An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Working From Home
Pre 2020 we envied people who could work from home. After experiencing the first national lockdown however I think we all realised, while it certainly has some benefits, it isn’t quite as exciting as it may have seemed. Working with only some of our equipment, without a proper desk set up, limited social interaction and that’s without taking into consideration balancing a full day’s work around playing teacher, chef, cleaner and children’s entertainer.
This year has been tough and working from home has been just one of the challenges we’ve had to face. Some people did well navigating the new normal and with the second lockdown beginning we looked to those figures for advice. We looked at how entrepreneurs and big-name celebs such as Joe Wicks managed to perfect working from home and we thought now would be the perfect time to spill their secrets. Take a look at our infographic below to pick up some tips on creating a better working from home environment.
The perfect WFH setup…
You don’t need a high tech office to achieve a full days work at home. The latest technology and six screens won’t necessarily lead to maximum productivity. As long as you have the equipment you need to do your job and a dedicated space to work, the rest doesn’t matter. Fewer distractions can be beneficial. Just make sure you have a comfortable space where you can concentrate for a few hours.
Don’t feel restricted when working from home to just one place either. Feel free to move around. Changing location can help spur creativity and offer fresh perspective. Alternating standing and sitting can also help keep momentum going.
When working from home, remember to take any tax breaks or claim any expenses you may be entitled to also. Every little helps.
Achieving more from your working day…
There are benefits to working from home. Your colleagues can’t pop over to steer you off topic, the phone isn’t going to spontaneously ring with a client or customer needing assistance. You may also find you have less meetings taking up your day. You may think there are less distractions when you are not in the office, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The lack of social interaction can also have the opposite effect. There are a few things you can do to help boost productivity however:
- Meal prep. Don’t waste time wondering what to have for breakfast or lunch, don’t take extended breaks to turn into Nigella. Plan your meals and prepare lunch the day prior so you don’t disrupt too much of your day.
- Go for a walk. Get out of the house and get some fresh air. A brisk 30 minute walk around the local area can really boost your mindset and get you back in the zone. If you’re feeling a bit lethargic, try a stroll.
- Arrange a phone call with a friend or colleague. Too much isolation can affect your mood negatively so check in with friends and colleagues for a catch up every now and again. Reconnecting can give you a much needed boost.
- Apply the ‘results only work environment’ (ROWE) mindset so as long as you hit your targets, the amount of time spent at your desk is less important.
- Consider a social media blocking tool during work hours to help minimise distractions. It can be tempting to take a scroll through your channels but social media isn’t always helpful for your mindset.
Take care of your mental and physical well-being
Anxiety, both about work and the wider world, combined with a more sedentary lifestyle have meant a lot of us aren’t in great shape. Acknowledging this and making a few small changes can give us the motivation needed to inspire success.
Be more sociable with clients and colleagues. The pandemic has been a great leveller and we’re all facing the same challenges so reach out to people.
Don’t feel pressured to maintain the old work life balance and rigidly follow your previous schedule. Take a longer lunch to go for a walk, work in to the night if you need. Work more flexibly to accommodate the ‘new normal’.
Do we want to go back to the office?
With the ‘new normal’ being constantly emphasised and us learning new ways to cope doing our job at home, as things start to ease, where does that leave us? Do we want to go back to the office, is it safe to do so, and when should we go back?
According to a recent Gallop poll as restrictions started easing after the first lockdown only ¼ of people felt emotionally ready to go back to their old life in the office. But while some companies are encouraging employees to go back to the office, some companies are trialling innovative work processes and employing a work from anywhere program for their staff.
But who is right? Should we go back to the office or shall we continue to stay home? Let’s evaluate the arguments.
- No commute
- Save money on transport
- No office rent
- More comfortable
- Flexibility to run errands
- Healthier meals
- More time with family
- Less socialisation
- Higher home energy bills
- Family distraction
- Same scenery everyday
- Work life gets muddled
- Collaboration suffers
The last year has certainly raised conversations about flexible working and as offices reopen, the old setup will be welcomed back with open hands for some, but for others, it won’t achieve the same productivity anymore. Employers have to work with their staff to ease their workforce back in to office life and find out what version of the ‘new normal’ suits different staff members.