Centuries ago, most of the greatest scientists and artists, from the two ‘ends’ of the world, operated from their homes. Most had their study, art room or laboratory in their homes. Similarly, the scholars of the far and middle-east taught their students from their homes or in mosques, churches, synagogues and monasteries. As they got to collaborate together, communal schools and laboratories began to spring up. With time, working together in organisations became common and people left their homes in droves to go to work in distant places.
We are probably going back full circle earlier than we might have either expected or planned, thanks or no thanks to COVID-19. Working remotely will become more of the norm than less. And it will probably be good for everyone as well as the environment. The benefits of working from home are many. Some are:
- You save commuting time, which can be hours daily for some cities and people,
- With the above comes savings in effort and perhaps increased presence of mind in doing whatever work it is that we do,
- Less vehicles on the road with the consequential benefits to the environment
- Financial savings to individuals and organisations, etc.
To be able to do your work well and responsibly remotely, you may need an appropriate home study or office. Interestingly, you don’t need to break the bank to convert some facility in your home into an appropriate workplace to enable you do what you can do at your office. Some of the things you need are:
- A comfortable work table and chair,
- Sufficient lighting, the more of the sunlight you could have in the better,
- Internet connectivity,
- Your laptop and a back-up storage facility for your documents
- Video conferencing facility
- A multi-functional coloured printer, etc.
Your exact requirement will be peculiar to your needs and the requirements of your work.
To maximise the benefits of working from home, there should be a few rules that you must enforce.
- Be clear about what you can get done at your home office and remain alert and focussed,
- Create a routine that you must stick with,
- Other family members must give you required space when ‘at work’ in the home office,
- Your home office must be quiet and serene.
Done right, operating from your home study or office could easily enhance your productivity by fifty percent if only commuting time is considered. It could be more if time wastes at work are considered.
But there are things you must do to remain alert and keep the motivation in working from home.
- Stretch from time to time in the office,
- Schedule breaks and take a walk in your neighbourhood,
- Keep health snacks handy,
- Keep out the frustration of being alone and learn to enjoy your company,
- Schedule out-of-home office meetings at nearby convenient and safe locations, etc.
Despite all the benefits possible, some people aren’t still comfortable working from home and some even feel ‘guilty’ about it! But this is unnecessary if you realise and accept that the whole purpose of your going to work at an office twenty kilometres from your home is to get some job done. If you can get the same job done from your home, the objective remains achieved.
Of the good COVID-19 has changed the times, this is definitely one!