2020 was a turbulent year for people and businesses nationwide. One of the most powerful ways we have been able to experience the change brought about by the pandemic is the way we go to work. With quarantine, isolation, social distancing and all these other buzzwords, companies have increasingly moved their offices online and employees have had to grapple with a whole new way of finding a work-life balance!
Challenges at work from home
The continuous (fundamental) changes in the way people manage their work-life balance would never be completely problem-free. Millions of Dutch people are struggling with a forced shift to working from home. Many called working from home a stressful and unproductive experience. We all know that being open to experiences helps us face challenges. So let’s take a look at some common obstacles people experience when working from home:
- Staying organised: For many, this is the biggest challenge they face at work at home. Living and working in the same space often leads to our paths crossing, making it difficult to carry out both professional and domestic tasks. Perhaps not everything has its assigned place like in the office, or trying to work in the same room where you eat, sleep or relax can cause things to slip away from us. Whatever the reason, the challenge is the same. Keeping track of everything is difficult at best, but the year 2020 is a whole different ballgame.
- Time management: We all know how quickly we can run out of time when we are home alone. This takes on a whole new dimension when it comes to being productive in your living space. It is easy to get distracted by chores or the comforts of home, especially when there is no one around you to monitor you and/or your work. This can mean missing deadlines or spending long evenings trying to catch up on work.
- Work-life balance: Finding the right work-life balance is quite difficult in itself. However, when your work and life are in the same physical space, it can be an extremely difficult task to know when to literally and figuratively switch off. It is difficult to know where your professional time ends and your leisure time begins. People often complain about checking their private e-mail or doing chores in the middle of the day!
- Productivity: At work, home working conditions can often lead to a significant drop in productivity. The stress associated with managing your work-life balance sometimes means that even when your work gets done, it is not the quality you normally produce. This, in turn, can cause even more stress, making the situation unlikely to ever improve.
Advantages of working from home:
Not everything is optimal when it comes to home offices. In almost equal measure, millions of Amsterdam residents find working from home a revelation that has immeasurably improved their professional and domestic lives. Let’s see how work has changed for the better:
- Less stressful commuting: In Amsterdam, commuting can often be a stressful start to the day. Studies have shown that, on average, people are happier with a more convenient commute than with a pay rise! Stress when commuting has been linked to higher blood pressure, blood sugar and even depression. Working from home has given people in one of the world’s busiest cities the chance to interrupt the commute and have a more relaxed and serene start to the working day.
- Location independence: As remote working becomes more common in the wake of COVID-19, many people find it refreshing when their jobs are not connected to physical location. This trend, which will increase, not only provides interesting opportunities for companies in other fields, but also makes it easier to relocate for personal and non-professional reasons. Love that job in Amsterdam, but hate living in the big and expensive city? It’s always better to combine the best of both worlds!
- Save money: For entrepreneurs, working from home can be a cost-saving solution. The need to work from home has led to savings on major overheads such as renting offices/office space.
- Increased productivity: for some, working from home led to an increase rather than a decrease in productivity. Many professionals could find themselves in a more comfortable environment with more flexible hours and an environment in which they could better excel. Fewer meetings, a more adaptable workspace, lower noise levels and less office politics were cited as reasons for some home workers to be more productive!
Working from home obviously presents as many obstacles as opportunities, with many companies and individuals wondering how to reap the benefits of a more flexible and comfortable work life while avoiding the pitfalls of combining work and home. Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the most out of working from home!
- Have boundaries: The biggest and most important thing is to have clearly defined boundaries between the professional and personal. Know what time your working day starts and what time your working day ends and try not to compromise on these times. It is important to be strict with colleagues, friends and family about when you are at work and when you are not. If possible, try to have dedicated workspaces!
- Simplify: If having a separate workspace is not feasible, make sure to simplify your life as much as possible. Avoid clutter around your work, especially if those items start to irritate you, such as unnecessary clothes, children’s toys or pieces of furniture that make you feel cramped. Explore the possibility of tidying up your home by putting away unused items, such as winter wardrobes or excess furniture, so you can get out at a more convenient date
- Take regular breaks: take short periods off from work, such as going for a walk or having a nice lunch or cup of coffee. This will help you stay more focused and switched on during long periods at your computer, knowing there is something to look forward to!
- Explore cost-saving measures: If you are a business, working from home can be a unique opportunity to save temporarily or permanently on large overheads. But what to do with all the furniture and other larger items from your now disused office space? Discover cost-effective storage solutions. Keeping your goods in storage leaves you flexible and able to move to a new, furnished office at short notice.
In short, working effectively from home has to do with being prepared, being organised and finding the right partners to take stress off your shoulders. As such, having a full-service, convenient and affordable storage partner like BOXIE24 can make your homeworking experience much more relaxed and productive.