MacBook, black coffee, hipster journal and a killer scenic backdrop. A common image trending on Instagram, usually paired with the ever so popular #OfficeWithAView. I had my own preconceived ideas of what remote working encompassed. 8 months down the line and my experience working from home has erased every assumption I ever formed.
Initially, the idea of my new working environment was daunting. Admittedly, I couldn’t seem to shake visions of myself in pj’s until midday, uncombed hair and distractions galore. What is it really like to have your office space share your home address? What has the impact been on my professional and personal life?
Productivity Is Higher
Our team values each other highly. Therefore, we all inherently genuinely care about one another and the personal lives we lead- a double-edged sword when it comes to our productivity in the office. Since my dog has become my stand-in and possibly favourite colleague of all time (sorry team!), it is very apparent that our social interactions drew me further away from laser focus. Before you paint yourself a lonely picture of my laptop, dog and I, it is worthwhile to mention that absence does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder. Our team camaraderie, appreciation and connection has immensely amplified, along with our intentionality behind maximising daily communication and time spent in each other’s presence.
Boundaries Are Essential
Home becomes work and work becomes home. Work-life balance, in my opinion, is far more challenging when your environment remains the same. Physically stepping out of an office allows you to feel a tangible shift in your state of mind and being. It is therefore vital to create boundaries for a healthy equilibrium. Have a dedicated work station, stretch your legs, ignore the washing, implement core working hours, step away from tasks when eating and practice the integral key to creating a clear divide- learn to switch off your devices and mind to fully enjoy family time and rest.
Since childhood, I have always been inclined to ask for direction and help on projects and tasks. Working independently has allowed me to become far more self-reliant and trusting of my own abilities and judgments. This empowering trait has filtered through into every area and has given me the confidence to become more self-assured in the way I lead my life.
Working from home will impart a plethora of invaluable lessons and benefits. Discipline, reduced travel time, time management skills, an even higher regard for work ethic and perhaps the most significant of all- trust. The trust and unforced accountability that our team has for one another, is something that I greatly cherish. In a world filled with skepticism and mistrust, it is incredibly refreshing and liberating to work with a team who trusts implicitly. I believe that this rarity contributes considerably to the unique bonds we have formed, once again impacting the way in which I nurture and grow my own personal relationships.
Not a day goes by where I don’t treasure and acknowledge the golden advantages I reap as a telecommuter. I hope that businesses across the globe continue to recognize the positive impact remote working has on both their talent and business model. Personally, I look forward to the day when I announce my working location and not be met with the classic indirect hint that working from home = binge watching series all day. Rather, an understanding and respect that I am a regular professional who just happens to have ‘bring your dog to work day’, a lot.