The bright side of working from home during a lockdown
When the lockdown was first imposed, those of us not used to homeworking full-time wondered how we’d ever adjust to such an unusual set of circumstances.
Though as time has gone on, with the days of isolation becoming weeks, it turns out a great deal of the workforce have been able to make this uncharted territory work for them. What’s more, despite some of the complications of working from home, such as juggling work with young children in the house, maintaining a work-life balance and keeping spirits high, we’re starting to see several great perks from not going into the ‘office’ every day.
So, if today is one of those days where you’ve taken a break at an odd time (because you can) and you’ve got your feet up on your desk (also because you can), read on to find out the little things that can bring you and your people joy at a time when we all need some light relief.
PERK #1: Your A to B is significantly shorter
If you’ve just caught up on the last decade’s worth of sleep, you can thank your reduced commute time for that one. Forget being stuck in traffic gripping the steering wheel impatiently and wishing you’d left just 10 minutes earlier – you now only need to make the journey from your bed to the kitchen and then finally, your desk. And if you’ve forgotten your laptop/lunch/presentation notes, fortunately, they’ll only be a room – rather than another gridlocked drive – away.
PERK #2: You can make judgement-free fashion choices
For most of us, there’s a portion of our wardrobe that doesn’t get to leave the house, and you’ll likely identify these items as your comfiest clothes. The ones that also never get introduced to the iron. If today’s attire is a good impression of The Lion King meets Flashdance (complete with a little bit of toothpaste that missed this morning) – that’s OK. Though if you do feel like showing off your newfound fashion sense, turn on the webcam during a video call to brighten a colleague’s day.
PERK #3: You’re probably getting more work done
Have you found that you’ve been spinning those plates more efficiently during your working hours amid the lockdown? You aren’t alone. Studies have revealed that working from home has a marked improvement on productivity levels, as well as contributing to greater feelings of being valued. So, there’s no stopping you from powering through that to-do list in order to finish your day on time and get back to binge-watching your favourite shows on Netflix.
PERK #4: You can ‘bring your pet to work’ every day
No longer do we need to look at the sad little faces of our animal companions as we leave for the office, with them wondering if we’ll ever return. Working from home, you can benefit from pet therapy on-demand, whether that’s having a cuddle, watching their antics as they try to bring playtime forward each day or promoting them as your new working ‘assistant’. Just don’t expect them to bring you coffee.
PERK #5: Your lunch is exactly where you left it
Were you experiencing kitchen gremlins in the office before the lockdown? It’s a very real problem for the food lovers who have had their greatly-anticipated lunches and snacks go walkabout. But at home, unless you cohabit with someone who is one of those prime suspects at work, fear not, as you’re guaranteed to be reunited with last night’s homemade chilli. And even better – you don’t have to queue for the microwave to heat it up.
PERK #6: Your odd jobs don’t have to wait until the weekend
Got a pile of laundry that’s trying to compete with Mount Everest? With more flexibility in your day-to-day, you can tick some of the things off the list that would otherwise usually wait until the weekend when you’ve recovered some energy again. Whether it’s a drive-by putting on the dishwasher as you make a cup of tea, or you feel compelled to attack your ceilings with a duster, build some more ‘wins’ into your day.
PERK #7: You’re saving plenty for a rainy day
If the temptations of the office canteen or local shops were just too much to bear before the lockdown, give thanks for now putting less stress on both your wallet and your waistline. That is, of course, if you’re still managing to get hold of your much-loved staples such as pasta and bread. You’ll also notice you have more money in the piggy bank now – unless you’ve broken it with copious amounts of online shopping – from not having to do those endless trips to the petrol station since your petrol is no longer being guzzled whilst you sit in traffic jams.
PERK #8: You’re able to see more of your loved ones
With all of this additional time on our hands and with many of us remote working, we’re now seeing and communicating with our loved ones more than ever before. Whether it’s having more dedicated time with your children, partner or parents at home, or making more time for phone and video calls with friends and family – the chance to better connect with our nearest and dearest is arguably the greatest lockdown perk of all. The only thing left to do is to thrash everyone at the weekly virtual pub quiz!
HCM Divisional Director
The Access Group, UK