Working from home (henceforth “WfH”) has cropped up in my Twitter feed lately and this is my “response” to some of the issues raised.
Now don’t get me wrong – there are all sorts of issues related to WfH – some people can’t, some people don’t like it, companies are getting offices for “free”, some companies not realising that they need to provide equipment, and that health and safety requirements apply to the home worker too.
And probably a whole lot more.
But some of the complaints seem to be coming from people who have never even looked at WfH advice, or who have ignored that advice.
If your work life and your home life seem to be merging, do something about it. Clearly distinguish between work time and home time with a “going to work ritual” and a “coming home ritual”. It doesn’t matter what they are as long as they clearly mark the start and end of the working day.
For example, I always take a morning walk to start the working day, and make a ceremonial cup of coffee at the end (I don’t usually drink coffee whilst working or I end up fizzing).
Find yourself slogging away at the computer non-stop? Well don’t do that then. You’re supposed to take a break away from the computer regularly anyway, so do so. Get up and wander around a bit – make a coffee, look out the front window to see if it’s raining, check the postbox, do some stretching, etc.
Stuck in non-stop meetings? Call a comfort break every hour then – even if you don’t need a pee. Do you really care if your co-workers think you have a weak bladder? Especially when they’re more likely to think you’re a hero for giving them an excuse for a comfort break.
Missing out on the social life of the office? Set up social meetings then – perhaps for lunchtimes when you can eat your meals “together”.
Lastly, ergonomics. That laptop you took back home with you in the spring isn’t the right equipment for a long-term workstation. Get yourself a decent desk, chair, monitor, external keyboard and mouse. That sounds expensive, and yes your employer should (at the very least) be helping out, but it needn’t be that expensive.