Stay Calm and Get Dressed
Ah, the good life! Working in your pyjamas, eating what you want at your desk – did I say desk? I meant of course the couch, or the bed! No blah blah from colleagues disturbing your train of thought, no morning commute … just you, your laptop, and the coffee machine. Home Office is heaven, right? It’s also a privilege. So many people would like to stay at home, especially in the current situation. If you can work at home, then you are very lucky.
Currently many more people are working from home than normal. In my business you can work from pretty much anywhere as long as you have internet. Telecommuting is one of the major changes in our work culture that has happened over the last 30 years. As our world becomes more digital, working remotely will probably continue until offices as we know them become a thing of the past.
I have worked from home on and off since the 90’s. I’m what you might call a Home Office Native. For instance, I get up early, stick with my schedule, I get dressed (always top of the list of any good advice), I have a work space and take designated breaks. I avoid doing the laundry or other household tasks during work hours. I even have Home Office playlists I can call up with Alexa.
With Home Office newbies walking about the Office in their pyjamas and working from their bed, the first few weeks alongside seasoned Home Office staff can be a bit tense.
The Home Office discipline does not come naturally. We are all preconditioned to see our home as a place to relax, which, if you are going to work from home, is a mindset you will want to change. However, my wife recently began working from home due to the Corona Virus – and on the first day she wore her pyjamas all day long. To a seasoned Homie like myself, this was simply not on, so I reported her to HR.
Working from home can be an amusing experience for first timers, and can take some getting used to. As these tweets clearly show: https://thenextweb.com/growth-quarters/2020/03/20/7-tweets-that-show-what-its-really-like-to-work-from-home/
Yes, this is a Real Job
Sometimes my neighbours ask me “if I have stopped working? or “what is it I do actually?” I suppose it’s a valid question. I never seem to be at work. Sometimes during the day (to think about an idea, or to solve a sticky problem) I might be seen raking leaves, or cutting the grass. The question is not so odd I guess – If my car never leaves the front of the building, how could I have gone to work?
The Home Office Professional needs to have a certain kind of bravado, and self-esteem if they are to overcome the nagging doubt that perhaps they don’t really work, actually. Perhaps they are a bum, simply pretending to work. The validity of commuting to the office, sitting in a cubicle, and commuting back is lost to people like us. The trappings of work are missing. There are no office parties, no jibber jabber around the coffee machine (except for with the cat, or now the wife), and above all no late trains or traffic jams.
Without the trimmings of work, without the ornaments, the accouterment if you will, we can very easily be made to feel as if we were the Office Worker with no Clothes. We have to stay the course. In other words, try to not to feel like an Imposter.
“You don’t have to feel like you’re in the office, … Take advantage of that — don’t feel ashamed of it at all.”https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/technology/personaltech/working-from-home-problems-solutions.html
It’s ironic. It’s the time of #stayathome, #WirbleibenZuhause , and #bleibtzuhause – when we should keep our #socialdistance to #flattenthecurve. During this time we probably find ourselves much more in communication with others. We are reaching out more via twitter, zoom, google hangouts. Our social media content is becoming richer and less angry.
It is a benefit, and I hope it remains after the crisis. I hope as well that companies see that it IS indeed possible for people to work from home – especially digital workers. That we are even more productive when we are not commuting to the office. In many instances, from lower CO2 levels over China to fish in the Venice canals, we are already seen the environmental benefits of staying at home.
I am lucky enough to have a great online community of friends and colleagues – all of whom are working from home, and schooling their kids. We are managing all this in the same 8 hours we were once spending at the office. We are hard, we are strong, we work at Home all day long!
Home Office Tips
I am including a selection of Working from Home tips I received from friends and colleagues. “Focus on your health.” “Sit responsibly.” “Take breaks.” “Be a good person.” “Eat the frog.” Great advice that should serve us well after the Virus goes away.
My recommendation: Leave your laptop, take breaks, move outside (running, walking) and try to cook something fresh once a day. Also i recommend thinking about others in times like this and ask them: „How are you?“
I love the app “Focus at Will;” I set it for an hour and try to work on a single project during that time. When the hour’s up? I take a 10-minute break; get up & stretch, grab a snack, and maybe toss a load of laundry in. Then, I grind it out for another hour! @focusatwill
I recommend getting a good ergonomic chair. Kitchen chairs and couches are both horrible for your back.
Take breaks and spend them with the kids, or just quiet time for yourself. Working at home can be very all-consuming. Work can wait. Your mental health and family health cannot.
Get a proper desk and chair, invest in the best equipment you can afford, structure your day and stick to it, don’t switch the tv on, eat proper food, go outside once a day (at least), schedule digital coffee breaks to minimise isolation.
Have a defined workspace. Take breaks. Eat the frog. (author’s note: I didn’t know what this meant, and was told it meant to do the things you don’t like doing first.)
Reorganize your setup. I have my iMac for big work projects and the other side is my laptop with books for writing and organizing classroom work. This is a good time to change up your workspace.
Take breaks. Go outside to clear your head (with social distancing in mind right now). Have a good desk/chair/work position. Keep communication at a good level by using your phone or apps/software to talk to people. Take breaks. Take breaks.
Go for a walk outside before you start working at home, take your breaks while you are working. Make an agreement with your family; inform them about the time you need. Hang up a sign „working“. Talk to your neighbours to find out who is responsible to open the parcel carriers.
Stay healthy, be responsible, eat less, read more, learn something new, cook things from scratch, consume less! Enjoy the short commute, and every other moment you have here. Remember – not everyone is able to go to work without shoes on. :o)
Blog Post foto : Technologie Foto erstellt von senivpetro – de.freepik.com
Here is a great Home Office Infographic from the good people at Alliance Virtual Offices: