Working from home is a bit like having dinner with a long-lost friend who has got back in touch through Facebook. It looks like a lovely opportunity to catch up and reconnect, but in reality it almost always winds up being fiendishly difficult, with you quickly realising why you lost touch in the first place.
Many office workers think that ‘working from home’ is a euphemism for ‘having a long nap’, ‘catching up on long-neglected household admin’ and ‘bunking off from responsibilities so everyone else has to pick up the slack for you’.
Working from home – or “WfH” as the cool kids like to call it – is hard, far harder than working in an office, where there are photocopiers and water coolers and people with whom you can gossip around them.
You only have to look at the growing popularity of co-working spaces to see how much we dread the thought of being left at home with nothing for company but ourselves. Arggh, anything but that!
Here’s a guide to getting the most of out home working:
Wash your hands (and the rest of your body, too). When you work from home, it’s tempting to dispense with all those annoying pleasantries such as washing, dressing, and standing up to get out of bed. But these are the key to successful home working, and will help you in your quest to feel motivated. Don’t be downcast about this – remember, now you can wear whatever you want!
Try to create a work space. Some rich people have studies and “writing rooms” (see J K Rowling).
Take regular tea breaks. Do not be tempted to carry out household chores during them. Just because you can dust the skirting boards, doesn’t mean you should. Resist rising to the bait when your other half, still working in an office, returns home to exactly the same chaos he left 10 hours ago. You’re working from home, not taking on a new role as his slave.
Stay in touch with your colleagues to let them know that you are working VERY HARD INDEED. But not too much – this can end up being counterproductive.
Finally, marvel at how much more work you have done now that you are not stopping every five minutes to discuss your theories about the coronavirus.
The Daily Telegraph