I’ve been working from home full-time for a couple of months now and I must confess, I’ve completely loved it.
I knew I’d be able to adapt to it easier than most because I already worked from home twice a week and had an established routine. I’m also lucky enough to have the technology and software that lets me work seamlessly from any location, all I need is my laptop and an internet connection. It’s a luxury that most people don’t have and makes a huge difference to how productive I can be when working remotely.
What I didn’t anticipate was how it would help me in other ways. Last month I wrote about some of the unexpected benefits I’ve encountered since being home more (read here) and I’m still discovering more positive effects.
How lockdown has increased teaming and sociability
I thought being unable to see my team every day would mean we’d be less connected and it could lead to some people feeling isolated. I still miss walking over to friends at work to have a chat and a laugh, but I think we’ve become closer as a team since lockdown and made an effort to interact more. We have daily catch up calls via Microsoft Teams where we talk about work and other things, it’s really helped to keep us all feeling close as a team and not lose morale during these unprecedented circumstances. We also have a fun informal WhatsApp group where we can cheer each other up with gossip, memes and gifs. We’ve been less stressed about the pandemic than we would if we had to go into the office, knowing that others feel the same way has helped to lessen our anxieties. This is one of the reasons key workers out there should be celebrated, they’ve been putting themselves at risk so that we can feel safer and continue living our lives as best as possible.
Working from home finally made me save money
I was always in the habit of indulging in a little shopping during my lunch hour at work. I’m a little obsessed with interior design and home décor and could easily buy an item a day while out. My daily spend would include lunch, a couple of plant pots or a nice handbag, snacks and maybe a drink or meal with friends. Since lockdown I haven’t been able to go out to shops or bars and have somehow not even gone on an online shopping binge either. Nobody is more surprised than I am about this. This unintentional frugalness has helped me to save almost 20% of my salary the past two months just by being at home, and it’s brought to light how much unnecessary spending I had when I was going into work.
Being at home has helped my creativity to flourish
Now that I’m no longer commuting to work and unable to go out as much, I have a lot more free time on my hands. As a result of this, I’ve thrown myself into a lot of different projects at home. I’m enjoying creating and developing content for this blog and designing marketing materials for the organisations I volunteer at. I’ve started an incredibly challenging project to upcycle some art deco furniture I bought ages ago and I’m also creating my first real gallery wall. Having all these different creative outlets has kept me busy and helped me to feel like I’m being productive even though I’m indoors all the time. I get a sense of achievement for every little project I complete, and it’s really boosted my wellbeing. Not to mention, it’s making my house look great, which is another bonus.
All of these things are unexpected positives that have come out the unusual times we’re in and hopefully some of them will continue when life returns to normal again.