Oops, it’s another ‘things I’ve learnt post’ – sorry! Like many of us, I’ve been working from home for around six months now. Despite the awful situation of Covid-19, I remember how thrilled I was about working from home in the beginning. But naturally, time passes and some things remain brilliant and others…not so much. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far.
Aside from my other half when he’s not working himself and our dog Luna, I’m largely alone in the house most of the time and I really do enjoy it! I’ve always been comfortable spending time on my own generally and I’ve found working alone to be the same.
Regardless of what anyone says, a video call just isn’t the same as being in the physical presence of other people. At times I’ve had times of craving being around other people and the ‘banter’ that comes from working in close proximity to a team you see day in and day out. I’m definitely the type of person that likes a balance of
I used to go to a Zumba class and the gym during the week but when lockdown happened, that was obviously put on hold. Instead, I turned to YouTube classes where I’ve been doing workout videos with Pamela Reif and even yoga videos with Sarah Beth. It used to be a bit of a pain going after a full day of work as I was always knackered but now it’s so much easier to squeeze in a 30-minute workout before I start work or in my lunch break and I can do it in the privacy of my own home! It works so well for me that I can’t see myself restarting my gym membership.
This might seem a funny one but when you work in a specific place for your job, you’re understandably pretty accessible to well, everyone. Working from home, if I’m busy and need to just get my head down, I can set my status on Microsoft Teams to ‘busy’ or even ‘do not disturb.’ Or better yet, I’ll just close down every sort of way of communication so I can really knuckle down. It’s so much easier than having to try and get rid of someone who won’t take the hint and is hovering by your desk.
After years of resisting it, I think a lot of companies have come to realise that flexible working is not only entirely possible but hugely beneficial to all parties. It’s always something I’ve believed in but now I’ve done it for myself I truly believe it should be an option for everyone where feasible. And after many businesses were given no choice and forced to make homeworking work for their staff during the lockdown, I think we’ll see a real surge in working from home being the norm or at least a choice and that’s a really positive outcome from a generally crappy time.
Something I’m still figuring out is my general workwear. That’s everything from my make-up to the clothes I wear day by day. Like everyone, at the beginning of lockdown I was thrilled with the concept of rolling out of bed and logging onto my computer without the need to put make-up on or get dressed properly. And while that definitely still stands today, now I know this is most likely a long-term setup, I’m unsure what I want to do going forward. Because there is something nice about feeling put together with trousers that aren’t pjs bottoms and a bit of foundation. But then I ask myself, what’s the point? Who am I dressing up for? It’s something I’m still trying to figure out but I reckon the answer lies in casual clothing you can comfortably answer the door in and concealer.
I completely underestimated how happy it would make me to be around my dog all day. Obviously I always knew how great it would be for her to have me home but it has been equally good for me too. However bad or stressful a day you have, there is nothing like a cuddle with a pooch to make you feel better. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll now I regularly post cute stories of her sleeping in her dedicated bed in the study and it’s the sweetest thing. I mean the barking during video calls when she hears the postman I could do without but swings and roundabouts…
When I started working from home, the only table available for my desktop computer was our dining table but a few months down the line, we decided it made sense to fast-forward our plans for an actual study in one of the spare rooms. As much as I liked being in the ‘hub’ of the house, it was a bit crap for Matt who had to tiptoe around me if I was on a work video call. So after a couple of weekends of hard work on Matt’s part and my lovely study was finally complete! (More on that soon…) It’s made a real difference to my work/life balance being able to physically shut the door on work for the day and to also have a dedicated space to go to when it’s time to work.
If you’ve been working from home, I’d love to know what you’ve been liking or disliking about it. Let me know in the comments!