As the world begins to return to some sort of normality after the upheaval of a pandemic many people are finding that their employer has actually decided to continue the work from home policy. For some this is welcome news, but for others they feel more content in the office environment. This article explores the pros and cons of working from home and how to make the best of it.
Many people prefer the office environment for a number of reasons.
It might be that you’re working from your dining table, amongst your children’s empty Weetabix bowls, with the sound of the washing machine constant in the background. Try to have dedicated workspace. It doesn’t have to be a big space, but somewhere that when you sit down to it, you are in work mode.
It’s easy to get to the fridge. Constant grazing can be a real problem. Try to make sure that your snacks are healthy and that to stick to regular meal and break times. Also remember to stay hydrated. Having a bottle of water on your work desk can help. Not only will it help maintain your mental performance and cognitive ability, but it will also help keep those hunger pangs away.
You get limited face-to-face interaction with your work colleagues. Zoom is great, but it’s hard to read people’s body language, which can lead to misinterpretation. Keep nurturing your relationships. Keep checking in with your colleagues, you are all still working towards the same goals, so make those relationships count.
There is no clear divide between work and home. This blurring of boundaries can be particularly problematic. Try walking to work. Do a lap around the block and then come back in your front door and settle straight down into work mode. At the end of the day do the same. It might seem simple, but this short walk can help to reframe your mind-shift between work and home.
No commute. This is probably one of the biggest advantages. However long it used to take you to travel to that office, you have immediately got that time back. Think about all the things you can do with that time; got to the gym, play a game with your children, start a new hobby.
The lack of interaction with colleagues can be a disadvantage, but also an advantage. If you are not being interrupted by Deidre walking past your desk every 5 minutes then you are more likely to be able to stay focused on a specific task, thereby increasing productivity.
You’re likely to save money. You’re not paying for public transport, or to put as much fuel in the car. You’re also not grabbing a coffee on the way into the office. You’re not heading to your local bistro for a takeaway lunch. You’re not going for drinks after work on a Friday. All of these things can have a pretty big impact on your wallet.
If you find yourself having to work from home for a bit longer try to make the best of it. Look for the advantages. Stay positive. And most importantly. Stay connected.