One year ago, many of us would never have dreamed of working from home. Offices and the commute to work were as much a part of daily life as breakfast, lunch and dinner. But – like so many other things – our working lives were turned upside down by the pandemic, and many of us were forced transform bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms into the home office.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown, it’s pretty clear to see that the world of work has changed for good. While offices are beginning to open up again, it seems likely that working from home – at least part of the time – is here to stay. So here at ThinkPR, we figured it was as good a time as any to think back on what we’ve learned from the past year of home working, and what we should keep in mind for the future.
1. Working from home IS possible
Before the lockdown, there was an assumption that working from home would never work, and many feared they’d never be able to focus. But when push came to shove, we found a way to do it, and while some – especially those with young kids – will be delighted to return, we’ve surprised eachother with our flexibility and resilience. In fact, two-thirds of employers report increased productive from workers based at home instead of the office, so we’re doing something right!
2. Make boundaries
When you work from home, the division between where you work and where you relax evaporates. It’s much harder to take off your office hat when the desk is sitting right there. But overworking yourself is a one-way street to burnout, so it’s crucial that you set your own boundaries. Whether that means switching off the laptop at 5pm on Friday or replying to that email tomorrow morning instead of tonight, it’s crucial to separate your work life from your home life.
3. Dress smart
With no clients to meet or presentations to give in person, it’s tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day (at least on the bottom half!). But dressing smartly, just as you might on a normal work day, is a great way to trigger your brain into entering the working mindset, and increasing the sense of separation between work and relaxation time.
4. Stay in touch
Without face-to-face contact with your co-workers it’s easy to feel disconnected, and loose sight of the fact you’re all working towards a bigger goal. Make sure to schedule regular catch up meetings to keep team spirit up, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
5. Leave the house every day!
With the commute to and from work comprising of a walk down the hall, it’s easy for the whole day to pass without leaving the house. But a bit of fresh air and exercise can do wonders for your health and mental wellbeing, and help to avoid stress from work building up.
It looks like home working will be a key feature of the future, so keeping these five top tips in mind will help you to keep focus and make it work for you!