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Working From Home: What We've Learnt

1th February 2021

Depending on personal perspective, the last twelve months have either flown or crawled by. More lockdowns and firebreaks than we care to count, Eat Out to Help Out, Christmas, oh and did we mention lockdowns, have come and gone with pretty much one constant: working from home. 11 months on from our initial blog on the topic, we’re diving back into our original advice to see if those pearls of wisdom are still applicable this far down the line. We’ll keep this short, even if we were wrong we wouldn’t admit it!

At the start of Lockdown One we put our heads together (virtually, no Covidiots to be found here) and came up with six pillars to construct a rock-solid plan to not only survive but be productive working from home. If you can’t remember the original blog, shame on you, but here they are just to jog your memory:

 

  1. Leave your morning routine unchanged.
  2. Establish your space.
  3. Set some ground rules for working conditions.
  4. Keep regular hours.
  5. Never underestimate the power of a good break.
  6. Stay connected with your colleagues.

 

So, are any of these as obsolete as the simple handshake at present? Let’s be honest, Alex loves a detail and diving at depth into each point would make him beyond happy, but we’ll keep it to what has worked well for us.

Routine Is Still King. We suggested leaving your morning routine unchanged, maybe in hindsight that works in the short-term; after-all this time last year no-one foresaw our current situation enduring beyond 2020. Building a new routine never hurts either, both for your morning and around your working day, creating consistency and leading to productivity.

Communicate! We miss the Foxwood Den most for its buzz, it’s atmosphere, the way we feed off each other’s energy to make the good days great and the bad days better. Although that can’t be replicated in a home office, make sure you pick up the phone to your colleagues: they may have some news that picks you out of the doldrums or vice-versa!

We spoke previously on establishing a working space, some ground rules and never underestimating the importance of regular hours interspersed with breaks. Throw a new or rediscovered hobby into the mix such as learning an instrument, working out, learning a language, doing DIY, even standing under a cold shower or doing snow angels in your pants like Wim Hof and these breaks become a treat rather than a necessity. These are essential, fact, but putting your productivity to one side for a minute, hobbies lead us on rather neatly to this next point which is arguably the most important for your mental wellbeing.

Find Separation. No, not divorce you pessimist. With hindsight, this point only really comes into play after extended periods of working from home. You have a bad day working from home in lockdown. There is no commute, trip to the gym or pub or change of location to vent and if space is at a premium at home, you may well even be spending your down time in what is essentially your office. Finding a way to log off mentally from work at the same time as you close your laptop is critical. Take a walk (other exercise methods available), hide all evidence of your work, do a jigsaw, the list is endless… but just do whatever works for you otherwise burnout beckons! 

So that’s just about all for this instalment of Foxy News! Hopefully this provides some food for thought on the challenges of working from home for prolonged periods, also, on the topic of food, you’ve earned at least one biscuit for getting this far. And please remember that if you are in the market for your next hire, or need some confidential careers advice to get back into work in this uncertain period, give our team a call on 01633 749400 or drop an email to hello@foxwoodrecruitment.com and we’ll do what we do best!

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