As the lockdown persists, those of us who usually work in an office continue adjusting to the new norm of working from home.
Whether you’re used to working in a busy office, a private hired office, a co-working space, or from client premises, the transition to working from home has been testing for many of us. From technical obstacles to communication barriers to juggling home schooling with work, we’ve all found ourselves facing new challenges.
While working in a collaborative space certainly has its benefits, there are also many positives to working from home, like having fewer distractions, spending less cash on commuting and having more flexibility, that we can continue to make the most of.
Here’s a roundup of twelve things you can benefit from while working from home, some of which you may not have yet considered.
Unless you have the type of job where it’s crucial to be active at certain hours of the day, working from home gives you the chance to be more flexible with your hours.
You might realise that getting up and starting your day earlier than you typically would in the office, works better for you and helps to increase productivity. Working out at lunch time and eating a healthier diet is likely to be more achievable when you’re working from home too, which is another plus.
Maybe running around your local park at lunch time helps you to regain focus or maybe splitting your usual 1-hour lunch break into two separate 30-minute breaks helps you to maintain concentration throughout the day. Now is a chance to discover how you work best.
While you’re at home, you can create the work environment that’s best for you and all in all, find a better home life balance.
Commuting to and from work can feel like a real chore, especially when trains get cancelled and consequently become so full that you have to spend your journey uncomfortably sardined between strangers.
Whether you get the train, walk or drive into work and often find yourself stuck in traffic, commuting can be long and costly.
While working from home, you’re free from the daily stress of travel. The additional time you’ve gained could be put towards engaging in hobbies or learning a new skill.
As well as the personal benefits you can gain from less travelling, it’s also inadvertently benefitting our environment. We’re seeing Venice canals flowing with clear water for the first time in 60 years and air pollution levels across the UK dropping by up to 60%, which has an overall positive impact on our health.
In a shared workspace, you’re faced with daily distractions that are out of your control, like chatter between colleagues, office politics, calls being answered, colleagues asking you questions or passing on extra tasks and kitchen conversations each time you make a cup of coffee.
When you’re in your own space, alone, it’s easier to focus on a task for a longer period of time, undisturbed. With less noise and fewer people needing your time, the chances of your day being productive are greater.
You have full control over the environment you work in at home, which means you don’t need to spend the day shivering under air con, or the opposite – feeling too hot due to a lack of air con. You can choose your optimum temperature and level of noise at home, whether than means listening to your favourite playlist, switching on the tv or working in silence.
If you work in an office, you may have fallen into the habit of working through your lunch break.
Without taking a break from work, your productivity and work performance for the rest of the afternoon is likely to suffer. Having a break allows you to destress and recharge, ready for the second half of your working day. Studies demonstrate that even a brief break from a task can significantly improve your ability to focus on a task for prolonged periods.
Use this time while working at home to reclaim your lunch break. Sit in your garden, do a workout, enjoy cooking, take your dog for a walk or read another chapter of your favourite book. It’s easier to make this time for yourself when you’re working from home and have a wider choice of lunch time activities at your fingertips.
When you’re based from home, it’s almost impossible to be late for work, or meetings.
With your desk now a matter of metres from your bedroom, your morning commute will have reduced to around 10 seconds. Even for those who have impeccable timing, unpredictable traffic can stop you from making it to meetings with clients on time. Over video conferencing, those traffic jams and delayed trains will no longer hold up your schedule.
For those who work in a city, do you find yourself stumbling into Pret, M&S or Sainsbury’s each lunch time? Buying meal deals and extra snacks each day can soon become costly. As well as buying food, browsing the aisles of clothing and homeware stores during your lunch break can be all too tempting.
At home, you can enjoy more time cooking healthy wholesome dishes and resist the temptation of spending money on things you probably don’t need.
Without needing to factor in extra time for travel or having to get ready each morning, you can spend more time sleeping.
The benefits of having more sleep can be life changing, for both your physical health and mental wellbeing. It’s widely known that getting enough sleep is essential to living a long and healthy life. That extra hour or more sleeping each night could help to boost your immunity, increase focus, prevent disease and lower blood pressure.
If you’re working from home with other family members or your partner, you can enjoy spending more time together which is likely to increase feelings of contentment.
Lunches eaten round the table together can become savoured moments and with no commuting, you’ll have additional time to devote to your family in the evenings. For some parents, this will give them more quality time with their children than they’ve ever had before.
If you live alone, you can still benefit from more time with your loved ones, but virtually, catching up over the phone and video. The chances are you’ll be dedicating more time to chatting and completing virtual quizzes with your friends than you ordinarily would.
Is there anyone who doesn’t love spending time with their pet? While you’re working from home, you won’t have to wait all day to spend precious time with your dog, cat or any other animal you might have.
More time spent with a pet is associated with improved mood. The love and affection an animal can provide is great for our mental health and can reduce feelings of loneliness. As well as improving your mood, your furry companion will be even happier too, now that they’re getting to spend more time with you.
Now you’re at home all day, you’ll be around to receive your online orders.
That’ll mean no more annoying those neighbours who are usually left to take in your parcels, no more inconvenient trips to collect parcels from your local depot and no more disappointment when you have to wait even longer for your missed parcel to be redelivered.
While suits and office wear look appealing, it’s not always the comfiest attire to be spending all day in.
In the comfort of your own home, other than when you’re on a video call, you have the choice of wearing whatever you wish. That could mean having a dress down Friday every day, if a comfy jumper and jeans is the type of clothing you work best in.
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