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The Home Office Conundrum And Why Some Are Still Adjusting

Written by: Vikas Arora, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Vikas Arora

For many people Working from Home was the perk of perks, gaining time freedom to be able to spend more time with our kids, having the flexibility to do school drop-offs and pick-ups etc. What many do not know is that the concept of home working or remote working dates back to before the Industrial Revolution.

A laptop on a wooden desk.

However, around this time, the emergence of machines saw a steep decline in the number of home workers creating a clear line between the work that could be and could not be done at home, with the home becoming what it was meant for – raising a family, sleeping bathing etc.


It was not till the early 70s did we see a resurgence in remote working. This trend continued to increase with improvements in technology and communication with more and more professions embracing the idea of Remote Working as an attractive perk.


Yet there have been several organisations that continue to promote the idea of working from the office, creating environments for collaboration, communal areas, and greater open plan offices to address any concerns of the impact on productivity but also to provide a comfortable environment for the workforce to escape to from home life. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, balanced with the flexibility to spend a day or two a week at home is great and works well for many of us.


However, as a result of the events over the last few years, we see ourselves in a position where we have no choice. Throughout history there have been situations and incidents on a global scale that have required us to address and embrace change, beyond our control and the global pandemic that impacted us all in 2019 has left so many having to adjust to a new way of working.


Find comfort in knowing that the global workforce is facing the immense challenge of still adjusting to the new way of working, for so many on a semi-permanent basis, to then readjusting to the now "hybrid working" with many employers taking a firm stance of being "back in the office".


I know it isn't ideal but folks we don't have a choice, however, we can find comfort in knowing we are not alone. I have been working from home and hybrid working for over 19 years and through my time have picked up a few bad habits but also a few good ones.


I would like to share these with you now, hoping that the following provides you with a few tips, or even just one, that improves and enhances your experience working from home.


So first of all, what not to do

  1. Don't change your working habit from the office, you will be heading back there in due course. If you are used to starting work early, then continue to start work at that time. This also applies to the time you finish work. If you read on your commute to work, then continue that habit. Studies have shown that reading improves intellect, increases empathy and aids in relaxation.

  2. Don't overwork!!! So many of us fall into the trap of working longer hours because we are at home. Psychologically we know we are in the comfort of our homes, so there are no long commutes or traffic-challenged journeys home. This will impact your personal life all – Trust Me – I have been there!!

  3. Don't skip breaks or lunch – "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy" Keeping our energy levels up and keeping hydrated will ensure that we have a productive day and ensure we are operating at our peak.

  4. Avoid working from your bedroom – this is one place you should and if you can, avoid working from. Your bedroom is a place of rest, relaxation and escape from your day. Having a working centre or your laptop in your bedroom is a constant reminder of the work you must do, the email that needs responding and the project that remains unfinished. You want to avoid clutter and mess around your working environment.

  5. Don't stay glued to your screen – you don't do this in the office so why should you do this at home? In the office you will involve yourself in office banter, have a meeting or two, coffee breaks etc. You must have some form of continuity that is not so dissimilar to your office.

...now what to do

  1. "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." – Marcus Aurelius. Start your day by practising gratitude, proven to level set our mindset and create a positive mental attitude. Spend 10-20 minutes exercising your body through Yoga, Walking the Dog or a light jog.

  2. Find the right spot – finding the spot to work in the home is not only imperative to productive working but also to maintaining your well-being. If you are lucky enough to have a space in your home dedicated to a home office then great, if not then ensure that the spot you have chosen is well-lit and ventilated, you have space to move around comfortably and that you have the space to house your laptop or Mac, keyboard, note pad and any other essentials needed to perform your work productively.

  3. Have small breaks between your video calls. Working from home has required us to start using the various tools and technologies out there such as – Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc. Due to the flexibility of these tools, we can fall foul of losing ourselves to back-to-back calls. Take control of your time and book meetings with 5–10-minute gaps between calls. During this time, take a stroll, grab a drink, stretch your legs, and practice box breathing. Stay hydrated, nourished and energised.

  4. Take control of your environment and you – keep the area around your workspace clear of junk, and make sure you have adequate ventilation in the room. Worth having a plant at your desk, invest in some essential oils and a diffuser to keep the air around you stay fresh... my favourite oils for promoting a healthy working atmosphere are Bergamot, Frankincense & Peppermint, give it a go.

  5. Create a playlist that elevates your mood and enhances your working energy. Music is a great distraction from the silence around you or if like me you live in a busy household can drown out the noise around you. Spotify has some great Working from Home playlists to enjoy but there is nothing like creating your own. Personally, for me, a little light Jazz or the Howard Shore complete works for Lord of the Rings is a must.

  6. Take time to grow – through an Inspiring uplifting Podcast ( take a gander at Superhumans at Work), tap into the world of TED or spend 10-15 mins periodically reading a book – The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

The most important and exciting aspect of working from home is time freedom, as well as being close to your loved ones. Make the most of this opportunity as you do not want to look back and say, "I wish...".


Keep your working day as normal as possible, remain positive, and build in some daily rituals that bring change, growth and peace to your daily activities. Most importantly, remember – you are not alone in this. The whole world is on the same journey as you and I.


This too shall pass.


I will end with the following quote from Martin Luther King Jnr. that aptly describes our current state of being.


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website for more info!

Vikas Arora Brainz Magazine
 

Vikas Arora, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Vikas Arora has a long-standing Corporate Career with some of the biggest names in Telco and Technology industry. Midway through his career Vikas began to focus heavily on personal development which awakened a purpose and mission to help, guide and support people in uncovering their true potential and purpose as a Mindset Transformation Coach. As a certified NLP practitioner, Quantum Manifestation, a Member of the International Coaching Federation and through Instagram as well as hosting "Conscious Conversations" Podcast, Vikas is committed to helping others uncover the best version of themselves.

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