My home has been my office since I quit my job in 2011. It wasn’t cool then, sadly. And the pandemic had not hit, thankfully.
Somewhere between then and now, a lot has changed around me. Something within me too. In the beginning, one of the first things that took a toll was my work. There were way too many distractions. There were way too less nosey colleagues. No swipe cards to trace your movement.
Yes, getting any work done under such a super comfortable environment was tough. Here’s what helped me
Let’s begin with the tough stuff: Discipline
Trust the time management gurus when they say it. Discipline is important – almost life-saving. I had to remind myself time and again that I was working from home. Not holidaying at home. I had to make a schedule of work. Of sleep. Of meal times and chill times. I realised soon enough that the more I stick to it, the better for me and my work.
Caution: Snooze buttons can throw you off track. Stay away.
Work from anywhere, not everywhere
Remote working is working from anywhere. From sitting at your dining table in the midst of chaos or slouching on a way-too-comfy couch in the living room – have tried it all. Nothing tells my brain that it’s at work – till I sit in a designated workspace. A little corner with a table and a chair. It not only tells me that I’m at work but it also tells my family a lot – without saying much.
Psst: This also helps when you want to binge-watch, without any interruption.
Tailor-made for me
The perfect chair. The perfect temperature. The perfect outfit. My favourite plant is exactly where I want to see it. Now I can begin work. Also, my home is a space I created for myself and I love that WFH lets me enjoy more of it.
I answer work calls and doorbells – sometimes at the same time
My home is in order. As I don’t have to wait for that weekend or a holiday for a switch to get repaired or a chair to get fixed. It can happen at any time in the week. The sooner the better for me and my home.
Focus on like in this work-life balance
I had a list of things I wanted to do that I could not do when I was working from the office. I could tick a lot of it and new things are being added to the list every day. I find ways to check the list while I chase deadlines at work. WFH is here for me. I will do what I love, now.
Little joys of life: A cup of tea
I’m already at my workplace when I wake up. So the rush for early morning meetings or the fight to keep calm in the peak hour bumper-to-bumper are off the list. A peaceful cup of tea in the morning is something I didn’t have to compromise on since I started working from home.
Red flags of WFH
WFH is often misunderstood as all-time-time. So, expect after-work calls and urges to chase unimaginable deadlines and keep your guard on. Learn to say NO a little firmly if you want to really continue WFH, the way you want it.
Building my network offline
The moment I turned WFH, I stopped bumping into interesting people at the office canteen or by the water cooler. I had to make efforts to meet new people and build my social circle. The struggle is still on. But I’m getting better at it.
Today, there’s no looking back. Cool, compulsion or comfort – WFH is here for me. And I’m always there for it.
PS: My gratitude to people at Zoom and Meet, internet provider companies, internet service staff and my help for showing up most of the days.