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The 9 best things about working from home

The 9 best things about working from home

Posted 27th May, 2020 by Sarah

7-minute read

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak more people are working from home than ever before. Statistics released by the UK's Office for National Statistics in April 2020 showed 49.2 per cent of adults in employment were working from home, as a result of the social distancing measures introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Even once things settle down, home working is likely to increasingly become the norm. With companies such as Twitter allowing staff to work from home ’forever’ and Facebook expecting half of their employees to work remotely over the next five to 10 years, it seems homeworking is here to stay.

Whilst some will be used to it, it will be completely new to others. For many the routine of getting up, leaving the house, commuting to work and arriving at the office will be missed and for some it will cause a sense of anxiety.

A recent survey of 2000 UK workers by LinkedIn, in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, found that more than half said they felt more anxious since working from home, with a third having trouble sleeping.

It’s true, working from home can seem daunting at first. However, once you’ve got used to it, WFH can be a productive and enjoyable experience.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best things about working from home.

Reframing your commute time

When you work from home your commute can take less than 60 seconds. There are no traffic jams, you don’t have to defrost your car in cold weather, and you don’t have to contort yourself into a tube carriage.

While it can be tempting to stay in bed a little longer when you work from home, psychologists suggest that it can be more beneficial to repurpose this time.

The obvious thing to do during what would have been your commute is exercise – go for a run or a bike ride. However, for those for whom this isn’t possible – perhaps due to childcare issues etc – psychologists recommend creating a ‘fake commute’ of five to 20 minutes.

The idea behind this is that it allows you to create a barrier between home life and work life. Listen to the podcast you would have listened to on your commute before you start work, for example, drink your first cup of coffee in your traveller mug and stare out the window for five minutes as if you were on the train, or take a shower first thing.

The #WFHworkout

As mentioned above, some people are turning their former commute time into workout time. Others are starting work a little early so they can join their kids for PE with Joe Wicks.

Search the #WFHworkout hastag on twitter and you’ll find that colleagues at multiple companies are setting each other home workout challenges to complete during the week.

Then there are the people who are turning to even more inventive ways of exercising during lockdown – such as doing press ups in their lunchbreak with their cats and children on their backs.

Spending more time with your #snoopervisor

Surely one of the best things about working from home is getting to spend more time with your pets. Whether it’s with the cat, the dog or the goldfish, you can now spend more time together.

No more feeling guilty when they gaze at you from the window as you leave for work.

Follow the hashtag #snoopervisor on twitter to see countless images of pets who have joined their owners at their workstations, in zoom meetings, and have even tried to help out with tasks like typing, with varying degrees of success.

Embracing fancy dress

The beauty of home working is wearing what you want. Yes, you may have to look smart for the occasional video call, but on the whole, you can freestyle with your look.

This is where fancy dress comes in. Some companies have embraced fancy dress for their weekly team meetings. If your team hasn’t got the time to plan a new outfit every week, a hat or pair of comedy glasses will do. Search the hashtag #WFHlooks on social media for further inspiration.

Or take a leaf out of Lydia Okello’s book. Since the start of lockdown, she has been choosing a theme for her WFH style. In week four, for example, her theme was Harry Styles.

Retro lunches

Social media sites are full of #wfhlunch photos. Some people are showing off their home cooked lunches and restaurant quality dishes like ‘chickpea gemelli, butter, shallots, napini, spinach, drunken goat cheese and pepper’.

Others are bragging about how healthy their lunches are now they are WFH. Salmon and avocado poke bowl anyone?

However, there’s also a segment of workers on twitter who are using their lockdown lunchbreaks to eat lunches that might get a few questioning stares in their bricks and mortar offices – crisp sandwiches are all over twitter, as are peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

One worker wrote: “Because I am an adult, one of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I’m having for lunch today is GRILLED.”

Creating your own work schedule

If your job allows for flexibility with your working hours, you can create your own schedule. So, if you’re a night owl, the thought of no more 7am wake-ups and 9am meetings may be your favourite thing about working from home.

Alternatively, if you’re a morning person, the thought of waking up at 7am, logging on and being finished with your work day at 3pm, may be just what you’ve always wanted.

Making use of the garden

One of the downfalls of office, or on site working, is seeing a beautiful sunny day and being confined to the artificial lights of the office. That’s not the case when working from home.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, why not make use of it? Even if it’s to break up your day, venture outside, clear your head, breathe in the fresh air and focus.

As spring is upon us and summer is on the horizon it’s the perfect time to work from the garden. The gentle chatter of the birds, the sway of the breeze and the pounding of a keyboard as you fly through your work with a new found zest.

Listening to what you want (or creating your own music)

No longer will you have to listen to Steve from accounts’ obscure office playlist. Whilst working from home you’re free to listen to what you please. Whether that be a podcast, your own personal playlist or a radio play.

Your home is your office space. Do with it what you please and indulge your own audio pleasure. From heavy metal to country, play the songs you’d never dare to in the office.

Narrate your working day

If you’re feeling like doing something unusual why not narrate your day? Choose the voice of your favourite celebrity, imitate it and narrate your working day.

Whether you’re a David Attenborough aficionado or a fan of Big Brother, have some fun working from home.

Home is where the heart is

So, there are some of the best things about working from home. Do you agree? What are your favourite things about home working? Let us know in the comments below or get involved on social media.

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