COMMENT 

WFH: how to survive it

One of the most significant changes wrought by the coronavirus is the growth of home working. Sounds fun but isn’t. How are you coping…

By James Evelegh

WFH: how to survive it
Photograph: Ali Yahya on Unsplash

How’s it going? Started noticing anything annoying about your flat mate / partner yet? Things you probably wouldn’t have picked up on a month ago, but which are now driving you up the wall? Welcome to the world of working from home.

How are you going to get through this? Here are my tips, inspired in part by the webinar we ran this week, presented by Evolved Media’s Russell Pierpoint (view recording here).

  1. Get dressed! We’re not talking power dressing, but there’s something to be said for looking the part. It’s easy to let standards slip. This is especially important if you’re on a video call because some people find seeing colleagues in their pyjamas unsettling.
  2. Respect your housemates. The chances are that you’ll be living with people who have their own work / revision / education requirements. House meetings might not be your thing, but you need rules (written or presumed) if you’re all going to remain sane.
  3. Master the mute button. We are becoming more tolerant of noises off. Having your dog start barking mid-call isn’t the sign of hopeless amateurism that it once was, but to maintain focus, it’s still a good skill to master.
  4. Do less video. Why does everything have to be on webcam? What’s wrong with plain audio? Audio-only makes you much more flexible about when and where you can do your meetings and means you don’t have to waste time worrying about the state of the room behind you or about the copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on your bookshelf.
  5. Plan your day-end. The chances are that if you haven’t been furloughed, then your workload will be heavy. Not having an office to physically leave means you’re in danger of falling into a 24/7 work pattern, which isn’t healthy. Know when and how to call it a day.

(One more thing: we’re now doing a digital version of InPublishing magazine in addition to the print. You can read our March / April issue here.)