Gemma Robbins-Flowerdew, a Talent Attractions associate based in Singapore, shares four unexpected lessons working from home has taught her.
When I first started working from home, I was not the best at it.
I did not know when to stop working, I was wearing leggings with my Beyoncé 2013 tour shirt most days, and I was struggling to figure out what I should have to eat each day now I didn’t have lunch provided by the office daily.
I realised quickly I had to take a new approach not only for my own physical and mental health, but also for the wellbeing of my beloved Beyoncé shirt (which would soon wear thin if I carried on wearing it all the time).
With more companies now offering work from home opportunities, I thought it may be helpful to share what lessons I have learned about flexible working so far.
1. Get dressed for the day ahead
Staying in PJs threw me out of my routine and made it harder to ease into the ‘work’ part of my day and knowing when to end it. Getting dressed as if I am heading to the office gets me in the right headspace to work and perform effectively.
I also have a lot of remote calls with my colleagues and it’s nice to see their faces – it might (possibly) be nice for them to see mine too. Getting ready for the day as normal makes me feel that I am ready for those calls too – including the last-minute ones!
2. Keep as active as possible
Virgin Pulse is a great benefit available to employees at Indeed that allows people to keep track of their healthy habits and challenge each other.
Being involved in these challenges and having a way of monitoring my habits has helped to ensure I remain healthy and active while working remotely.
For people trying to stay home as much as possible during this time, there are tons of videos available online that allow you to get a quick workout in the comfort of your own home over your lunch break, at the end of your day or during the time you would have spent commuting.
3. Take breaks
When I first started working from home, I found it difficult to tear myself away from my screen to take breaks or end my work day at an appropriate time.
Working remotely meant it was up to me to create the boundaries between work and home and tell myself when it was time to stop working.
At lunchtime now, I close my laptop and the door to the study to separate myself from my work. I make something to eat, get settled in the living room – a ‘non-work’ space – and watch a 20-30 minute show (usually Brooklyn Nine Nine!) before heading back to work
It’s hard to switch off but making plans for after work forces me to make a hard stop. Going to the supermarket to grab food for dinner, making myself exercise, or arranging time to catch up with a friend has helped me to end my work day.
4. Stay connected!
It can be easy to disconnect from the people you work with regularly as well as those you may catch up with in the kitchen sometimes.
We have a lot of tech available to us in order to maintain our relationships with each other.
One of my colleagues in the Singapore office has set up a daily Zoom call that allows people to drop in and catch up and we have a very active social channel for everyone in our office too which helps to keep us engaged.
Sending a quick Hangout or Slack message to someone to check in on them can help to brighten up their day as well as yours.