WORKING FROM HOME. LESSONS LEARNED.

On the 18th March I published a post, giving my top tips for making the work from home switch successful. This was only a couple of days after the UK’s full lockdown was put in place. It was fresh and I was keen to embed structure into my days. In my role at work, I have a lot of flexibility and working from home was not anything new to me. However, it has had its challenges and I thought I would take some accountability. After 14 weeks of working from home full time, it is time to review how successful my tips have been.

I want to understand if I ‘practiced what I preached’.

I first wrote about how strange it was to be told that I am ‘vulnerable’ and ‘high risk’. I still do not feel vulnerable. I am young, fit and very able. As time has passed and as the R rate has spiked, I am thankful for the restrictions. At the end of the day, health is always going to be the most important factor.

I cannot wait to return to some form of normality. After 14 weeks, my motivation is dipping.

Let’s get into the fun part. In March I wrote about my top ten tips for working from home. In the post, I wrote ‘for those of you who are usually office based, here are my top ten tips to set yourself up for success:’

  1. Keep your alarm, and don’t snooze… trust me
    Wake up at your normal time, keep your normal routine in tact. It sets you up for the day and ensures that you are not distracted very early on.

    As I sit with my head in my hands, I have to be honest and write that I did not quite stick to this rule. Some days, you just have to give yourself that extra time in bed. On the days when I did get up, I shuffled myself out of the door, walked the dog and the fresh air was a great way to set up for the day.

  2. Get up, get dressed up
    Don’t be tempted to work in your PJ’s (although sometimes I do work in my dressing gown if my house is cold… I don’t want my energy bills to ramp up.

    Yes, yes and yes again! I stick by this one. If you follow me on Instagram you will see my ‘tap to get ready’ feature every week day morning. Spending time to get ready in the morning has become my new commute. I just do not feel prepared for a working day without a great outfit.

  3. Set up a dedicated desk space
    If you are an office worker, like me, you may not have a dedicated study or desk in your house. It is important to set aside a specific work area if space allows. I purchased a small computer desk online and have set this up under the Velux window in my kitchen. It is bright, airy and has created a lovely space to work from.

    This is one of the most important factors to my success. Having my desk in my kitchen is not ideal but when you have a smaller home, you do not have much choice.

  4. Make ‘to do’ lists your friend
    Write a comprehensive list, everyday, and complete it.

    I have written a ‘to do’ list, every day of my work from home adventure so far. It helps me to concentrate and means that I am accountable.

  5. Create a motivational playlist
    In our office we have music on in the background. Don’t be tempted to watch TV all day, it will halt your productivity. Background music is always a good alternative.

    I have almost forgotten about background music. I should start listening to music again, a change in the atmosphere may help.

  6. Allow time for breaks
    Cuppa tea time, lunchtime, afternoon walk, workouts etc. It is easy to sit at your desk for 8+ hours but get up, move around and break up your day. Ultimately, you will get more done.

    It is easy to sit at your desk all day, without moving. But getting up to walk around the house, and making a cup of tea has helped me to keep active. This is still an important tip.

  7. Schedule breakfast, lunch and dinner as normal
    Don’t skip the main meals.

    I love food too much. I have absolutely stuck to this one.

  8. Stay hydrated
    Make as many hot drinks and cold drinks, as you would make (or your colleagues make you) in the office. Your body knows your routine, stick to it.

    I feel healthier for the amount of water I now consume in a day. I should cut back on the excess tea but who needs this kind of negativity? I think I will continue to drink as much tea as I like.

  9. Communicate, don’t shut yourself away
    Get on a virtual call with your colleagues, check in with people. This will make time pass and means that you won’t miss out on any important information.

    Setting up team calls was fun in the beginning. Whilst I want to continue this and check in more with the team, I can’t help but feel that the fun has worn off everyone.

  10. Check yourself
    Have some discipline. If you are procrastinating stop it. Keep yourself in check. Stay ahead.

    I still agree with this final tip. BUT, I have to admit that I am not the perfect human. At times, I think that procrastination is your minds way of telling you to ease up the pressure. I have been working hard but working hard at my own pace.

How have you changed the way in which you work from home?

I love to hear the experience of others.

Soph x

Insta: @crohnswithme

Youtube: Sophie Howard, crohnswithme

Photo taken in NYC. Aug19.

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