Katherine, an exception VA at Victoria Grant – VA Services shares what it’s like to work from home.
In recent years particularly after the pandemic, the concept of remote work has become increasingly popular, offering flexibility and convenience to employees across the globe. Working from home now has its unique charm, allowing individuals to create a personalised work environment and achieve a better work-life balance. No wasting two hours a day commuting to the office. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that a day in the life of remote work is far from the picture-perfect image often portrayed. So, in this blog post, we’ll delve into the realities of a realistic day in the life of working from home.
A typical day begins with my alarm clock going off about 30 minutes before my toddler is due to get up. (Though any parent can vouch for how unpredictable they are!) This gap allows me a little time to myself to jump in the shower and get ready. Then I’m ready and waiting to get my little boy ready to go with breakfast and then leave the house to drop him off at childcare, the peaceful office commute with a podcast replaced with a nursery run making sure I’ve got everything for little man with a soundtrack of the Bluey Dance Mode album!
Once I’m home I have the luxury of a more relaxed start to the day. Many people find that establishing a consistent morning routine helps to set the tone for productivity and focus. Whether it’s a morning workout, meditation, or a hearty breakfast, the key is to begin the day with a positive mindset.
Setting Up the Home Office
Creating a dedicated workspace is crucial for remote workers. While the temptation to work from the comfort of your bed or the living room couch may seem alluring, it can lead to distractions and decreased productivity. So, I’ve got a couple of options in my house, our loft is a nice well-lit space but if the weather is poor the rain on the Velux is a terrible distraction! So, it’s into the spare room/home office. Designate a specific area as your home office, ensuring it is well-lit, organised, and equipped with the necessary tools for work.
Virtual Meetings and Collaboration
A significant part of remote work involves virtual meetings and collaborations. Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meets have become essential for staying connected with colleagues and clients. However, technical glitches, poor internet connectivity, and background noise can occasionally hinder the smooth flow of these interactions, reminding us of the challenges that come with working from home. So, I’ll often do a trial video to check my camera works just in case there is any issues.
Balancing Work and Personal Life and Balancing Distractions
One of the key struggle’s remote workers face, is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Without the physical separation of a workplace, it’s easy for work to spill into personal time and vice versa. Learning to set boundaries, both with yourself and others, is essential to prevent burnout and ensure quality time for yourself, family, and friends.
Working from home can expose individuals to a wider range of distractions, ranging from household chores and family interruptions to the allure of social media. Staying focused and disciplined is a constant battle. Implementing time management techniques, like the Pomodoro method, can be highly effective in enhancing productivity.
Ergonomics and Self-Care
Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk can take a toll on physical health. Remote workers must pay close attention to their ergonomics and practice self-care. We recently upgraded our office chair to a slightly more expensive one as we were increasing the use and it’s amazing how much more comfortable, we are throughout the day. Regular breaks, stretching exercises, and proper posture are vital to mitigate the risks of musculoskeletal issues associated with remote work.
Flexibility and Freedom
Despite the challenges, remote work offers unparalleled flexibility and freedom. You have the power to structure your day according to your preferences, allowing for a better work-life integration. This freedom empowers individuals to find their most productive and creative hours, ultimately fostering a sense of autonomy and empowerment. After maternity I was unable to return to my previous role full time due to the costs of childcare. However, now working remotely I can increase my hours back to full time around looking after my little boy.
While working from home presents its share of challenges, it also brings forth numerous opportunities for personal growth and professional development. Embracing the realistic day in the life of remote work means acknowledging both the upsides and downsides, and proactively implementing strategies to make the most of this unique work arrangement. If you’re a social individual who thrives on the human contact in an office, you may find remote working can be lonely. You’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons and see if it would be suitable for you. By striking a balance between discipline and flexibility, remote workers can create a fulfilling and productive work-from-home experience.