Back in March, when we were told we’d be working from home (WFH), it seemed a trivial idea that wouldn’t last much longer than a few weeks. But, as time passed and the realities of WFH started to sync in, I had to find mechanisms to cope with my “new normal”.
As a social person the initial realisation that I wouldn’t be working from an office for the foreseeable future was incredibly daunting. Knowing I'd have to sit in my room, clock on at 8:30am, and communicate with my colleagues through a computer screen frightened me.
But, they say it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit, and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic.
Slowly but surely though, I have adjusted to enjoy the balance of WFH while continuing to have time in the office through regular face-to-face team meetings.
It’s been a journey and here are some of the main things I’ve learnt along the way:
- In order to not only complete your work, but do it well, you have to learn to be independent and self-motivated. You are your own manager and not having in-person meetings or being able to grab a colleague for a quick chat, can be hard. Here at Words + Pixels, to combat this, we break up our days by having daily team video meetings, ensuring everyone is accessible through team collaboration platforms and we even meet up (in person) on a regular basis.
- Concentration is often something office workers struggle with, and I was no exception. Whether it’s a co-worker talking about their weekend, a loud team meeting you can hear from your desk or the office phone ringing off the hook, the distractions in an office setting are hard to avoid. I have found though, when working from home, there are fewer distractions which allows me to better focus on what I’m doing and become more productive as a result.
- Cabin-fever is real and sitting in front of your computer screen, for hours on end is not conducive to good work. To help with this, I’ve made it a rule of thumb to leave the house at least twice a day, even if it's just popping to the shops or taking a quick walk. This has not only improved my concentration and productivity, but it's also helped me maintain a good level of activity.
- My very short commute of walking down the stairs has allowed me to take better control of my time, diet, work/life balance and even my sleeping pattern. Not having to sit on a train, get on the tube, or drive to work five days a week has enabled me to be a lot more productive with my social and work time. I would also recommend waking up early to fit in a bit of exercise; it’s a great way to get the brain working and endorphins flowing ahead of the day.
Now that the majority of the UK has been working from home for the last six months, it’s inevitable future ways of working will look different. While this has its pros and cons, the takeaway is that the future will be flexible, with a mixture of WFH complimenting that all important office time.
If you’re looking for a fun agency to work for, a more flexible workplace, and a great team, why not get in touch to see what we can offer you?