THIS Is How To WFH Long-Term

There’s a good chance those of us who can work from home will be back here permanently over the winter months as cases rise.


by Anna Silverman |

NHS chiefs have warned that enacting ‘Plan B’ – which includes asking people to work from home - is vital if the Government wants to ‘avoid stumbling into winter crisis.’ Although the Government is still resisting at the moment, there’s a good chance those of us who can work from home will be back here permanently over the winter months as cases rise.

And even in a post-pandemic world (hard to imagine, I know), more flexible working is on the cards thanks to employers finally starting to embrace a more progressive approach to work. Which means it’s time for us to reassess whether WFH is working for us. The insidious cloak of burnout can feel harder to identify at home; how can we be on the verge of a breakdown when the sofa is only metres away? The truth is, we’re all under huge pressure to perform and with our laptop forever in sight, it can be impossible to switch off.

Introduce a ‘virtual commute’, where we spend the time we would have been in transit listening to a podcast or having a walk.

‘Create a routine and schedule that will give you space to breathe and be adaptable,’ says Anna Codrea-Rado, journalist, co-host of the Is This Working? podcast and founder of The Professional Freelancer, a newsletter and community for self-employed workers. She has worked from home for three years, with her partner there for nearly two, and says we should introduce a ‘virtual commute’, where we spend the time we would have been in transit listening to a podcast or having a walk. ‘It’s a ritual where you’re signalling in your mind that you’re now entering this space which, five minutes ago, was your kitchen table,’ she says.

Communicating well with your colleagues is also important, so everyone knows when they should be expected to be contactable and how quickly they should be responding, she says. If anyone emails out of work hours, they should schedule it to arrive during office hours or put a note on the email explaining they don’t expect a reply yet. These boundaries are also important with the people sharing your work space. ‘Explain to others that if the door’s closed, that means you’re on a call, or if your headphones are on, you’re saying “please don’t disturb”,’ she adds.

Another priority for Anna has always been to take the time away from her desk to cook a proper lunch. ‘It builds in a way to have a break and know I’m eating well.’ She also says it’s key to schedule time to see friends after work, both for people living alone and those who’d benefit from a break from co-working with a partner or friends.

Finally, investing in a proper office desk and chair that is good for your back is crucial – ask your company to pay for it if they can, or get your chair from work sent home to you, she says.

The good news is that Anna has learnt to love WFH. ‘It’s about checking in with yourself and adapting if you need to. We need to prioritise looking after ourselves.’

Which standing desk should I go for?

If there was ever a time to invest in a standing desk, it’s now. By now we know spending all week slouching on the sofa with our laptops balanced on our knees is a big no no, except when it comes to multitasking work with episodes of Married At First Sight. Even sitting at our kitchen table isn’t ideal with the wrong chair and back support, as it’s easy to slip into a slump.

But theFlexiSpot standing deskhelps to keep your back in a good position, as you can adjust it to the height you want to stand or sit at. Being able to adjust the whole desk means you don’t have to fiddle around rearranging the chaotic mess of monitors, wires, notepads and various cups and bowls in your working area (if you’re anything like me). That all comes up or down with you, as opposed to with on-desk adjustable stands. Using the FlexiSpot has undone the backpain that I found had built up over the course of the previous year and helped to kick my (literal) afternoon slump, as I stand up just when I feel it coming on. It’s helped with my posture and made me feel healthier – turns out spending half of the working day on your feet makes you feel like you’ve done some exercise. I can finally justify spending the evening horizontal - and my back has thanked me for it. Get up to 50% off in FlexiSpot's Black Friday Sale via their website from November 26-29.

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