you all through the day, so when you have the opportunity to let go of that you’ll find mental and emotional resources you didn’t know where there.
Enjoy your home-working experience. Yes, there are challenges: kids hanging around, a lack of space to work, and having to re-jig your life are but three. But within any shift in habits lie undiscovered gains, and I hope this list helps you to uncover them.