10 May 2016
by Rachel Suddart
How to stay social when you work from home.
As with anything, working from home has its pros and cons. Yes, sitting at a desk on your own means that you have sole control over the playlist and no-one steals the best biscuits. And it is true, you do get way more done than if you are in an office-based environment where at best you get distracted by the comings and goings of others, at worst you get interrupted by people wanting to tell you about their hellish commute or their cat’s sickness bug. But on the downside, it’s all too easy to get glued to the computer screen and not take a break. And sometimes you just want to bounce an idea around, share a frustration which turns into a laugh (if you’re on your own, like hot tea, that frustration can often start to stew) or complain about your hellish commute (yes, it is a long walk from the kitchen to the office!)
Introducing Hot Desk Tuesday.
I've teamed up with my friend, colleague and sometimes client, Sally Chambers, Director at Baltic Holidays www.balticholidays.com to create Hot Desk Tuesdays. In between globe-trotting, she too works from home and has sometimes experienced that oppressive four wall feeling. Each week, we are putting a morning aside where we ‘hot desk’ in each other’s offices. We’ve set some simple ground rules to reduce disruption: Phone calls in a Dom Joly style must be kept to a minimum or removed to the corridor; We’re taking turns picking the music: No death metal unless you’re having a particularly stressful day; and we’re respecting each other’s weird and wonderful working habits: Includes not disclosing them on social media.
And so far, Hot Desk Tuesdays are a big hit. Contrary to the doubters who just thought we’d be reminiscing about travelling the globe we are finding it really helps. Each week we are leaving re-energised and better equipped to fight those demons reserved for the self-employed. We are swapping ideas, exchanging tips and getting a fresh perspective. I thought that having a second person in the room might make me lose my focus but instead it’s just helping us plan things better. We save up tasks that can be carried out in a shared environment and putting aside the ‘nose to screen’ stuff.
Working on your own can sometimes get a bit monotonous and this provides a break from the norm.
Maybe we are still on our best behaviour but so far it’s working. We are learning from each other, inspiring each other and sharing an experience.
Eurgh, sounds positively wholesome, doesn’t it? Quick! Somebody put that death metal on.