Nicola O'Hanlon
Nicola O'Hanlon
Senior Associate

Articles From the Team

Finding a good balance with home working - the now and the future

In a preliminary findings report on the CIPD study: ‘Working from home: assessing the research evidence’, it states that:

Homeworking is here to stay: design your working practices to suit all locations. - CIPD

I have always been an advocate for working from home, living a decent commute from where I work.  I have also placed a number of conveyancing professionals over the years in to home working roles.  However, since March last year I’ve certainly seen another side to this ‘perk’.  When your home becomes your office (full time), a nursery AND your favourite restaurant all combined, the novelty of avoiding a long commute soon slips down the wish list!!

Joking aside, even as we move into spring and move ever closer to having more freedom, we are continuing to have to make adjustments to new ways of working and living, and most people have experienced stress, anxiety and uncertainty.  It is therefore vitally important to continue to take care of your mental health in these unprecedented times, in addition to thinking about the longer term impacts of home working.

The NHS recommends 7 simple steps to keep you as productive and positive as we can be in the present, and looking to the future:

Set and stick to a routine

Keeping some consistency is very important (as I have realised) from setting my alarm to get up through to the time I send myself to bed. Even using what would have been your commute time to fit in some exercise, or simply listen to some music that makes you happy!  Have set times for work and home life to ensure both have adequate focus.

Have a dedicated workspace

This doesn’t have to be an office…  I don’t have one!  But somewhere you can be comfortable, which is set up with everything you need – not the sofa!

Give yourself a break

Take regular breaks away from a screen and to ensure you eat!  Try using your ‘lunch break’ to fit in a run, or a walk to get some fresh air and clear your head to refocus if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Stay connected

...To work colleagues, family and friends.  Again, the first lockdown saw a surge of Zoom quizzes and social catch ups – not so much now, but it’s even more important to keep up with this - especially whilst we see these months through into summer. Make sure that you’re communicating with people on a regular basis; especially if you live alone.

Set boundaries

Also to note in the CIPD study results, it suggests that:

Employers should provide support for homeworkers to manage work-home boundaries and avoid isolation.

Living where you work - it’s important to try to ensure other people at home understand when you’re working and busy. Working where you live - it's important that people at work know when you’re offline – remember to turn on your out of office and give yourself the well-earned rest you deserve! Turn off and wind down. 

Think longer term

Following on from the above CIPD advice - if working from home is going to be the case for you for the foreseeable, can your employer help you to adapt to ensure you have the right set up and support?  As with any kind of flexible working – a person-focused approach is most likely to result in a solution that suits the individual, the team and the organisation.

Be kind to yourself and others

This is an unusual situation and far from the ‘norm’ still, despite us now moving in the right direction... I hear the phrase ‘the new normal’ a lot, but what this truly means is yet to be established.  Relax when your work is done, try and get into good habits that you can maintain in the future, and always put some time aside to keep in contact with the people closest to you.

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs