3 Things I have learned about working from home over the last 12 months.

With the current situation in the UK and the world so many people are working from home. I have heard mixed reviews from people with regards to how they are managing their day and work.

After a 16 year career in the British Army working in many different environments around the world and constantly on the move away from home the end of my career was staring me in the face. What was I going to do and how would I fit into the office environment? In the end an opportunity found me! The best part was that it was remote working meaning I could work from home, brilliant! I have been working from home now for just over 12 months at Combat Pest Control where I run the operation. When I started I thought wow this will be amazing being able to do my own thing at home and work. No childcare for the kids, long lunches and no commute, perfect!

Over the next twelve months I learned three key points:

  1. You have to be disciplined: At first I was carrying out my normal morning routine and being ready to start work for around 8am which worked well in terms of the family routine as well. Now what would happen depending on the type of day the business was having was I could end up working hard and not realising that it was nearing 3pm and I wouldn’t have eaten lunch or had any fresh air. This is something that is extremely detrimental to health and wellbeing or, I could spend time on meaningless things like scrolling social media which didn’t achieve much whatsoever. It also meant the same at the end of a day as well where I found myself saying oh I will just do one more thing which sometimes ended up finishing at 6pm but then working again from 7-9pm. All of this caused friction in the household in some way shape or form. The key takeaway from this is to be as disciplined as you would be if someone was watching over you in a workplace. Basically you must be accountable not only to the business but to yourself.
  2. You have to set a routine: The fallout of the first point is to set a routine and was key in helping me become more productive and improved my mental wellbeing. I would have a key start time in the morning with a twenty minute break mid-morning to allow a break from the desk. Lunch is key and is something I have for 30-45 minutes depending on workload but is something that has to happen. The issues you can have which again creeped in within the early days were that it was too easy to spend an hour in front of the TV and eating. Before you knew it you were behind the curve when you went back which had a knock on effect on the rest of the day. You MUST implement a routine to abide by, write it down if necessary and affix it to something you look at all the time or programme it into your actual diary that we all use.
  3. You must be under no illusion that it can be a lonely place: Working from home is lonely FACT. I went from a job where I would see loads of people daily to hold conversations with to literally not seeing anyone whatsoever until the kids get home from school. You miss out on the workplace banter and human interaction which can be difficult for some. Most of the conversations you have working from home are business related. You have to make time to ensure you are keeping in touch with your network and spending time with your family. I have to level with you that I still haven’t got the balance rite with this one in terms of my social life but the family life is great. It is something I am really working hard on and constantly improves.

Working from home is difficult and doesn’t come naturally to most. It takes hard work and dedication for most to make it work. The current situation in the UK sees so many being told to work from home and I hope that these three points can maybe help someone to make it easier to do their job effectively at home. Always ensure that you hold yourself accountable for your output and you won’t go far wrong.

If you want to reach out on any of my social media to chat about other aspects of this please do so!

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