The world of work changed dramatically, possibly forever, in early 2020, when Covid 19 exploded on the scene in the UK and across the world. Almost overnight, as the country went into lockdown, workplaces closed their doors and many people started to work from home, possibly for the first time in their lives.
I have been a homeworker by choice, running my own management consultancy, for twenty years. Now, like everyone else, I am self -isolating, confined to the house, garden and ‘Cowshed’ – but it’s not such a big deal for me as it might be for those conditioned to office life.
Here are some of the survival tips and techniques I have learned since working from home.
1 I get ready – shower, dress, eat breakfast – every morning, as if I was going out to work. Otherwise I might still be in my PJs at lunchtime.
2 I set myself a work goal for that day to give me a sense of achievement when I deliver it. It’s my way of staying fresh and motivated.
3 My mind is most creative first thing in the morning so that is when I do the important and innovative stuff. Admin and routine calls can be dealt with later in the day.
4 I like loud music in my home office, particularly if I am concentrating – Dire Straits, usually.
5 I work at the same desk every day, never at a table in the main house - it keeps me business-minded.
6 I notice that, when I am really focused and ‘in the zone’, time elapses at a different, much faster pace: ‘Wow! is it that time already?’
7 Clients seem to like leaving their city offices to meet me at ‘Cowshed HQ’ out in the sticks. (Please note not applicable during lockdown)
8 I like the separation of home from office (which is in a separate building (an ancient cattle barn in the garden) ten yards away from my back door.
9 Last week I completely tidied up and decluttered my office. It is immaculate. It gave me a sense of control over some part of my life in these crazy times.
Like everything in life, there are a few potential downsides:
1 Nobody handy to bounce ideas off or to provide another perspective.
2 No instant feedback, positive or negative.
3 No social chat, comradeship or fun.
My solution is to keep up regular contact via phone, Facetime and Zoom.
However, on balance, I still prefer working from home. Billy no Mates!