Working from home might seem like a dream for most. It has been an accelerating trend in the US and Europe for some time now. It has actually been predicted five seconds after the first personal computer was invented. Truth is, there are a thousand reasons why working from home is perfect and another thousand reasons why it might not be right for you.
Working From Home Might Seem Heaven-Sent
Where to start? Peace and quiet so you can focus on what you have to do? No annoying colleagues who can interrupt you when you’re in the middle of something important? Less stress and negative energy from your bosses because they’re not around? More comfy work setting? Your favourite food in the fridge? Actually, your OWN fridge without colleagues stealing your food from the collective friddge. Yeah, there might be some reasons why working from home is heaven-sent.
Actually, one of the most important benefits of working from home is the 1 minute it takes you to wake up, grab your laptop and dive into e-mails and work. Compared to the psychological scourge of the commute to work, which was proven to have serious environmental effects and cause depression in most working people, being able to wake up at 08:55 and start working at 09:00 seems like heaven. There are people who have an one-hour, one-way commute and thus think about those 2 hours spent on the way to and from work as of something as precious as gold.
Working From Home Also Has Its “Dark Side”
It’s true, you can do a lot in that one or even in those two hours you spend while on the road. Nevertheless, that hour also helps you make the transition from personal life to work life; it helps draw a line between these two and also prepares you to dive into deep work once you arrive at the office. Basically, it’s like a border which parts two important sides of you: your funny, carefree, personal self and your focused, down-to-business, productive other self. I’m not saying you’re not the same person at work and at home, I’m just saying that working from home has its downsides, starting with the fact that your kitchen counter and bed can become your desk and washing the dishes and laundry, the first signs of procrastination.
Yes, the major downside of working from home is that the lines get blurred until you can no longer tell the difference between work and home. Now, it also depends on you and your personality. Some people can beat procrastination better than others and love alone time more than socializing with colleagues. Others might arrive to the conclusion that working from home is lonely and depressing and counterproductive. However, the studies show that remote work is actually effective. It appears that 54% of office workers would leave their job anytime for another one which offers flexible work time. So, flexibility is the key.
Four Tips for a Productive and Balanced Work From Home Experience
It seems that in these harsh times, working from home is a must for our safety and well-being. All the major companies have gone for work from home and employees from all around the world are transforming their homes into work offices during the day. How to turn your home in a home again after working hours and how to make sure your work life does not interfere too much with your personal time? Here are the first 4 steps to take:
Follow a Thorough Morning Routine and Get Dressed
It’s true, working in your pajamas might seem fun and something for your bucket list, but in the long run it won’t prove productive and beneficial. Having a good morning routine, from brushing your teeth to getting dressed will psychologically prepare you for work. It is the first stone to creating that border between work and home. Moreover, getting dressed means you cannot abruptly start cleaning around the house just to avoid a difficult e-mail or task. Just saying.
Establish Working Hours and Further Boundaries
The flexibility of working from home does not mean you should work at midnight so you can have the day just for yourself. It’s important to make sure you start working around the hour you would normally get to the office and finish work around the same time. You might be tempted to work extra, but don’t. Establish firm boundaries! Your home time should be your home time.
Work out or Get out (If You’re Not in Self-Isolation)
These days, it’s better you stay indoors, but in a normal work-from-home situation, getting out for a walk to enjoy the fresh air is very good. Now that we’re all self-isolating, try to work out. Open the window to breathe in fresh air and work out on your balcony to make sure your bones get to stretch a little.
Connect With Other People
Video conferencing and telephone talks are a good way to socialize. You will see that, in time, working from home will feel quite lonely, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and have a little meaningful conversation with your friends and family.
All in all, make sure you stay productive and, most important than all, make sure you are safe! It is for yours and your family own good!