When lockdown first hit back in March, I really didn’t care much. I was very happy not to have to drive two hours to the office and back, and not having to think about what I was going to wear or making myself look office-presentable just saved me time and hassle. I was well used to working from home anyway – with 90% of my meetings held online with colleagues from the UK – it was common that I stayed home a day or so each week pre-Covid.
Those first few months felt a little surreal, and I relished the extra time I had – I could pick and choose my routine – I wasn’t forced to do my run first thing before going to work, for example, I could add that into my lunchtime and start work a bit earlier.
But I have to admit that after a wonderful summer and heading into second lockdown, it started to get a bit taxing mentally. It just became difficult getting up and not leaving the house day after day after day. And I realised that even me, as a seasoned work-from-homer, needed to consider some changes to make the divide between home and work just a little bit bigger.
Since I was used to home office anyway, I never changed that routine – I still got up at 6am as I would when going to the office, and I always got dressed – there is no WIP (working in pyjamas) or WIB (working in bed) for me.
It’s the little things that make a big difference.
First thing I did – I started brushing my hair again. Laugh all you want, but sometimes I don’t even think I bothered to look in the mirror in the mornings. I just took the hairband that was beside my bed from the night before, and messily tied back my hair. Good to go. Why bother doing more when a couple of hours later I was going to put on a beanie and go for a walk, or jump on the exercise bike and sweat it out? These days I get up and I brush my hair and I wash my face and I do feel better about the world… and about my appearance.
Talking about appearances, let’s move onto washing hair. I think we’ve all been guilty of this one in lockdown. I’m typically an ‘every two days’ hairwash kind of girl, but during lockdown… the days began stretching further and further apart. I was showering daily, of course, but washing my hair didn’t seem like a priority. It seemed like a bit of a waste of time when no one would see it and I could tie it back anyway! These days I’m doing a bit better – and I guess my husband is happy not to be faced with my oily scalp every morning!
One of the bigger changes I made was to create myself a second office. We’re lucky enough to have plenty of spare rooms, and previously I was using my office for both writing and work. So my writing time started to blur into work time, and I found myself feeling not so excited about writing anymore, partly because I simply didn’t want to spend more time in that same room. We got a second standing desk, another chair, and even some curtains! And because my new office is on the other side of the house, it’s much better for winter, because the sun (when it manages to burn through the clouds) rises over the mountain and shines in the window, so it’s warmer too.
Then I purchased myself some corona-wear – specifically for work. I’ve already written about this in a separate blog here: Corona-wear
I think everyone is different in the way they need to work from home. Some people keep their standard routines and others completely change them.
I like the flexibility of doing exercise in my lunch break, and starting late if I have late calls, or starting early if I want to get to the shops or get some house/garden work done.
And I love my comfy clothes and the time I save not driving to and from the office.
What’s your tricks for working from home? I’d love to hear them!