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HOW TO EMBRACE A WFH LIFESTYLE
There's no denying that 2020 has caused everyone to make some significant adjustments to everyday life in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing are perhaps the two most obvious and drastic changes to the way things look in the outside world, but for many people, there has been an even more far-reaching change. Working from home has become mainstream almost overnight. Previously an open secret shared by freelancers, contractors and budding entrepreneurs, this year the concept of giving up the daily commute and embracing a WFH lifestyle has been brought into the lives of millions, willingly or unwillingly. While some miss the social aspects of office life, others have welcomed the extra hours in the day that used to be taken up by commuting, as well as the significant financial savings. However, working from home does involve some outlay, but the good news is that it need not cost much to create an environment that is both functional and stylish.
One of the big problems with working from home is creating a space that is conducive to getting things done. If you already have a room that serves as a study, spare 'hobby' area or even a man cave, it isn't too difficult to re-purpose it and make it suitable for a professional level of working life. However, for those in more cramped accommodations or anyone with a family, it can be more challenging to find the space. Even so, ultimately, a WFH lifestyle simple needs the setting up of boundaries and some thought as to how you can create a bubble environment that allows you to get on with work.
Having the tech you need shouldn't mean extra outlay either. The ubiquitous nature of decent home broadband speeds means that work commitments shouldn't be more of a drain on your internet resources than feeding your Netflix or gaming habits. Likewise, a decent laptop will already most likely have all the software you need to get going. Even a tablet or reasonably new smartphone can be called into action with the addition of a Bluetooth keyboard and other accessories.
One thing that you might take for granted at work but be lacking at home is furniture suited to working for hours at a stretch. Although the image of lazing on the couch with a laptop in a personalised lap tray and a coffee whilst sending a few emails might be a cliché of the WFH lifestyle, it's one that soon evaporates back into the dream world from which it came. You'll need a desk, table or adjustable standing desk to work at and a good, comfortable and supportive chair that offers more than your dining table or TV lounging versions. You also need to think about any additions or changes you should make to create a more suitable working environment in the home. For instance, a light, airy feel in a room can help you stay alert and focused, but security and privacy do need to be taken into account. Using white shutters could be the answer as they offer you the chance to regulate the amount of light coming into a room while also giving you control of who can see in through the window.
For anyone just starting as a WFH convert, it might seem strange to talk about clothing. For the uninitiated, wearing whatever you feel comfortable in will seem to be the most obvious advantage of working without leaving the house! Once again, the idea of 'boundaries' soon comes into play as it is essential to have routines that set up clear lines between being 'at work' and being at home. No one is suggesting that you get suited and booted to go into your spare room office, but making an effort to dress differently than you might do on a day off really can help get you into a working mindset. Of course, it also makes it easier to avoid those truly embarrassing Zoom call style fails.
Only a few months ago, many people whose work didn't involve operating heavy machinery or being tied to a particular job-specific location might have been dreaming about what it would be like to be freed from commuting. However, not going into the office each day can bring problems too. If you live alone, the issue of loneliness could arise, and if you have a family, their cooperation is essential when you are working at home. Most of us at one time or another will have wondered what working from home would be like, and some will have found out recently that they prefer the idea of 'going out' to work. However, many others will have been given a chance to explore a new life/work balance and be looking for ways to make a WFH future become their own new normal.