The easily distracted person’s survival guide to working from home.
It’s happening. Office workers all over the country are being told to pack up their work laptops, locate the charger for said laptop (shit), access VPN (argh) and work from home.
This time just over a year ago I jacked in my own office job to go freelance. I have valiantly battled through my first year of hermitude, and oh! The lessons I’ve learned.
For the home is but a jungle of distractions. Here’s how to be ready.
Remove all housework from eyeline
If you can’t shove it in a cupboard, remove yourself from where you can see it. Work from a spare room, a box room, a closet, the downstairs loo, wherever; just find the neatest space in your house and sit in it. Clear space, clear mind. Plus, the smell of Domestos can really focus your thinking.
Yes, it’s March! But at 11am when all traces of central heating have evaporated from your home, it will feel like Alberta in January. Layer up your socks, stick some thermals on under your trousers and get out the blankets and fingerless gloves. You’re a digital nomad now, Susan.
Turn off your doorbell
Unless you want all the parcels in a two-street radius to be delivered to you, ignore the doorbell. Turn it off. Smash it. Bury it in the garden.
Manage your new colleagues
These are your pets! Or, if the schools close, your children. Either way, you’ll need to learn how to type while stretching your arms around large, smelly and complaining creatures who are sitting on your lap, while repeating “I fed you ten minutes ago. You cannot be hungry.”
Get outside at lunchtime
We all know fresh air and exercise are good for the mind and body. But, let’s be honest, this is the only thing that will force you to put on more than just your pants.
Control your socials
Free from the office, you may be tempted to cavort freely in the land of Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook, not to mention Slack or email related work banter as your home-working colleagues share pictures of their £30 Deliveroo lunches. Don’t bend. Don’t break. Get a social media blocking app, or restrict yourself to short time windows to check in.
Discover your new-found productivity
With fewer meetings and no chance of senior management wandering in, seeing you and remembering they needed to ask you to do something utterly pointless — there’s a good chance you might actually get some work done. Good luck!
I’m Penny, a freelance copywriter and content strategist. If you’re able to consider hiring a freelancer in these uncertain times, please do! We are lovely and useful, plus every bit of work we get helps us manage the financial implications of COVID-19.
Picture credit Ella Jardin, Unsplash.