Working from home… the reality?

Posted on 26th March 2020

As developers of high-quality e-learning courses and proud advocates of our new online Homeworking training course, we thought we knew everything there was to know about working from home. Health and safety – tick, not sitting with my laptop on my knee – tick…how hard could it be? Little did we know…. enter Coronavirus and suddenly the REALSENSE team find themselves on house arrest. So, without further ado, we give you the ‘new lighthearted rules of homeworking’.

New lighthearted rules of homeworking

1.     Attire – Pyjama bottoms are the new work trousers. Comfortable, cosy and soothing, who wants to be sitting around the house in work clothes? No ironing required. (We’re looking for the positives in this current crazy climate). Pop a smart top on for video calls (or even a suit jacket over a onesie as one entrepreneurial client suggested) and no one will ever know the difference. Bra optional.

2.     Video conference calls – Skype, Zoom, Google Hang-outs…whatever your choice of platform, always remember one point of etiquette – no unscheduled calling! At least give us time to brush our hair and put on some make up before we terrify you with our unkempt appearance. (We hear Zoom has a function to make you look better…sadly for our clients we haven’t found it yet.) Think about your background too – do you really want your clients to see your Take That calendar with hearts drawn on it? (Guilty!)

3.     Children – normally we wouldn’t even consider bringing them into the office, but now we’re trying to juggle home-schooling with working at home. As the only thing in our diaries these days is Tippex, entertaining the kids while working and having to stay at home is really tough. Suggestions we’ve heard from friends and colleagues – Netflix is your friend. Bribes – bribes work (and ice lollies, seeing as it already feels like the Summer Holidays). If all else fails “Alexa…teach Key Stage Two Maths”.

4.     Lunch break. Biscuits. At home, sitting around all day, the biscuit cupboard is calling…. needs no further explaining. And tea, plenty of tea, constantly wondering how quickly the tea bag stockpile is going to run out.

5.     Work Colleague Pets. Cats/dogs/fish as work colleagues are making a regular appearance in our Twitter feed – Does talking to yourself count? “Would you like a brew?” “oh…only if you’re making yourself one…” We’re already fearing for our sanity and it’s only week one. Time to buy a fish?

6.     Exercise – does picking up a pen count? Fitbits sit redundant in drawers, daily walks ‘the long way round’ to the staff kitchen or toilet have dramatically decreased. Now we undertake everything outside the ‘office’ in stealth mode to avoid the call of ‘Mummy! I’m hungry!’ We’ve seen various footballers on social media doing the ‘loo roll challenge’ but toilet roll is far too precious a commodity these days to be used for exercising!

Whilst we can take a lighthearted look at what feels like the new rules when working from home, homeworking can have a significant effect on our mental health – increased stress, less social interaction, worries about health and money anxieties. Coupled with too much to juggle and social isolation as well as a lack of motivation, the reality of working at home can be tough. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to consider the steps we can take to look after ourselves and take care of our mental health.

For further information about working at home, supporting staff mental health or any other e-learning courses that you might need at the current time, talk to us at REALSENSE Solutions. We offer a suite of internet-based training courses for employers and employees to ensure that you can still support and train your staff during the unprecedented coming months (and our courses can even be accessed while wearing your pjs, no-one will ever know!)

Kate Lindop

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