2020 has seen a rise of employees working from home – and this was before coronavirus took over our lives. With nearly a quarter of Britain’s workforce already spending part of their week working from home for childcare and health benefits, the traditional five day week in an office is slowly but surely fading away.
With the lockdown recently extended for a further three weeks and a possibility this could be even longer, those of us lucky enough to be still working have had to adapt to the home office environment full time. This is a different space for everyone, whilst some may have a whole room dedicated to the workspace, others may live in a smaller home, having to be a little bit more creative with the resources available. Whatever your situation may be, here are my top tips to ensure the new 9-5 is a seamless as possible for you.
Now I’m not saying you need to put on your Sunday best, but as tempting as it is to spend the day wearing pyjamas, it’s really not the best habit to get into. Try to get up, shower, and put something comfortable-yet-appropriate on, just as you would for a day at work. If you’re in an entry level fashion job, it’s important to still make an effort and create a good impression – especially if you’re new. Of course the uniform is less formal than it is in the office, but it’s surprising how much a little perfume and a fresh outfit can boost your mood.
Establish a routine
For those who aren’t working the traditional hours, such as freelancers or flexitime workers, it’s super important to determine a routine, especially if you’re cohabiting. Set yourself a structure for the day, if you have kids in the house make time for them while still clarifying the importance of work. It might be worth speaking to your boss and communicating your home situation, together you may be able to work on a structure that is suitable for everyone.
Make the space yours
For those who don’t have a home office, try to resist the temptation of working from your bed – at least for the majority of the time. If you’re fortunate enough to have some spare space you can buy a small desk for less than £100. If not, use the dining room table as a makeshift workspace, as long as you’re sat up properly the majority of the time, it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel as set up as you would in the office. Now is the time to make use of that creativity!
Even though working from home can feel less formal than being in the office, without the presence of colleagues around it can be easy to miss out on those tea breaks normally taken with your work bestie. It’s really important to make sure you step away from the screen every hour or so, why not recreate the kitchen experience by quickly checking in on a friend while waiting for the kettle to brew?
Embrace the power of video call
I know the constant pressure of video chats can feel like a chore, but they’re also an extremely important form of contact – and for some the only face to face communication. If you’re one of the types of people who swears by the concept of meetings ‘being able to be done in an email’, consider the importance of that face to face contact. Whilst the purpose of a business call is to get a result, there’s sure to be some light conversation in the midst, a discourse you’ll be sure to value in moments where you may feel a little lonelier.
Once the pandemic ends – and I can assure you it will, the argument for flexitime will surely be more valid than ever. Whilst working from home may have been a distraction for some, the fact we have all now been forced to this situation has left no choice for individuals to replicate the office experience at home. If your workplace isn’t so flexible, now could be the time to speak to fashion agencies about other positions, as this could also be beneficial for employers in the future, with the opportunity for a job to be completed remotely therefore widening the potential talent pool. When this is all over the world of work will be completely different, and it should be a lot easier for everyone to navigate.