3 ways to feel great about home working – Jon Aspinox Writes

3 ways to feel great about home working

Covid-19, Coronavirus, Corona – whatever you want to call it, this pandemic is unlike anything any of us can remember. And businesses up and down the country are responding by enabling their people to work from home, to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Your LinkedIn feed is likely already humming with people talking about their first day working at home, or how grateful they are to their employer for making it possible to work from home (which might sound a bit saccharine, but if nobody could work from home then the chances are that even more companies would go out of business, costing people jobs).

What’s interesting is that a lot of those posts are about how people are struggling to adapt to working from home. It’s an odd thought – most of us would simply love to work from the comfort of our own homes, where the tea and coffee are the brands you actually like and the costs of commuting are zero. But plainly, it’s not as simple as parking up at the kitchen table, trousers optional, and opening the laptop.

There are already plenty of articles, including this one I guest wrote for HR technology providers CIPHR, with all the practical advice you could need to stay productive and emotionally balanced as you work from home. I speak from experience, having worked from home periodically for most of my career, including now as a freelance copywriter. In this post, rather than add to the noise, I’m sharing three very basic things I’ve learned about working from home that may not be immediately obvious.

1: Put your laptop on a box

Laptops, despite their purpose, are fundamentally horrid pieces of equipment to work on. The screens are too small, and if you spend any amount of time working at one you’ll find that your neck and back quickly start to suffer. This is because the screen is simply too low to be comfortable – and if you are working at your dining room table all day, that factor will quickly become very important. So raise the laptop up – using a box. Here’s my setup:

Baby monitor optional. Tea most definitely mandatory.

Specifically, I am using the box for an IKEA lampshade – but a shoebox will pretty much do the trick. You could even buy a specially designed laptop stand that will achieve much the same thing. You’ll find that the laptop is now much closer to eye level, meaning that as you sit and work, your back is straighter – and you’ll be in less pain. As an added bonus, you’ll also find that when you’re on a video call (which will be quite frequently if the entire office is working from home) your peers will be less likely to see the insides of your nostrils, and therefore more likely to focus on what you’re talking about.

2: don’t panic if you aren’t 100% productive

It’s easy to panic as you realise that lunchtime is already here and you haven’t got through as much work as you were expecting to. But that’s OK.

Lots of people expect to be more productive at home, where there are no distractions. And while working from home on a specific project (such as writing a report) might make you more focused, once you’re working at home full-time, you’ll find plenty of distractions crop up just like they do in the office. A partner or a child (especially now the schools are closing) can be especially distracting – and of course, you still have access to the same World Wide Web you had access to in the office.

This is my distraction. On the plus side, the glass panes in the door are now spotless

The truth is that we can’t be always on when we’re at work. Chats with colleagues, surfing the web, filming your daughter licking windows – they all happen because we need, every now and again, to switch off from what we’re doing. It’s no different if you’re working at home – so don’t feel bad about it, unless you find that you’re not getting through the work you need to.

If you want to try and limit distractions, it can be a good idea to build positive distractions into your routine. For instance, putting on a load of washing after having finished a few emails gets you moving, which gets the blood flowing and can help improve focus when you sit back down. Plus, you get a load of washing done.

3: don’t forget to enjoy it!

This might be especially tough at the moment, given why everyone is working from home. But it is, I think, important. The news is depressing, it feels like the shops are never going to have toilet roll again, and people are afraid for themselves and their loved ones. There’s a lot to be stressed about – but that stress doesn’t actually make anything better. In fact, it makes things worse. So seize every opportunity to find the joy in what you’re doing and where you are.

Working from home means that you can eat lunch with your family, if they’re also at home; it means you can take five minutes to go in the garden if the sun is shining; it means you can drink your favourite tea from your favourite mug, and eat chocolates like a maniac because you don’t have to share them with the office. There are many upsides to working from home – so revel in them, while you can enjoy them.

When I’m not trying to keep my daughter from putting everything in the house in her mouth, I’m a copywriter and video producer specialising in B2B and tech. If you’re in need of some extra assistance in your marketing team, why not check out my portfolio – and if you like what you see, get in touch.

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