With the WHO’s announcement of a global pandemic on March 11th, social distancing is now an international imperative and non-essential work is being cut to the bone. For the lucky few with the option: WFH, or work from home is every company’s best bet for keeping the gears turning and employees interacting. In this article we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of clocking in while still sporting your comfy pants, plus a little helpful advice on how to make more leisure out of your at-home labor.
Staying in Your PJ’s
Obviously the best part of a telecommute is the option to stay in your flannel or fleece pajamas, sweats, or laundry day yoga pants.
Lounging about, you can make coffee while you check emails from the comfort of your own marble-top kitchen island (I dream of this). Take the time to craft a delectable high-protein breakfast to fuel up for a productive morning instead of pounding a barely-filling yogurt cup like it was a shot at your 21st birthday bar crawl.
By the time your first break rolls around, it’s time for a cleansing, hot shower and you’re really hitting your stride by lunch. Oh no! Forgot to pack one? Oh right, my kitchen is RIGHT THERE, because work is what you do, not where you are. Take that crappy cafeteria food.
At a close second, the best part of telecommuting is cutting the...well, the commute. Not only are you saving yourself the stress of dodging drive-time psychopaths on the road, but you’re saving time, energy, and patience into that pressing work project. On the public ride-share? No worries. Running after buses or trains arriving anywhere between two to twenty minutes early or late is a thing of the past. Just take that two-second walk to your home office (and maybe twenty seconds to browse social media before you really dig in to the day’s tasks). Divine.
Lastly, on the monetary end there are some real savings you’re putting away in the seclusion of your home office. You’re saving on gas, bus fare, wear and tear on your noble steed (or Prius- we don’t all get to drive a Mustang), eating in instead of dining out, TIME (equals money, remember?), and, to boot, you can write off a percentage of your rent or mortgage on your tax return for your home office.
"You're saving time, energy, and patience into that pressing work project."
No Birthday Cake
Sadly, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows in the telecommuting world. Side effects may include: social isolation and an emphasis on results-based evidence to show your managers that you are actually doing work. Yikes.
Being with people IRL is psychologically beneficial to us as human beings for several reasons, among them: nabbing the nuances of communication, social bonding, and a greater chance of birthday cake.
When we share a workspace with our colleagues, we’re able to read communication signals that are often lost in flat text. Body language, tone of voice, and even smell help us determine the level of engagement, interest, or understanding in the people with whom we communicate at work. How else would you know Carole in accounting wasn’t being rude with a terse email, just stressed after she heard schools would shut down and her kids might be home-bound.
Without that face-to-face time we lose out on social bonding, all the best watercooler gossip, and surprise office birthday cake when Justin from HR makes another trip around the sun. These examples, silly as they may seem, help to bolster our performance in the workplace by feeling like we’re part of a team. When we telecommute, we risk losing that holy grail of corporate buzzwords: “synergy.”
I can’t honestly say how long we’ll need to keep bringing home the bacon by making it at home. Really, what’ll make the difference in your WFH experience is the little things. Our recommendation: turn your home space into the ideal workspace, one piece at a time.
For us, it starts in the same place as your new commute: in bed. With a quality sleep experience in a brand new set of primary goods bedsheets, you’ll wake feeling better-rested and buck up to face the workday from your home office chair. Our snap on sheets will allow you to jump on making your bed with ease, instead of needing to willfully ignore the crumpled mess in the corner of your eye.
A great work day, whether telecommuting or not, begins with your bed and primary goods. It ends, maybe with some of those little travel tchotchkes you picked up in Italy. Maybe a comic that makes you laugh. Maybe a dog. He’ll love your bedding, too. Sheets first, though.