Most of us were forced to switch to remote working at the beginning of the year. I have to admit that although in our company Mudita, we were prepared for this mode of work, it wasn’t quite easy. Or at least in my case. Working from home, combined with the help of a teenage kid who started remote learning at the same time and a dog - happy that his “mummy” is at home. It was sometimes a nightmare.
It took me a good few weeks to work out the right logistics of work. The worst moments were when this invisible border between work and home was blurred.
And how about you? Do you have a well-proven solution that you could share here?
@urszula - I totally agree that working from home in the times of this pandemic is not an easy task. You are absolutely right, that it is extremely hard to divide your work and home duties. I can imagine it is a bit easier for non-parents, as they can organize their day much better (but still with a high dose of self motivation), but for parents it’s almost impossible.
Even though both my wife and me were at home for the most time, organizing our life was tricky - remote work (both my wife and me), remote school (our 8 years old son), remote kindergarten (our 6 years old daughter) and the youngest one (2 years old daughter) craving for attention all the time. So what we did was taking turns - my wife working for 2-3 hours, while I was taking care of the kids and home and then we switched again and again. It was not a perfect solution, since we were almost never able to end our work day in “normal” hours, but for us nothing else worked. It surely blurred the work-home border, but that was the best plan we could come up with.
I second the question about the well-proven solutions - with the highly probable return of the pandemic in the fall season, they might come in handy. Thanks!
I did it for 2 years while working in video game development. It was awful, and in the end the only way I could figure out how to make it work, even after renting my own office suite near home, was to find different work. I need clear boundaries in life, and it was a tough lesson to realize that I couldn’t just “go with the flow” or do the “convenient” thing that everyone else kept telling me was ideal. It wasn’t for me. I’m paid a lot less now working at a brick and mortar job, but I’m much, much happier. I encourage others to trust their gut, too, rather than get swept up by the hype of a supposedly “gravy” situation that is anything but when you actually have to live it.
Very well said! Thank you @boneblack !
I’ve got more stress acne than I have in a long time. I’ve gained some weight and started having stomach pain more frequently. With that being said, I’ve spent a lot more time working on my blog/website and it’s been really helping my mental health. I can’t wait to ditch my smartphone and get something simpler and be less distracted by YouTube videos, articles and looking up stuff when I don’t really need too.
I understand you exactly. In the first weeks of working online, I also had problems concentrating. It was just that there were a lot of things distracting me, not only social media but just being at home inspired me more to do housework rather than work.
I think it’s good to set boundaries. The family is also supposed to know that you are working during the given hours and you are “unavailable” at that time.
As to talk about my experience, I set such boundaries with my son. In addition, I logged out of all social media accounts on the computer, and I keep on leaving the phone in the bathroom so that I would not be tempted.
I also stopped buying sweet snacks and set exact times to eat meals. What I have in unlimited quantities is access to water.
It happens that I sometimes miss people. Fortunately, I work in a fantastic team like Mudita, and in moments of “loneliness”, we video call each other. But not only. I take my dog for an hour walk at least once a day. At that time I make sure go to places where I will definitely see other people.
Putting your thoughts on paper is also a fantastic idea. So I think if writing a blog helps you, just keep doing it.
I wish you all the best and good luck in creating your perfect place to wor!. I also keep my fingers crossed for the decision to ditch your smartphone in favor of a simple device. I would love to read soon how you are doing.
A few quick tips here from someone who’s been work at home for… about 6 years now?
I “commute” to work and home daily. Even if this is just a bike ride, or a walk. Put that at the start and end of my work day as another barrier between home and work life. Keeps a bit of the old routine.
I avoid doing chores on breaks or lunch. I find it really helps to treat a “day in the office” just like I would if the office wasn’t adjacent to my bedroom. When I’m at work, I’m at work. When I’m done, I’m done. I only sit at that desk for the hours someone is paying for me to be, and when I’m being paid to be “at work” that means I’m not handling the day to day stuff.
Keep my office area or at least my desk clear of day to day things. Phone stays on me just in case of emergencies, but that’s it. My workspace is just that; my workspace. It’s a space for doing work. Nothing from outside of that space comes in, nothing from inside of that space migrates out.
Dress for the job. I mean, my job is casual attire anyhow, but just because I’m working at home and I can doesn’t mean I sit around in pajamas or gym clothes all day. Before work I dress for work.
I find in general the more you can do to treat work at home like it’s not at home, the better. Don’t let life creep in to work, don’t let work creep in to life. There’s bound to be a little crossover, it’s all about minimizing it and establishing a routine that helps you separate the workday from the rest of your daily life.
@John_Higginbotham, thank you for sharing. It is very interesting. I have to try it myself while online working.
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I have created some kind of ritual for home office working days. Some things are obvious to you guys, but I am listing them anyways!
- Wake up at the same time, as if would have to commute.
- Make the bed - it gives me the sense, that I have already accomplished something, even the small thing like this.
- Take a shower - ALWYAS, and every day in the morning. It gives me mental clarity.
- Dress decently - I won’t lie, sometimes I like working in my sporty tracksuits since they are comfy. But I always make sure they are nice and clean.
- List tasks for today to be accomplished. It helps me to get more organized and prevents stress overload.
- Eat regularly. I try to set up breaks during the home office day and eat at specific times. It prevents me from going to the fridge all the time!
- Eliminate distractors. In the beginning, I thought it is better to have something playing in the background like a TV, but I found out it just distracts me, even if I don’t pay attention to it.
- No major home duties during working hours. I don’t do stuff that requires more than 15 mins of my time. This doesn’t apply to do doing laundry since I do it every day and I am kind of addicted to having everything clean.
I’m sure I could find a few more, but the general idea is to teach my brain that it’s at work, even when I am physically at home!