From WFH WTF? to WFH FTW!

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MVP
Wow, challenging times for us! I would love to use this conversation to share with you how I feel about WFH.

I strongly encourage you to reply, ask questions, participate and contribute :raising_hands:


I think there is a huge difference between "working from home" and "sometimes working from home". So if you almost always wfh, no matter if there is a virus or not, you will probably have a professional set up for your working gear and surround yourself with items, that make your work easy and your day delightful. In our branch of Tech, very likely, you have some geek stuff / Lego / Certificates in your homeoffice. You will have established your routines. When you start and finish your work, how you incorporate family duties into your working day, how you feel about your own work -life balance.

If you only work sometimes from home or just need to work impromtu from home, you are most probably not that equipped (tools) and prepared (your routines).

I am one of those persons, who just Sometimes works from home. About 70 % of my working days, I work on-Site at customers, doing workshops or just work with them on concepts. The rest of my working time i spend at home. Here is what I learned. These are just my individual learnings, not an objective thruth that needs to apply to everyone or is valid recommendation for every single person on the world.

So when our WFH season started, there were a lot of blog posts about "I wfh since 10 years, here is my advice", but they didn't resonate to me. So I wanted to follow all these advices, just because they looked productive and energetic and like as if the authors really had their **bleep** together. But somehow, it just felt wrong to copy/paste someone else's routine into my life.

Advice no1: start your working day early!

Wow, this really sounds like one of those #MondayMotivation Insta posts! But although I tried, it felt wrong. I am just not that person! It is easy for me to wake up very early if I have an appointment and need to be on time SOMEWHERE. So I get up, make myself ready, sometimes even go running in the morning, have healthy breakfast and be on the road. I even manage to document this for insta/twitter :)

But when I am at home, I love to extend my resting time by having a lazy morning. Stay in my PJs till lunch (which is most of a time a salad I buy in the grocery store next corner and I really don't dare to go shopping in my PJs), sort my stuff, get an overview what I shall do and do something else instead. I am at least partially a professional procrastinator.

If I force myself to stick to super productive eat-that-frog habits at home, i get seriously grumpy, don't enjoy what I do, become easily frustrated and would probably start to blame my customers for that. Uncool. Very, very, uncool.

Conclusion: Do what feels good for you. Respect your mood, this will lead to good manners. You are a night owl? Fine! You are an early bird? Fine as well. Make sure, you find the right time to work, because you need to make your work work, not follow a schedule.

Advice no2: commute to your work!

I was very impressed by that one! And I tried. I tried to go outside and perhaps it was not the right time and situation (it was too cold, too rainy, too Monday, too no coffee yet) but I felt stupid going out just to start with work after that.

What worked: Going running, as this became my habit WAY before wfh. So I ran, although it was cold and rainy and dark and Monday and although there was a huge, not so say massive and enormous lack of coffee!

Conclusion: trying to establish new habits in a new situation can be hard. Better modify /adjust your existing habits so they fit into the new situation

Advice no3: dress up/ don't stay in your PJs!

Again. I love my PJs. I do not feel more productive in a nice dress, I just feel prettier. And being more pretty doesn’t make me a better consultant, very unfortunately.

So if you like your PJs, just wear OTHER PJS for work than at night.

I will take a break here and let you think about that. What's in your mind? What works? What doesn't work at all?


3 Replies
You raise a really good point. If you have to work from home but you’re not set up to do so, it’s going to be a less comfortable experience. I know some organisations that didn’t want to spend money on good headsets for making calls. That’s going to be difficult For people and conversations when audio is hard to hear For both speaker and listener.

I really like how you tested out some of the advice given by full-time work from home people. It may not work for everyone. But do take a tip and make it your own. Adjust it to whatever fits your situation.

Totally agree with all your advices. The working atmosphere is so important to drive working productivity. Just like we were trying to build comfortable atmosphere in the office, having an official atmosphere at home during WFH time is also essential when facing serious daily jobs. It inspires me to balance the concept of work and life. I love my PJs for dreams, it should be changed by realizing my dream when working. :lol:

These are some good points! I find myself taking more breaks now that I am settling into WFH everyday, and I feel better overall. So maybe it's something I'm going to push for once "stay at home" orders lapse. 

 

I'd like to change to doing exercise or something different with my commute time I used to have. Just has to get warmer. Chicago keeps going 60 to 30 then back to 60. Eep!

I suspect it may be easier to change routines after a period of time passes.