Don’t worry – this isn’t another list of ways to help with WFH– there’s enough resources online to help with that now (though one tip from me is to make sure you have enough teabags to last a lockdown). For us at LEWIS, while having the option to work from home is nothing new, being forced to do it for a prolonged period is something that has taken a bit of getting used to. There are some great benefits to working from home, and there are some areas that are perhaps a little less, shall we say, desired.
Some of the team weighed in on this:
It’s nice to see that family comes first – many of the team noted that being forced indoors also meant being forced to spend more quality time with loved ones. While some of us may dread it, a large percentage decided that it was one of the perks of being forced indoors. Note that family isn’t only limited to humans – furry creatures also cropped up.
“working from home has allowed me to spend more time with my family. They’re loving it (or so I choose to assume)!”
An appreciation of some of the smaller things – being able to spend time making a proper breakfast…taking time out of the day to have a cup of tea. We’re all learning, albeit in quite a dramatic way, that it isn’t always spending money to go places that can be satisfying.
“appreciation for cups of tea on the balcony and living room yoga to break up the day!”
We also can’t discount the benefits of avoiding the morning commute and the amount of time you get back in return. That extra time in bed is a godsend if you’re not a morning person, and even more beneficial if you live a while away from the office. One person also mentioned that not wearing makeup each day meant less pimples. We’re getting told that it’s good to stick to a routine but if you want to wake up ten minutes before you start work, who’s going to stop you?
“The positive is definitely getting to work in less than 15 minutes, so more sleep. Just roll off the bed, wash up and then BAM – you’re sitting in front of your laptop for work”
(and we’ll put a pin in the con of not being able to leave the house, for now)
Video conferencing and chat is great but on a social level, but we’re still keeping a lot more quiet than usual. The day-to-day interactions with colleagues in the kitchen or at your desk is something that people really value, and while you can communicate over chat here and there for casual interactions, nothing beats annoying your neighbour out loud
“What I don’t particularly enjoy is the amount of (imaginary) friends that decide to just ‘stop by’ throughout the day – I’m going crazy talking to myself!”
As discussed, spending more time with family can be a hidden blessing but it can also be -how can we put this correctly – slightly forced. You’re stuck inside with people who are also stuck inside and spending so much time together can get to be quite…grating.
“I have always wanted to spend more time with family, now…not so much”
“My husband has taken this time to take up DJ-ing – this does not make for the most productive work environment.”
And that age old problem – if you’re stuck inside you’re not going to be able to be as active as usual. And not being able to head outside your home can be quite boring and you need to fill the time with other things asides from work…not helped by the fact that the kitchen is usually not far from where you are sitting. Yup; we’re all snacking more and exercising less which isn’t always what people want.
“Cabin fever is getting to me as I haven’t been as active”
“My activity level has decreased and my snack intake has definitely increased”
“I’m hungry ALL THE TIME – no packet of TimTams is safe around me”
Although it’s been a challenge at times working from home for a prolonged period of time (and not knowing exactly when we’ll be able to head back to the office) at least logistically it’s not been difficult. Small rainbow I know, but as we all work on MacBooks and have a robust WFH policy, it really was an easy transition to all meetings being online. Let’s see what the future brings – and we all know that at some point we WILL be back in the office together – but for now, we’re just trying to avoid the TimTams (and our family…).