It's been five years since I last worked from home for longer than a few days. But, during that period, I worked from home for an eternity. I learned the hard way all the advantages and disadvantages that come with home-office. I lost a lot of productive hours.
And now, back in an office for such a long time, I can compare the benefits of the two options. And I vastly prefer home-office.
Thanks to that new favorite virus of ours, we all might have to work from home for some time. So, I thought it would be only fair
riding the hype-train sharing my recommendations on how to best work from home. I'm an expert, after all. Listen to the experts!
Here is what I did some years ago and what I will do again tomorrow if I have to stay at home:
- Wake up at time: Don't oversleep. If your day starts at 8 am, don't wake up 10 minutes earlier. Set the alarm and wake up every day at precisely that time. You are, of course, allowed to stay in bed longer if you usually have to commute for an hour. I typically wake up at 5.40 am to start at 8, so now I'll wake up at 6.30 instead.
- Get dressed: You're working, so get in work-mode. Get dressed like you usually would when leaving the house. Take a shower, brush your teeth. It just sets the mood. If you're not used to working from home, the urge to get back into bed when sitting in PJs in front of your computer is way too high. And in case your boss surprise-videocalls you, you're prepared.
- Have breakfast: There are a lot of perks when working from home. If you usually don't have the time to eat something in the morning, you can now. I can use that time to grind fresh coffee and make some scrambled tofu. I also meditate and walk the dog in the morning.
- Don't sit in your bed: If you, like probably most of the people nowadays, use a laptop to work, sit behind your desk. If you don't have a desk, sit at the kitchen table. And if you don't have a kitchen table, you need to get your life in order. DO. NOT. SIT. IN. BED! You're working, not watching Netflix. Except if you're a professional Netflix-watcher. Then I envy you.
- Have some fun: Not everything has to be bleak. Have some fun. Working from home has a lot of benefits: Listen to the music you want without headphones. Take an afternoon nap as long as you wake up. Dance during your coffee break like a mad man.
This is now your chance to convince your bosses of all the benefits of home-office. Which means: Work, work, work!
Be more productive now than you usually are in your office. For one, you don't have any meetings interrupting you anymore. No colleagues are talking loudly on the phone. You don't need to immediately reply to your emails, because, let's face it, your colleagues are probably not working as hard as you.
Use this time to deliver the best work you can, write a little report for your bosses (maybe even send them what you've done before "leaving work" in the evening), and try to convince them to keep doing this as soon as your quarantine ended.