Five things we learned working from home
Just over a year ago the UK went into lockdown, leaving the vast majority of the country to gather their laptops and office gear to begin working from home. For some people this was a welcome treat to avoid long commutes and spend more time with their family, but for others it meant a lack of routine, less time socialising and increased loneliness. For freelancers, nothing much had changed. With most people having done it for over 12 months now, many workers are ready to get back to the office and experience a semblance of normality. Here are five things that have been learned from remote working during the past year.
The importance of routine
Working in an office demands a routine and many people have small rituals that make their days easier to manage, whether it’s having a takeaway coffee on the way to the train station, reading the paper, or a book on a commute or going to specific lunch spots. However, routine quickly shot out the window due to lockdown and most found themselves spending more time in bed, getting up just before the work day started and then not moving from their desks for hours. This led to many feeling sluggish and unmotivated, so the importance of having a routine became apparent. Getting up at least an hour before work starts and setting time aside to get away from the desk are great small acts to add routine to WFH.
Maintaining work life balance
When home becomes a place of work, it becomes harder to separate the two, particularly for those who don’t have home offices and operate in their living rooms or bedrooms. To achieve a balance between where the job ends and home begins, it’s good to set and maintain boundaries for when it’s time to stop working and relax, as well as trying to designate a specific space in the house that is solely for work. For instance, people make personal phone calls or play videogames such as FIFA 21, Facebook games and even new casinos.
Working from home can be lonely and for some it can mean not speaking to anyone properly for most of the week. This can be bad for mental health and can make work feel more like a chore. The last year has shown the importance of being able to communicate with members of the team, not just in a professional environment but socially too. Some offices have set up virtual Zoom lunch meetings or Friday happy hours to debrief and have a chat outside of a work capacity, giving people a chance to wind down.
You can’t beat a proper office chair
Sometimes it’s hard to notice the benefits of something until it’s taken away and this was certainly the case with office chairs. Back and neck pain suddenly became much more common as workers sat hunched over kitchen tables and slouched into sofas. Though buying an expensive ergonomic chair designed for desk use is out of the question for many, there are certain things to do to ease the discomfort. Take small breaks from sitting down, go on walks and remember to stretch; there are loads of yoga stretches specific to the neck, back and shoulders.
For some, getting to their job could take a good three hour chunk out of the day. Working from home changed this and although there are lots of things to miss about being with others in an office, the commute and being crammed onto public transport certainly isn’t one of them. There’s now plenty of more time to spend as one pleases, whether that’s an extra hour in bed, on hobbies or an excuse to make a lavish breakfast.
The editorial unit