The year 2020 has been one of great change, not least in how we consider the routines of daily commute and work The Covid pandemic has seen more and more people all over the world being forced to work from home.
Some have found the change extremely difficult while others have relished the new way of working particularly in connection with having the flexibility to be at home, while still being able to get paid. But, does working at home enable you to get more done?
Many people dream of being able to stumble out of bed and begin their workday. They argue that since they don’t have the commute, they can start right away and essentially work during the time others would be using to commute. It is argued that it is less stressful to not have that commute hanging over them. I have been working from my home office exclusively since 2010 and love it.
There is an initial euphoria about doing things in your own time and the feeling of being your own boss – even when you aren’t – that motivates you to work hard and well. But what happens when the novelty wears off? This is where self-discipline and routine must kick in.
There has to be self-discipline in not allowing homelife to intrude on one’s work environment but being able to attend to some family matters when needed is a great benefit. This is probably the hardest aspect of working from home.
Then there is the need to keep motivated to stay on target and not be swayed by that You Tube video that becomes extremely interesting and important or that online game that you know you can be better at!
People who work from home soon learn that there are undeniable challenges associated with it. Are you spending too much time with your family taking you away from your responsibilities to your job?
It is essential your family and you know where the boundaries lay between the “work-you” and the “home-you”. This means you should dedicate a space like an office in which you work. When you are in the office, your family needs to understand that interruptions are off limits, unless it’s an emergency. Although I have to say my cats have great difficulty in understanding this and regularly assist me in work at the computer by contributing via paws on keyboard!
Job burnout can happen just as easily when working from home as it does when you commute to the office. In fact, companies may expect more of you when you work at home and your time is going to be more scrutinized. You may end up working more hours even when you factor in the lack of commuting.
If you work for yourself, then you are likely to want to keep going to get that job done or use the non-commute time to finish off the paperwork, invoicing and so on.
So, in answer to the question raised at the outset of this article, it rather depends on you. Many people need the formalization of travelling to work, familiarity and comfort of their personal workspace, the comraderie and banter with colleagues. To have to spend the time in isolation at a home office would be abhorrent and most unproductive to them.
If however you are the sort of person that can organize yourself, stay motivated to do the job, keep on target and keep distractions to a minimum then the answer will be a resounding yes!