Home working not working from home

As remote working has suddenly become the norm, it’s time to ponder what that really means.

Picture this. The sun is warming your face. The fresh air is filling your lungs. You raise your coconut to sip your drink, but the gentle breeze moves the straw. You chase it with your tongue, one eye on who’s watching, before getting a chilled sip of margarita. This is the life.

The sky is a fierce blue. You feel the warm sand under your backside, listening to the gentle waves lapping rhythmically at the shore. The water sweeps up the beach and covers your toes. It’s cool and refreshing. But then something in the water freaks you out! Is that seaweed or some slimy creature?! You kick your legs frantically to shake it off, spilling your cocktail over your laptop. You shout an obscenity as the screen goes black.

Still, the seaweed is gone and your feet are safe.

Is home, home?

Home working has grown hugely in recent times. In fact, according to the Office of National Statistics, 86% of those working from home in April did so because of the pandemic.

But does home working mean working from home? Well, some prefer the term remote working. And that may be more accurate. Companies have come to understand that as long as you’re doing your job, it doesn’t necessarily matter where from (although they may discourage drinking alcohol whilst sitting at the water’s edge, for reasons illustrated above).

Sure, if you’re answering calls to customers they probably don’t want to hear the Butlins ‘Tiger Club’ song in the background. But many types of work can be done from anywhere with a laptop and a mobile phone. What’s more, there may be many benefits from changing up your scenery once in a while and ditching the home office.

Variety is the spice of life

Now, let’s not go breaking social distancing all of a sudden, but let’s consider how a long trip could be made more worthwhile:

  1. Going away for an extra couple of weeks, knowing you’ll be working part of the trip
  2. Visiting family but working from their spare room during the day
  3. Taking a trip to an area of natural beauty and working in the fresh air

Because science says there are many benefits:

  1. Better mood. Exposing yourself to different sights, sounds and experiences will make you happier and more relaxed (Catherine Hartley, psychologist and neuroscientist)
  2. More focus. Moving to a different location will help remove many of the day to day distractions and signal to yourself it’s time to buckle down (Ron Friedman, psychologist and author)
  3. More creativity. Surrounding yourself with new stimulus helps bread new ideas and therefore find new solutions to problems (Robert Epstein, senior beavioural research psychologist)

So, is it time you thought about changing scenery? It doesn’t have to mean squinting through glare and cleaning sand off your keyboard, but it does mean getting away.

Holidays aren’t dead, they’re just taking different shapes. Your employees still need a break. Get in touch to see how we can help.