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The Shortest Commute
If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything in business, it’s both how easy and how difficult it can be to work from home. Previously described in terms of “living the dream”, home workers (that’s most of us!) have realised that trying to focus on deep work whilst the kids are fighting can be problematic.
History Repeating Itself
In 1933, the New Yorker magazine describes what it was like when telephones first went sale some years before: “People admitted that telephones were ingenious contraptions and wondered just how they worked, but they no more thought of getting one of their own than the average man now thinks of getting an airplane. As a matter of fact, for a long time they were of little use in a home. Since almost nobody had them but brokers, there was no one to talk to.”
Telecommunications before social distancing was a thing
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Almost exactly the same attitudes have been prevalent around video conferencing, with many people reluctant to attend because apparently being on screen is more embarrassing than being face to face in the flesh. Whilst the technology has been there for years suddenly everyone has become adept at, and far more comfortably in using it. Whilst offices are still very relevant, home working is going to be far more common.
Hole in The Wall
But one of the problems with video calling from home may not so much be the embarrassment of you being on screen, it may be more to do with your environment. In my home office I have a hole in the wall where an air-vent to the chimney breast has fallen off; I’m always looking to see if it has been captured by the video call. I suspect that most of us do not have a home that could be published in Country Living, and being surrounded by piles of ironing may not be the best impression to give the boss.
Wherever you “set up shop” you’re going to need to be well connected. If your home broadband is like bean cans and a piece of string, have a look at unlimited data connections over 4G mobile. Also consider having a backup solution (of a different type) in case the first one goes down, and thirdly, make sure you can usefully occupy your time if the internet goes down for any length of time (despite this being unlikely).
Lots of people have discovered that working from the top of the coffee table, or from a sofa, is not ideal for your posture. That’s why we use desks at work (go figure). So you need to spend some time thinking about desk height, screen location, and seating. But not only is your posture important, you need to make sure your environment in pleasantly warm – not too hot or cold, and also quiet. We’ve spent a lot of time considering the best environment you can have, and then created this as a DIY solution for your garden – call us to find our more.
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The lockdown has had a profound effect on our economy and our society. As we struggle and strive to exit this very challenging period, it seems clear that most companies will be looking at home working for their employees as a way of reducing costs, increasing flexibility and maximising productivity. For that to happen, we need to ensure we have spaces that can meet the challenge.