Never-talked-about secrets of Work from home(WFH) and how to take care of it
Work from home is not a new thing in town. Even before this dreadful pandemic forced us indoors, 97% of the workforce preferred the flexibility of working from home to improve their quality of life. WFH comes with a package of advantages – a convenient schedule, no hassle of traveling to work, a comfortable environment, and boosting productivity, but if you think that it is a bed of roses, you might want to give it a second thought.
While experts have been researching and debating upon whether it is a boon of technology or a concentration-breaker, people who have first-hand experience working from home have admitted to undisclosed secrets which might be a mix of both. Here are 5 secrets that no one really talks about WFH but you MUST know in case you’re planning to permanently organize an office cubicle in your house!
1. People don’t believe you ARE working
You will be left with a bruised ego when friends and colleagues judge you on the basis of not having a conventional office. To them, it may seem that you can shift your work to any convenient time, accommodate personal stuff in-between office hours, or even that your job is just a hobby. Gradually, this feeling crams your mental peace and makes you feel unworthy, making you one of the 62% of workers who have faced it.
Switch to traditional ‘office language’ while you are working. Refer to your home as an ‘office’, your desk as ‘cabin’ and your conference calls as ‘meetings’. When you use standard office terms, it reflects your solemnity towards your work and people get the message that WFH is as demanding as an actual office.
Respect your boundaries. Treat your work hours at home the way you would have done in an office. People tend to think that you can excuse yourself to attend to them, make it clear that you won’t be entertaining anyone during your ‘office’ hours. The more you stick to your frontiers, the more they will stay away.
2. It gets lonely
Imagine sitting glued to your laptop screen for hours and when you turn your head to look at the person in the cubicle beside you, you can only see the rest of your empty room. Trust me, the struggle is real and 21% of workers have admitted to loneliness is the biggest struggle of WFH. Stuck at home for days at a length can make you feel isolated and lonely.
You forget the outside world, lose contact with others, and get stuck in awkward situations without remembering what to say or do at outings. This is an emotional turmoil, which feels like it is closing in on you, making you somewhat disturbed and unable to think straight.
Plan regular interactions with your colleagues. Use applications like Slack, Zoom, and Skype where you can plan video conferencing and organize in-person meetings from time to time. Take breaks and move out of the house sometimes. Ditch your pajamas, go grocery shopping, take a walk in a park, or even catch up with your friends in the evenings. Look for people who WFH like you and initiate a conversation. Make conscious efforts to walk out of this isolation.
3. You are easily distracted
Working from home gives you access to everything around your work desk, which is unavailable at the office. It often reminds you of chores and activities that are pending, and invite you to complete them. After all, you’re at home, why not take advantage? Right?
The majority of these distractions come from the stack of kitchen dishes, the pile of laundry clothes, the Netflix series you are waiting to binge, and the delivery guy waiting at your doorstep. And just because you’re at home, it somehow becomes your responsibility to see that all of these are tended to with the utmost precision, distracting you from your actual purpose of being at home.
Even though WFH makes it easier, it is necessary that you establish a schedule for everything. At the office, you’ve got a figure in mind to leave the drudgery of the desk and skip back home. Try the same for WFH. Define time according to your schedule, and allot time for all of your daily chores and personal activities. Don’t let your hobbies get into office hours and don’t let your office ooze into your ‘me’ time.
4. It takes time to get used to it
WFH is a complete contrast to working in your traditional office space. It feels weird in the beginning, and you might even start wondering if it is a good idea. However, there are thousands outside who are jealous of your opportunity. As you settle into in, you will soon start working much more than you would have at the office.
When you’re at the office, you want to go back home as soon as possible and when you’re at home; you want to work as much as possible. This can take a serious toll on your health and result in poor personal grooming as well when there’s no need to dress formally or physically be present around people.
Don’t beat yourself with the standards, give it time. Adhere to your limits and boundaries and treat the experience like a new job in a new workplace. Be determined in yourself that you will not overstep in terms of office time or work. No overtime and no extra files. You need not be present 24*7. Take rest and come back with a fresh mind.
5. You never really log-off
As working from home becomes your second nature, you cannot help but fall in the trap of workaholism. Since everything is overly comfy at home, you don’t realize the number of hours you spend on-screen. The quick mail check-in between meals, the calls in between priming pursuits, the last pages of a document during family time, gradually your office will seep into your personal time and individual interests will creep into the office when you take a shower or watch TV during your office hours.
Although this looks and feels exciting initially, it can lead to a disbalance in your life and suddenly you will find yourself doing personal activities during office hours and completing official work during family time.
Learn to prioritize yourself and take a break when your mind and body scream a no. Treat weekends like they are meant to be treated and be easy on yourself. Even while you are on WFH, you still deserve holidays with your spouse and children – so don’t be afraid to book your tickets. Go for movies and dinner, or play games and eat grub or just lay back and relax.
It’s still worth it!
WFH has changed the way people look at their jobs. Now, a larger population of the youth is looking for jobs which gives them a WFH option at least once a week. There’s a reason why 61% of people have considered leaving a job because it did not have a WFH option. Although the practice might have its oh-nos, but still it’s a blessing for all those who want to leave a mark on the society while not wanting to leave the comfort of their snug havens!
As a leading B2B sales and marketing consulting firm who’s working entirely remote since its inception, we have lived both – the struggles and the blessings. However difficult it might be, when you have the leisure to lie down on sick days without asking for an official leave, it all seems worth it!