Few of us are strangers to working-from-home these days. And while it certainly has its appeal – putting laundry on early, an incredibly short commute, direct access to the snacks cupboard and better work-life balance – living where you work and working where you live can lose its lustre quickly.
Pre-pandemic, I worked from home for several years and they were, and are, some of my best working days. You’re in control of your environment, you can take care of your home and personal time and relationships…
What’s not to love? Well, for starters, bringing your workplace into your home can affect and blur boundaries. Pyjamas at a uniform and enjoying a longer breakfast slot can soon become commonplace and, like many things, lose its magic.
But fear not: there’s always a way to create everyday magic…
Plan in a ‘reward’ or fun activity
Like I’ve mentioned time and time again, I’m firm in creating a physical line between work hours and my own hours. So whenever I clock off from ‘work’, I’ll pack my desk away so it’s back to it’s usual state and then take a shower. I also think it’s important to plan something to look forward to when work is finished, even if it’s still in the same space. Perhaps that’s returning to the same desk after a short break to play a cosy PC game, or maybe it’s enjoying a coffee-and-homemade-cake break for 30 minutes in your favourite corner of the house. Or it could be the freedom to make best use of no commute to see a friend before dinner and general house errands.
Update your workspace
For many of us, our workspaces were haphazardly put together in late March 2020 and they’ve since stayed like that as we expected to return to the office. I’m hugely influenced by the environment around me, and so I regularly change up my working area – sometimes even on a weekly basis when I clean the room! Whether it’s making a few practical tweaks or adding some aesthetic touches, never underestimate the power of a well-put together workspace that’s both easy on the eye and enhances your workflow.
Work on your terms
I appreciate that not everybody may have the luxury of working on their own terms, but a big benefit of working from home is that you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Pop a wash on before you start work and make best use of your commute time.
Watch (or listen to!) your favourite comfort show as you prepare for that big meeting or presentation. Spend your lunch break prepping food fresh or catching up with a loved one. Take meaningful breaks from work to prepare a snack, catch some air or make the drink you want rather than what’s available in the shared office kitchen. Blending personal life on your work-from-home days is the most simple form of everyday magic.
What is one way that you could make a work-from-home day feel magical?