When is it Time to Stop Working from Home?

Prior to our “Stay at Home” orders, when we were chained to a desk for eight hours or more per day, working from home sounded like a dream. No office politics, no boss breathing down your neck, nobody taking the last cup of coffee. Working from home has to be better – right?  Flexible hours, no need to dress up and working at your own pace from the comfort of your home all seem to have the potential to increase your productivity.  Not so fast – unless you have a very, specific plan, there’s not much separation between work and home – lacking the necessary balance that we all need.

Due to recent events in our country, many of us have gone days, without seeing someone, without showering or even leaving the house.  Are you distracted by the kids, the barking dog or the home projects in your peripheral vision?  Maybe it’s time to get back to an office.  Here are a few things that may prompt you to explore a small office outside your home.

  1. You’ve been wearing the same clothes for days:  No judgement! We all get stuck in a rut from time to time with life events such as a newborn, moving, not feeling well. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to wake up and go right to work. If you have no meetings to attend or video conferences to be a part of, there’s really no reason to get dressed to impress. Perhaps, it’s time to change up your routine and get back into an office and recharge your productivity.
  2. You can’t remember the last time you left the house: When you work from home you become complacent with your routine and your surroundings. You work a little, eat a little, do a household chore and then go back to working a little again. You do this day after day and find that the days are running together. If this is the case, you may want to consider re-engaging with society. (Of course, following recommendations for social distancing)
  3. You’ve put on a little weight: When you’re working at a desk all day, you already have to be mindful of your snacking and low level of physical activity. When you work at home, these same concerns are elevated. The added steps and activity to commute to the office and to your desk, not to mention, the copy room, the rest room and perhaps to the cafeteria or outside for lunch and then back to your office again, is significantly reduced when you work from home.  Also, we’re more likely to feel less intimidated by grabbing a snack from our own kitchen.  Walking the dog or going out for the mail provides little exercise in comparison to the extra steps we get in while working in an office.
  4. You talk too much: It’s natural to look to others for attention or a little give and take. Most people need regular interaction and conversation.  While some are perfectly content to type their feelings and points of view on social media, for others it’s just not the same.  If you find yourself bending your neighbor’s ear or have lost the attention of your friends and family from monopolizing the conversation, it may be time to find a new space to work in.
  5. Too much coffee:  If you are reloading your coffee shop card too much or heading out to your favorite coffee spot drive through, you could be craving the company of others.  Perhaps just the short drive and change of scenery is enough to indicate your craving for a quick distraction from routine.  But all of that coffee can add up – not only is too much bad for your health but it’s bad for your wallet too.

It’s clear that there are benefits to working at home but staring at chores and ignoring personal hygiene can turn into isolation rather quickly and take a toll on your state of mind. If you are struggling to balance work and life, it might be time to consider an office or even a Day Office – a fairly new concept for those who occasionally have a need to be in an office for a few days per week or just to meet with clients on occasion.  For more info on this office concept, contact us at 860-419-5900 or go to www.officeplace.com.

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