When working from home, where possible, it is recommended that you have a designated space in which to create an office space, because let’s face it we all thinking working in bed is great, but that novelty wears off really quickly lol ! You might have a spare bedroom or the formal dining room which you rarely use, which is the perfect location for your new home office. The advantage of this is that areas which you normally live in remain areas for rest after the workday is done. It also allows you to clock off from work, shut down the computer and switch on to home life and family as you did before you moved home.
Oh, the temptation to work in your pajama’s but when working from your home office it is important to dress the part. When we continue to dress as if we are heading to our usual place of work or office it subconsciously reminds us of the responsibility which we hold during work hours. I once worked for an Image Consultant Trainer, she dressed the same for the home office as she would for corporate gatherings. She never let her surroundings limit the wardrobe selections she made. If she loved a particular dress, set of heals or items on jewelry she would wear it. After all, as Oscar Wilde would say ‘you can never be overdressed or overeducated‘.
When working from your home office, it can be very easy to skip breaks. It happens in the workplace too, but oftentimes someone will stop past your desk for a chat, or to say let’s go for coffee. When working from home this happens a little less. So one key to making sure you have rest breaks is to set an alarm. It could be just a reminder to get up, stretch and then sit down. But whatever it is, remember that your normal routine has been interrupted if you are new to working at home; so you may not be getting the normal exercise you need or downtime you need. So you will need to be intentional in creating this in your day. As you find the new normal – make sure it is one that sets you up for success both for your workplace and your personal wellbeing.
New to working from home? The greatest temptation is to switch your hours around. After all the commute is now only steps instead of the hours it may have previously been. When you keep your routine in place for the majority of the week, you will find that time creep does not occur. You may be thinking if I start work at 6 am, I’ll finish at 3 pm but what can happen is that you keep working cause you are in the flow. Great for your employer, great for the team, and maybe great for your to-do list. But long term it may not be sustainable – so just be aware that when working from home we need to set up our days for long term success and long term wins. The occasional flexibility in hours that was previously worked under should be enjoyed, but working your hours from 4 am to 1 pm is not going to be a win-win situation for anyone longterm.
So the novelty of working or study from home can disappear in a matter of weeks and the walls start to keep in. I have previously worked, studies and run a business from home, what I discovered is that it is so important to get and about. In our current situation, this may not be possible to have coffee catchup or a stop of clothes shopping to break the four wall syndrome which is why implementing any way you can to connect outside your home office is vital. So maybe set yourself a challenge to do something new each week to keep things fresh and new.
If things are becoming very difficult and you are losing your motivation be sure to reach out to your support network which you have built within your workplace, church, community, and family. We all have days when things become heavy and we fell the weight of life – so share the load with someone close to you.