We’ve got California’s Silicon Valley to thank for flexible working – they created the tech that allows us to work from just about anywhere, after all, and gave the green light (in San Fran anyway) for 100% remote working. Closer to home, working from home – be it to wait for a delivery, stay safe from the coronavirus or take advantage of flexible working – has become so commonplace it comes with its own WFH acronym. But if you’re someone that is used to a buzzy atmosphere, regular meetings and business lunches, you’re likely to find working away from the office a challenge at first. Luckily, we’re here to help you settle into a productive and enjoyable routine in your new work environment.
First things first, you’ll need to fire up your laptop from the office and run a diagnostics check, ensuring that you can get in using a given password and that it’s loaded with the right software. Next, think about the paperwork you use on a daily basis and start packing. You might not be able to take your assistant with you but you can certainly put them on speed dial; grab the number for the IT department while you’re at it, too. Finally, take a good look around your desk for things you might need, leaving no paperweight unturned.
If you have face-to-face meetings in the diary, make sure you cancel, postpone or shift these to Skype before heading out – the message to your clients should be that it’s very much business as usual. Change any deliveries that might come to your office to reach you at home, and do a larger than average food shop so you don’t run out of essentials like coffee, milk or toilet paper. Also tell as many people as you can where you’ll be so that they don’t call – or call into – the office by accident.
If you don’t have a dedicated office at home, you might find it hard to get set up at first. Try and find somewhere quiet where you won’t be distracted – this rules out camping out in front of the TV; setting up in the kitchen, where you might be tempted to make (yet another) snack, put a wash on or empty the dishwasher; or hiding out in the bedroom, which should remain a sanctuary for sleep. Choose a room with a good amount of plug sockets, decent wi-fi and some natural daylight if possible, too.
While it might be tempting to get up late and work in your pyjamas, trying to mimic a normal working day is crucial to staying productive at home. As you won’t be commuting, you can nudge the alarm on a little (a bonus) and keep the work clothes firmly in the wardrobe, but you should aim to start and finish work at the same time as usual, factoring in regular breaks and a decent amount of time for lunch. If you’re used to regular trips to the coffee shop, you can get you caffeine fix with a Nespresso machine – you can buy a machine for just £1 when ordering 300 capsules or more. Get in touch for more details and to claim this offer.
One advantage of having your kitchen on hand is the ability to make healthier lunches — kiss those daily Pret sandwiches goodbye and get that KitchenAid mixer out (our members love our 25% discount); you’ll be able to whip up a nutritious lunch in no time and enjoy it in the garden, weather permitting. If you have a gym at home, now is the time to get in that 30-minute workout, or stay in the garden and tackle those weeds — a dose of fresh air and exercise will keep you in tip-top form and reset your brain for the afternoon ahead.
One of the hardest things about working from home is the lack of human contact — try and avoid cabin fever by continually talking to friends and colleagues, shunning emails in favour of making phone calls, and putting the radio on so that you stay connected with the outside world via news updates, music and chat. Remember, too, that there are advantages to not being in the office — you won’t get pulled into unexpected meetings and can avoid office politics, if just for a fortnight. Try and enjoy those little lie-ins, too — that alarm will soon go back to ‘are-you-kidding-me o’clock’.
It’s vital that you maintain exercise where possible to keep the mind and body healthy. It’s also a great time to take advantage of our complimentary 30-minute online wellness consultation with an expert from Peach, as well as a home-based session with a personal trainer. They will help you gain a deeper understanding of your immune system and ensure you stay fit and healthy even if you’re confined to your home. Get in touch for full details and to book. We can also secure 20% off beauty and wellness products from Elemis to help you relax and stay calm.