there is no place like home?
How has it been for you – 8 weeks working from home.
What have you observed and noticed about yourself. Is working from home all you thought it was cracked up to be or are you now racing to the office? How many times had you previously thought oh working from home, yep I could do that……….! Well are you going to remain like many working from home, are you going to mix things up or are you going to reconcile with yourself that you most productive place is the office!
How many have typically faced days like this…….falling out of bed, rolling over to your laptop only to spend the rest of the day in a state of flux before you know it its 10pm and you have had little or nothing to eat, no fresh air and its time to roll back into the unmade bed and start all over again tomorrow.
For many of us working from home is how we chose to run our business. Nicola and I looked at office spaces around Auckland, we looked at shared spaces and we both 100% agreed that Roud Career Coaching had to have an office, a safe confidential place for clients to visit, to spend time in and to be themselves…….We could not emulate that in a city office…..It wasn’t till Nic found images of 20ft shipping containers that had been converted into wonderful office spaces that we both had found our place. Fast forward 5 years and we are so proud of our Global Head Office and it being the safe – relaxed place that clients look forward to turning up to for our coaching sessions. We have intentionally made it both functional yet welcoming. Sure it gets hot in summer and cold in winter but that just adds to the fun…..It also happened to be located on the front of our section on Auckland’s North Shore. My commute is literally 18 steps (depending on kids toys) from front door to office! This has so many health and professional benefits that outway any place! But not everyone wants a shipping container at home, not everyone wants to have work at home….
I have read over the past few weeks how demanding it has been for individuals to switch off from work to home and this is why I wanted to share some thoughts in todays blog that I sincerely hope that should you be wanting to carry on working from home these thoughts might serve as help.
Many global organisations are run from a tiny nook or office from home. Successful business owners continue to make it work. But what are they doing to allow themselves this important switch between home and work.
I want my kids involved in my business, many of my wonderful clients know Louie & Willow, they see them when they are here for coaching sessions (well not in the meetings….you get what I mean). To me my work is my family and this is how I treat each and every client ….an extension of my family.
The common thread that I hear is Nick, I am working more (longer hours) than I have ever done…..Nick, I am not able to stop and enjoy home life because my work is on the dinning room table……
So considerations that might support your ongoing quest to work from home and these are some things I have picked up from others and things I use. So here goes……..
Structure & Routine
Shall we look at each of these areas (of which I am sure their could be more) but lets think about these in more detail.
The night before grab a pen and paper or a journal book and list out the main things you MUST do the next day. Be ruthless on this and be very specific. By making a short/long list will allow your brain to relax into your evening and to spend time with friends, family etc. Try leaving that list on top of your laptop/desk or phone so you know its time to step away and when you come back to things in the morning its the very first thing you pick up / touch…..
Structure & Routine
Human like kids love structure – how ever you lean into this just try it. If you feel like the person who I mentioned at the beginning of today’s blog then HONE in here :). A routine can be a flexible or rigid as you want it to be. Lets look at this more specifically.
If you are not a morning person i/e someone who doesn’t eat in the morning then stick to what you normally do, but I would urge you to put healthy snacks close by, ensure you have lunch and dinner at times that work for you and your family those being 7am breakfast, 12:30 lunch and dinner at 5:30pm……..in order for you to function well and to be in a present state think about drinking plenty of water during the day.
It may be easy to stay in your p-jays for the day but having a shower, and getting dressed for work really does help switch from home to work and at the end of the day switching out of your work clothes back into your p-jays will allow you to switch back to home life….
If you can and the weather allows get outside into the fresh air, a short brisk walk, a run, a yoga class or what ever form of exercises works for you make sure you have this planned into your day, some people love it that at 5:30am they are up and into the pool – others love a late yoga class to help them unwind again look at what works best for you, be flexible around family but try and get movement into your day, (we are humans and we were born to move………)
Play times, this is something that someone recently mentioned to me, Nick you seem to love what you do but when do you play and it got me thinking…….as we head into our winter months the days are shorted and the caveman/women comes out in all of us the last thing we sometimes think about is play time, but grab your diary and plan an small/medium or large get together with special friend you may not have had the time to see in person over the last few weeks, we are doing a pot luck dinner with some mates and it will be so nice to hear stories and to spent some play time with mates…….
Work Times, this is very dependent on what it is you do for a profession. What meetings you might need to be at etc but again I would urge you to stick to routine times say 8:30am – 5:30pm is work……….Somtimes the hard part as we work from home is (oh the laptop or phone is just on the table, let me just grab it and before you know it its gone midnight……………sounds familiar????? Be ruthless with yourself here PLEASE as this will allow so many other things to fall into place. Set up an out of office message on your devises, commute to work colleagues, clients etc that this is when you are checking messages etc. Again trust me when I say this allows you to be in control and not the other way around. Sure you may have times in your week that you need to start earlier or finish later but try to limit these. A good thing I do and something I know others do is to get to a certain time say 5:30 and close everthing down, phone in the draw, laptop shut down or even covered over with a cloth. A friend of mine has a OFFICE CLOSED sign that she made and that goes on her laptop, I love that…….set the times you need to work and set the boundaries – play around with a few things and see what fits and works for you.
One other thing I wanted to mention was space, location – the place you do business/work from. Try to set yourself up with a place that has natural light, grab some plants grab, pictures (what ever makes your space that little more perfect) if you are in an area that has a lot of noise then go get some noise cancelling earphones or just turn up your music and get into it….find a place that is not your bed! You want to remain your pure relaxing place and destination………I have seen spare rooms converted, little nocks under the stairs, a shed, a garage etc all changed and converted into a work-space.
If you are a person who has worked from home over the last few months and you want to carry on doing so, what can your employer do to support that? What conversations need to happen? If you are a person who wants to get back into the office but your employer needs you to work from home then again communicate your thoughts, reasons etc and try to come to a healthy balancing place…..
Working from home will remain a big part of all our lives – get a plan in place, set clear boundaries that work for you, have some fun and don’t beat yourself up if some days you feel you have not done all you should have done, there is always tomorrow…..
Look after yourself and each other
Roud Career Coaching
About Nick Roud
Nick is a Master Certified Executive Coach and is one of the Top3 executive coaches in the world on Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching. Nick partners professionals in their leadership and careers. More information on Nick can be found here