In these difficult and unusual times, a new acronym is doing the rounds – WFH, or working from home.
For many people, WFH has brought with it new challenges and a style of working that might take some getting used to. The following tips and suggestions may help:
Your home office
- in most cases, you will be setting up an office in your home;
- although there is not a lot of equipment to buy, there are obviously some basic considerations – not least, for example, the desk and chair where you will be spending most of your time;
- a desktop computer or laptop is also going to be needed by most people working from home – with a laptop probably giving you a little more flexibility;
- if you are likely to be spending a lot of time researching material or needing to cross-reference your work, then a second monitor may also be useful;
- make sure that there is adequate – natural or electric – lighting for your home office;
- communication with the outside world of work is also going to be critical while you are working from home – and that means ensuring you have reliable telephone and internet connections;
- you may need to learn new rules and etiquette for video conferencing calls – you might want to review the advice given by OWL Labs;
- maintaining a sensible work-life balance is perhaps even more important than ever when working from home;
- make sure to keep the two separate – both physically (depending on the layout and constraints of your home) and mentally;
- get dressed and brush your teeth, suggests an article in the Independent newspaper on the 17th of April, rather than sitting around in your pyjamas for eight hours of the day – something you’ll want to get right to maintain the video conferencing etiquette that has been mentioned;
- without the time-consuming commute to work, it may be a tempting to imagine that you can get a lot more work done;
- but it is better to be realistic about the volume of work you are likely to get through from the new working environment at home – under-promise and over-deliver, rather than vice versa;
- remember, too, that you will need to build in and allow for those natural breaks you will still need to take – a chat with colleagues online from time to time, lunch breaks, and the hour of exercise you are allowed to take outside;
- at the same time, you will also need to manage distractions, so that you are able to maintain your work schedule, when the rest of your household demands your attention;
- give some thought to whether your regular home insurance continues to offer the cover you need while working from home – in the majority of cases it should;
- exceptions may arise if you receive visitors or clients at your home, when the risk of public liability claims may arise – even though social distancing rules should mean that such visits are kept to the barest minimum;
- you might also want to advise your insurer if you are keeping business goods at home – in which case, your home insurance might attract an additional premium, or you might need to amend your business insurance to reflect the change.
Further reading: Working from home and why insurance matters.
WFH is likely to introduce some new concepts to the notion of work – but, who knows, you might adapt to them so successfully that you continue the lifestyle once the current crisis has passed.
Working from home and not sure if your home insurance covers you and your equipment? Please contact us today on 01325 346 328 and we’d be delighted to help.