Working from home during a pandemic: Tricks of the trade from an experienced sportswriter
In 2020 the rules changed. Working from home went from a privilege reserved for bosses at big companies – often used as a cover to hide a day on the golf course – to the new norm.
When the coronavirus emergency hit governments in London, Washington, Paris, Madrid and across the globe responded quickly. The plan was to batten down the hatches for a few weeks and ride out the storm.
Most hoped and even expected it would pass quickly but 12 months on and the stay at home advice remains in place for many.
Opinions began to change
The gears of finance had to keep turning so those who could work from home did. It was a strange time with dining tables becoming makeshift offices. It didn’t take long for the mood to change with many workers who had previously dreamt of operating in the comfort of their own homes wearing their pajamas wanted out. That freedom started to feel like a prison.
The ‘work from home if you can’ advice could last into the latter stages of 2021 taking us much closer to the 18-month mark than the three-week timescale originally planned.
With moral dropping and boredom creeping in we got the opinions of SeoBrothers sports writer Frankie Monkhouse who has made a career working from home.
He explains the tricks of the trade and how to make it all a little more manageable.
People found out the truth
As a freelance sports betting writer, I have worked from home full-time for many years now. The days of getting up early and facing the commute through London to the office seem like a lifetime ago to me now. They probably do for you too by now.
So, when everyone began working from home, I had a bit of a start on the pack. The first thing I noticed was how opinions changed. For years, my friends thought I sat at home all day watching sport, eating snacks, drinking beer, answering the occasional email, and taking midday showers. A lazy life. How wrong they were.
For starters, it was a 1pm shower and red wine, not beer. Joking aside, working from home isn’t as easy as people once thought. It’s challenging for several reasons and if there are young children in the house because schools are closed, it’s nigh on impossible. Your kids see you at home and don’t understand you’re not really at home, you’re at work. How could they understand that when it doesn’t make a lot of sense to us either?
Tricks of the trade
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There are a few tricks I managed to pick up in my time that made it more manageable. I’ll run through a few of these pointers below and, hopefully, they make things a little easier on you too until you’re back in the office or your place of work.
- Get up early. For years I set my alarm for 6am to commute to work but it’s advisable to stick with your work routine as best as possible. An early rise often allows you peace and quiet in a busy house to get some work done. You can put a dent in your workload before everyone else is awake, making noise and demanding your time.
- Don’t eat at your desk. We are all guilty of it, even in the office, but it’s a bad habit. Stick to your usual lunch break and take time away from your laptop to eat, refuel and reset. You could use your time to get outside and breath in some fresh air, escaping the confines of your four walls. Even if it’s just in the garden or around the block. It’s crucial to your mental and physical wellbeing to change the scenery. If you can’t get out, maybe change what you are looking at on your browser for a bit. If you’re a sports fan, check out the launch of Serbian MightyTips. If you love cooking, research some new recipes. Watch a movie.
- Talk on the phone. If you are living alone and working from home, you could go days without seeing anyone. That’s a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t really matter who you communicate with. Friends, family, colleagues. It may seem like a small thing, but it is important.
- Switch off at the end of your work. One of the first things I noticed when switching to working from home was because you are always in the house and some think you’re always at work. You may even think that too. There’s nothing wrong with reading or sending a quick email. Another hour to lighten the load for tomorrow won’t hurt. But it does. Set out the time you want to spend working and when it’s over turn your computer off and relax.
- Enjoy it as best you can. It’s not ideal but after a week of normality, when you’re up at the crack of dawn running for the train to the office, you’ll probably wish you were back in the warm of your home typing away.
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Story by Maxim Voevodin