The internet is awash with tips and advice on working from home. This post is about not doing everything on those lists. The articles and posts are well-meaning for sure, and point out all the best practices, but there is no one right way. Some people do work productively in their sweats, others would rather take longer lunches with their children and let working hours spill later into the evening. Figuring out what advice to adopt, and how, can feel overwhelming to the best of us. A dear friend told me today that she has stopped reading the articles altogether.
When I first started working for myself, I joined a co-working community. But when we heard rumblings of a virus in January, like most others who experienced SARS in Hong Kong, I knew the drill -this would mean an extended WFH period. I paused my membership at the co-working space and asked myself what is the one thing I disliked the most about working from home, the thing that impacts my productivity and joy the most. For me, the answer was not having a proper work desk.
When I worked from home, I roamed my apartment like a nomad in lulus, clutching my laptop, looking for a space to settle into comfortably, and never finding one. So, in January, I traded in my cute (but otherwise wholly impractical) letter-writing table for a proper, if characterless, working desk and office chair. And without a doubt, this was my one game changer! Everything else you read about in the articles followed naturally: my discipline improved and my productivity shot up.
Yesterday, I did a casual poll with friends and family about their one thing. Some said they would create a dedicated workspace in a corner of their home, buy a proper chair, incorporate exercise into the day, improve network speed and implement a ‘do not disturb’ signal for the kids to follow. All of this is very do-able with a little creativity and/or investment.
So, in keeping with tradition of coaching, ask yourself, what is your one WFH game changer, then go make it happen.