I have never been a fan of home working but in March, like many office workers, I packed up my laptop and set myself up at home. Apart from the obvious benefit of doing my bit to slow the spread of the virus, there have been many other benefits like; having dinner with my family, more time in the mornings to exercise, not having to iron shirts and of course reducing my carbon footprint!
But I miss the office and the environment, I miss the people that you bump in to, the light-hearted exchanges and the small talk which has been proven to improve your mood and create a sense of belonging. I even miss my commute! Which is crazy right!? crowded delayed trains, pouring rain in the walk to the office!
But many people will agree that some of us need that time after work to decompress or time before work to think about what you want to achieve during your day. For me it is now a blurred line of stepping away from my laptop at the end of the day and my 9-year son asking me if I've finished work for the day which is never a straightforward answer.
For now, it looks like my home working will continue and when the office reopens I will probably split my time in the office and at home. When I do go back I can't wait to catch up with all those I've not had the chance to talk to!
In reviewing data from 151 full-time workers in different industries, researchers from Rutgers University and the University of Exeter Business School discovered light-hearted exchanges with colleagues have an “uplifting yet distracting” effect on workers, with the positive outweighing the negative.