It’s been a little over two months since I’ve been working from home full time now, it’s been an interesting experience. I thought this would be the best platform to share my thoughts.
I have to admit, at the start I was seeking for different resources to help me determine how to best to be productive at home till I realised all the advice people were giving were from people who already either ran their own business or work from home full time. The advice wasn’t come from people who prior to Covid-19 were working in a corporate office that had to commute to each day, with a team of people they worked with, with a leadership team they had to report to.
That type of working from home is so different to “working from home running my own business”, and I know. I’ve done both now and I can tell you they are completely different experiences.
When you work at home for yourself, you ultimately have control over your time. You can decide what time you wake up, what times you eat, what time you finish work. There is a lot to be said for having that sense of freedom. Granted that isn’t to say working for yourself at home doesn’t come wth it’s own handful of challenges.
When you work for home for a company, that time is still not yours. You can’t decide to take a day off cause you don’t feel like working, you need to request for a personal leave and in today’s climate, often you’ll be asked to give a reason why. Maybe even obtain a doctor’s certificate. I’m not saying all corporates are like this, but you get the idea. It’s not the same.
For me the biggest struggle was finding a new routine. In the office I had my routine down pat. Woke up at 6:30am, got ready, prepped my breakfast and lunch and then begins my morning commute to the office, arriving at around 8am to prep my morning tea and then check and respond to emails for around an hour as my coworkers trickled in. And the slew of daily meetings often kicked off around 9am. Generally my days had a lot more structured by nature.
My new routine at home was a bit chaotic for the first month. Sometimes I’d feel motivated, get up my regular time and try and use my commute time to eat a nicer breakfast. Other times I’m totally sleep in right till the 8am mark and struggle into my office half asleep in my PJs. Also my home was my office, so even after 5pm I was still working and just could not mentally switch off (at least at the office at had the drive home as my way of switching off). And even worse, I couldn’t have the typical “water cooler” chats I longed missed that help lift my spirits at work when I was feeling down.
Exercise also started to become a problem, I could tell I was starting to put on a bit of additional weight. I never exercised seriously before, but the constant walking between meeting rooms was still enough to give me a bit of movement. At home? Hardly ever left my chair if it wasn’t to get food, go to the bathroom or go to bed. And honestly if you watch my vlogs, you’ll notice I’m basically in the same room all the time.
Two months in, my routine at home is a lot more down pat. I still miss physically seeing my team daily but have gotten very comfortable with now seeing them on videos daily in their home wear 😀 I’ve picked up a walking treadmill to help with the exercise which I use for any meetings that I’m just required to listen. Tobias and I have set up agreed break times where I stop looking at my laptop or messages that are related to work to help me mentally switch off, one thing we do that I love is that at the end of the work day we always take a quick walk around the block as a transition from day job to side hustle.
All in all, I’m enjoying it a lot more. I’ve adjusted well and whilst I hate what triggered all of this, I really am enjoy the new way of working and am curious to know how other companies adapt over time. So all in all, I’m doing well.