How to Make WFH Feel Less Like Home

When you first started WFH, you were probably wrapped up in the novelty of this temporary situation. You snacked whenever you wanted, rolled out of bed right before your shift started, and (best of all) you could have your music as loud as you wanted while you worked.

Although you savoured your time in the virtual office, you were likely relieved to go back into the office in the summer or were counting down the days until your office reopened. But, with the recent announcement to move back to WFH until at least spring 2021, you might be feeling a little flat.

If you’re struggling with WFH, here’s a few tips to make your virtual office feel like the IRL one.

In your old life, you’d rush to get ready in the morning, zoom out the house, and make a quick dash to the tube. While you don’t have to get the tube anymore, it doesn’t mean you have to axe your old commute.

Sure, it’s probably not best to hop on the tube and try to rush back before your shift starts. But you can use this opportunity to take a walk around the block, have a breather, and experience the world before you’re back at your desk. Then when you get home, just put on the kettle, make a cup of tea or coffee, and log into the virtual office.

Although doing work in bed or on your kitchen table felt convenient at the start of lockdown, this has gone on too long — you need a permanent workspace. If you have space, try and designate a specific room in your home to be your office.

When choosing where to put your permanent office space, choose a room that has a door to keep business in and everything else out, that’s also quiet. A good place for this would be a spare room. If you don’t have space, try to carve out an area of your home as your own, such as a desk in your bedroom where other people won’t be in the day.

Although you might feel alone, a lot of us miss the mundane water cooler chats or awkward elevator rides with co-workers. Especially during social distancing during lockdown, a whopping 30.9% of Britons are struggling with loneliness while WFH. And, since some of us feel more productive while working in a room full of others, why not hold yourself accountable by working together virtually?

Why not set up a Zoom or Teams call for an hour or two a day? Keep your webcams on, so you can hear the clatter of their keyboards, and help yourself get in the zone. Not only is it mentally beneficial to hear the clatter of a keyboard as you would in your real office, but if you’re all working on a project together, it could also save you some time. Sometimes it’s nice just to ask people a quick question verbally rather than type it out and painstakingly waiting for a response.

Just because you’re not allowed in the office, it doesn’t mean you have to work from home.

If you’re living alone, why not join a support bubble with a friend and go over to their house to work with together (with their permission, of course). Plus, you could have a rota between yourselves, changing who’s house is ‘the office’ each day to make sure you’re all exposed to new environments. Limiting your contact while also working in a different setting will not only help you focus on your job but will also allow yourself some much needed social contact.

Don’t have any friends that want to work together? Don’t worry — why not try hot desking or working in a cafe for a few hours a day when government guidelines allow it? Giving yourself the space and distance from your home while you can still get it, can help you to focus more on your work while still avoiding the office.

Written by Alison Irlam
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site for more information.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Discover and access health and wellbeing services based on your needs.