Two weeks of working from home: five things it's taught me

Many people around the UK have been working from home for the last few weeks. Here’s a blog about what it’s taught me and some tips for people are new to the change of circumstances.

Written by Will Troup
Careers and culture |   4 minute read

“Work from home if you can.” This was the advice from the Prime Minister around two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve set up an office in my bedroom and slowly started to adapt to the working from home life.

Working from home

This isn’t something I’ve ever had to do before. I usually start my day with a cup of coffee in the office. So I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve learnt in the last two weeks. Hopefully, you’ll either resonate or take away some ideas to help you through these challenging times.

  1. Human interaction is so important.
  2. Try to fit some exercise into your routine.
  3. Take a break.
  4. Comfort is key.
  5. Snack, snack and snack some more.

1. Human interaction is so important.

After around three days of working from home, I soon started to realise how easy it is to take the little things for granted.

I work with an awesome bunch of people. They’re not only my work colleagues but they’re also my friends. You quickly start to miss asking people what they got up to on the weekend or if they watched the football on Sunday afternoon.

Human interaction is such an important part of our lives. Whether that’s jumping in a meeting for an hour-long discussion about something work-related, or even just a nod to your colleague as you head to the kitchen to make a quick coffee - these things matter.

The situation won’t stop us here at Digital 22, however. We all regularly hold Zoom meetings to try and keep the spirits high. A five-minute chat could be the difference between having a good day or a bad one, so always be sure to talk - it’s more important now than ever before.

2. Try to fit some exercise into your routine.

Exercise is important for various reasons. Over the last few weeks, it’s been a game-changer for me. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Whether I’ve popped the New Balance on and headed out for a run after work or even just fitted in a few push-ups after lunch, it’s been a time to just switch off for a bit and also keep the body moving. 

Exercise has also kept me in a healthy routine. I was playing football a couple of times a week and also going to the gym after work before the coronavirus outbreak, so the last thing I wanted to do was to give up the ghost and become a couch potato.

Thankfully, we have quite a few fitness fanatics over at Digital 22. So much so that our Solutions Manager, Caz, had everybody doing star jumps on a Zoom conference last Thursday.

Although when I say everybody, there were a few slackers who didn’t have their cameras turned on…

3. Take a break.

Like the old Kit Kat saying goes, take a break! For me, the hours pass quite quickly when I’m working from home.

It’s easy to just get your head down and blitz through loads of work. Before you know it, time has flown by and you haven’t stood up for a good few hours.

To avoid doing this, I’ve been setting a timer every 45 minutes. I’ll then spend 5 to 10 minutes on my phone, making a brew or having a chat with the parents. I’ll usually come back to my desk more motivated and ready to crack on with some more tasks.

I’ve also found sitting in the garden and breathing in the fresh air for a couple of minutes has helped with my productivity. Thankfully, those cold winter months are behind so I might even be able to top up my tan during the garden breaks over the next few months or so.

4. Comfort is key.

The last thing I want to do is return to the office as a cripple. So I decided to invest in a comfy chair and some brand new slacks.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s easy to find yourself glued to your desk for long periods of time. If that’s the case, the last thing you want to experience is back pains and the worlds stiffest neck. 

Purchasing a comfy chair has worked miracles. I’ve become less agitated and don’t feel the need to stand up as much. It’s also made it easier to hit the 'do not disturb' button and crack on with some of my bigger tasks.

I’ve taken some advice from some of my trustworthy colleagues and started to do some hot desking as well. Not only does this bring back good memories of the old office but it also stops me from drifting into out of space/getting distracted by the birds outside my bedroom window.

5. Snack, snack and snack some more.

The next point is quite fitting after my mention of Kit Kat’s earlier. Since working from home, I’ve become a serial snacker.

However, I’ve been trying to avoid chocolate in most cases. I try to fill myself up with healthy food such as fruit, nuts and snack bars. There are a couple of reasons I’m trying to keep the snacking healthy:

  • Reason 1: healthy snacks can enhance productivity.
  • Reason 2: healthy snacks help maintain high energy.
  • Reason 3: healthy snacks will ensure I don’t return to the office looking like a sumo after lockdown.

I also try to stay hydrated and drink a couple of litres of water a day. This means I can have an extra beer or two watching Gogglebox on a Friday night!

Me eating a Snack Speaking of snacks. Here's a picture of me approximately 25 seconds before tucking into... a Snack!

Anyway, that’s enough talking from me. I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog, and also jumped onto eBay to buy a comfy chair if you haven’t got one already.

Working from home poses some challenges for everyone. Especially if it’s something you haven’t done before.

But like anything, it’ll all definitely get better in time. I’d love to hear some of your tips on how you’ve adapted to working at home. Feel free to add me on LinkedIn and drop me a message. I’m always down to try out some new ideas.

Hit me up

Oh and while I've got you, we're on the hunt for budding marketers to join us here at Digital 22. Wanna become part of the family? Check out our current vacancies by clicking the button below.

Check out our careers