Over the years I’ve oh-so-often been told by people how very lucky I am to have the kind of job in which I get to be flexible with regards working in the office or occasionally working at home. And yes- it’s occasionally been a Godsend – but that doesn’t mean it’s always plain sailing, as many people now facing home working under somewhat less-than-flexible circumstances are discovering during the lockdown. Introduce factors such as kids, noisy neighbours and of course the general strain of a global pandemic and it can feel very much like an uphill struggle.
Thankfully, with the aid of these five simple essential must-haves, you’ll get by just fine.
1) Coffee. If you were in your actual office, you wouldn’t even consider starting the day without a coffee or equivalent to get you going in the morning, would you? Of course not – and just because your current workplace is a matter of meters away from where you woke up, that’s no reason not to get up, get showered, dressed and start your working day fresh and feeling as you would any other. Supplies for hot or cold drinks are key for the day, so stock up from your local store the day before.
2) A Decent Laptop. Or if you prefer, desktop. NOT a tablet. You need something you can type on, open emails on, create documents and spread sheets on… You don’t know how long working from home might be an issue, so if needed its well worth investing in the hardware that will reward. Thankfully, these can be ordered from online catalogues with credit accounts, if like us you can’t afford to buy up front. , with the cost spread over time in order to make this an affordable option.
3) Headset and Zoom / Skype. Keeping in touch with colleagues and arranging / attending all-important meetings doesn’t have to end with the locking of the office door. With amazing applications and websites such as Zoom or Skype available to allow multiple attendees to meet ‘virtually’, everywhere can be a meeting room. A reasonably priced headset with microphone is pretty much essential for this in these times, making problems with external and background noise non-existent.
4) Google Home Mini / Amazon Echo Dot. In the name of sanity, you’ll need a little background noise to replace that rumble of chatter you’re used to, or to distract from off-putting sounds from nearby. Why not invest in one of these surprisingly cheap devices so you can pick from radio or streaming music? Plus – you got a question? Just ask the device, or get it to set alarms so you know when breaks are, when your meeting is near, when the day ends. Talking of which….
5) Netflix / Amazon Prime. When the working day is done you gotta wind down. Why not do so with some must-see telly with a cuppa? With travel not an option, you’ll have a little extra time to spend. Just don’t indulge before your day starts or you’ll be clocking off with nothing to show for your working day but having binge-watched ‘Tiger King’.
I’d love to know how you’re getting on working from home and juggling family life right now!