Is working from home the new norm?

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The Corona Virus has unfortunately set off a wave of mandatory work from home with many organisations insisting their staff do not come to the office. People who normally never work from home will be able to experience if working from home is just as efficient as going into the office.

For some, they will find that they love it and for others they will miss the interaction with their team. Video conferencing will increase, and companies will save a fortune on travel cost. Maybe there will be a positive result from a negative situation.

It could be months before bans are lifted and we could be stuck in our home offices for a while. If you don’t have a good space in your house, you need to look at making one.

So, for those of you who haven’t experienced this before what should you do to make the best of it?

Natural light is important to me and a comfortable chair. I found that it is important to replicate my real office as much as possible. If you have been hot-desking, then working from home should be easier as you don’t know where you are going to sit each day any way. So, it really becomes about shifting your mind set to seeing your home environment as a work environment as well.  It’s not the location, it’s the mindset.

My must do tips:

  • Don’t be tempted to sleep in because you can. Get up at the same time and use the extra travel time to have breakfast or exercise (a walk or just going outside to see a sunrise can energise you – this is me this morning)
  • Dress like you would when you go to the office as you may need to do video calls – or at least professional from the waist up, I don’t wear heals at home! (one of the benefits)
  • Make sure the surroundings behind you are appropriate for the video call as well (do a camera check) – place a note on your door when you are on a video call, so family members don’t come in.
  • Get into your new home office at the same time as you would normally – don’t be tempted to work extra hours as you will burn out and that is not the idea.
  • Make sure you get up from your desk regularly – I use my head phones and often do a walk and talk around the house (remember when you are at work you spend more time walking to meetings, getting coffee or lunch – however at home your steps can decrease substantially if you are in front of your computer all day).
  • Set up zoom calls with your staff for a 15 min touch base meeting – you want to make sure you are keeping everyone engaged and on the same page.
  • If you are a client facing person, remember your clients are in the same situation so this could be a good time to get them on the phone.

Also, a friend of mine who has school age children, said you need to make sure they have a school routine, so they don’t think they are on holiday. This will ensure they are keeping up with their studies and not interrupting you when you are on calls.

Prove that you can be just as efficient from home and maybe work from home will become the new norm. Regards Judith

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