Homebodynoun [informal – North American]

A person who likes to stay at home

It feels a bit weird starting a blog post with an Americanism, but these are strange times we are living in. Many of us have found ourselves in that home office that we’ve never actually used as an office, struggling to carry on the work mindset purely down to the new environment.

As someone who is a self-confessed “homeaholic”, I have found this adjustment not too bad. So using my inherent gift of enjoying being inside to help you out with making your home office feel like it should; a place where you can get stuff done!

Steer clear of distracting devices

The fear of missing out is real in times like this. Friends being furloughed and give full reign of the Netflix/Disney+/Amazon Prime and telling you the latest box set is a must watch. Who can escape the reign of Tiger King?

Well, as tempting as it is to think “I can multitask, I can watch while I work!”… let’s just say that one of those things you’ll do better than the other, and it’s not work. You’ll have plenty more binge watching time for when you would be commuting, stick to the task in hand and get the work done while you have focus and brain power.

Listen to something

The word “distract” will be used a lot in this post, as you might imagine. A new distraction that you will notice is the sound of bored children that are off school and playing in the gardens and dogs thrilled for their family to be back home all the time.

I dug out the old CD player to use in my home office. It both entertains me if I’m starting to feel distracted and helps me close off the outside world and keep my focus up. Music, talk shows, radio dramas, even podcasts… as long as it keeps you in the room and on the task in hand, it will work!

Make it a nice environment

I’ve been very saddened by the amount of blank walls and cold-looking spaces I’ve seen on social media. Nothing will make you dread working from home if your office feels like a cell. It should be a fun, bright environment that both uplifts and motivates you to do your best!

Try and avoid using it as a utility space for ironing or the such like. Make it somewhere you spend your work day and not any further house time in. Treat it as you would your normal office, I’m sure you wouldn’t fold your washing there!

You also get the added bonus of being able to decorate it with the things you love! For example, I have a signed Chris Barrie (Rimmer from Red Dwarf) photo staring at the back of my head all day. It’s the little things like that.

Treat it the same… but different

As much as it’s important to stress to keep it like your old office, it’s also important to remember that it very much isn’t. Give yourself time to adjust and get into a new routine. It’s not an instant change, and some will acclimate faster than others.

Conference calls, not being able to just go and buy lunch, the temptation to stay in your PJs all day… they’re all new things that the majority of us are unused to. Take the steps to get yourselves used to it, and be sure to account for others that may be finding it trickier.

The golden rules

  • The room should feel like you want to be there
  • Routine is important, a refreshed routine is vital
  • Treat it as your normal office, because that’s what its going to be for a while
  • Avoid distraction, as it will be more present in your new environment
  • Enjoy it! The key to not getting dragged down by the situation is to treat is as a break from normality. Normality (of some description) will continue one day, and we are unlikely to experience something like this again for a long time. It has a novelty value which shouldn’t be minimised, rather embraced.

None of us are quite where we expected to be right now. If someone said to me “You’re going to be locked in for a few months” I would have had to do a double take.

However, this is a situation where we all should pull together (not literally of course) and make the most of what will likely be a few months of weirdness. And to do that, we need to make sure we look after ourselves. That’s the most important thing. Stay safe everyone!