Is it the pyjamas?


In fact, you might prefer getting dressed up just the same way you would if you were going to the office! And there are studies that show higher productivity levels if you do. Having said that, if you’re ecstatic about working in sweats now that your home has become your office, I say, all the power to you!

COVID-19 and working from home

Who would have thought that it would be a blasted super bug that would accelerate the already-shifting perception of what the traditional white-collar office job looks like? For a variety of reasons, the 9-to-5 really isn’t 9:00 to 5:00 at all – and it hasn’t been for many years now. The strike of COVID-19 has further exacerbated the transition, and quite possibly, changed the in-person, office job expectation forever.

I know it might feel like COVID is over, but the truth is it’s not. And companies aren’t rushing to bring back their employees in-office (especially not full-time) either. It’s likely that even long after this is all “really” over, we will see companies supporting at-home work time in a variety of ways such as:

  • Video conferencing improvements
  • Offering to set up proper home offices
  • Scheduling regular, at-home work time (in other words, flex schedules)
  • Oh, and ahem…maybe the autonomy you deserve to do your job wherever and however

Forget about…

No, I’m not going to spew off all the typical reasons why you should love working from home…

Work in your pyjamas.
Avoid the commute.
More time in a day.
Save money.

You know these already.

1. Feel empowered with a greater sense of independence.

This comes from, quite simply, having your own space. No co-worker to ask you what you’re doing. No boss breathing down your neck. At home, you have the freedom to work how you decide to work, not how it’s generally accepted in the office.

You have the opportunity to figure out exactly what jives with you. That might mean special lighting, a particular room of the house, a new ergonomic chair or the treating yourself to the headset you’ve had your eyes on.

2. The schedule is yours to create.

Even though you may still need to be on a 9:00am Zoom meeting or connect with your boss midday, you have the flexibility to manage your time in a way that best suits your work style…and timing.

Some of us are morning birds, others are night owls. Now that your pesky commute is out of the picture, if you prefer to stay up until the wee hours of the night working away, you can afford to set your alarm for 8:30am and still be in fine form for your 9:00am call.

On the other hand, maybe your mind is at its sharpest first thing in the morning. In that case, go to bed early so you can rise and shine with the 5:00am club.

The point is, determining how and when you produce your best work, and then making sure you’re working in those ways at those times, can boost your productivity tremendously.

2. Eat and snack what you want, when you want.

It’s no small deal – particularly if you’re a healthy eater. I remember my corporate office days some 12+ years ago now (please don’t send me back!). It was like grade school all over again when my mom would pack me with the healthiest lunches, and I had to answer to all the Dunkaroo and fruit-rollup-eating kids. In the company lunch room, the comments would fly.

“Woah, that’s a huge salad.”
“Whatcha got there?”
“Wow, you eat really healthy.”

Okay, okay, I get it. Can’t we chat and have lunch without the silly commentary? Guess what, at home you can!

I know how time consuming it is to prepare healthy and wholesome snacks and meals. If you’re working from home, you can eliminate the packing job and simply prepare on an as-needed basis throughout the day when hunger strikes. Super convenient.

3. Use your own bathroom.

Not a big deal, you say? As a matter of fact, now it is a bigger deal than ever before. Let’s be honest, in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic that has taken us all by storm, who feels good about using someone else’s washroom?! Even worse, a public washroom that many people use each day. Sure, increased sanitization measures are in full effect (or are they?) but there is still that little nagging feeling of discomfort in the back of our minds.

As you work from home, enjoy that added, and often overlooked, comfort that comes with being in your own space.

4. Get more (not less!) done.

Many people say they find it difficult to work from home because there are far too many distractions. While this is certainly a common belief, you might be shocked to hear evidence that states the opposite.

In 2014, a Stanford Professor by the name of Nicholas Bloom conducted a study on CEO, James Liang and his company Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, with 16,000 employees. Liang was interested in moving his employees towards a work-from-home model but required proof that it wouldn’t result in a productivity dump.

Professor Bloom devised a test consisting of two groups: a control group who continued working at the head office and a work-from-home group who worked at home as long as they had a dedicated room for an office. The results shocked even the professor himself!

The two-year study showed that the work-from-homers had a profound productivity boost (equivalent to a full day’s work). The employees who worked from home did work a full shift each day, and sometimes even longer. They took less breaks, had fewer sick days and didn’t request as much time off.

5. Pump out an energy-boosting workout midday.

Do you ever get that middle-of-the-workday antsy feeling? You were on fire right out the gate but now you’re restless and in need of a change of scene. Breaking for lunch will only make you full and tired.

How many of you cram a workout into the crack-o’-dawn early morning hours before work? Or just before dinner on your way home even though you’re exhausted?

When you work from home, you’re free to plug in a workout midday – and here’s why you should highly consider it:

  • You’ll bypass the afternoon slug-mode
  • You’ll stretch your legs, be active and get your blood flowing through your body, and more importantly, your brain
  • You’ll feel refreshed and energetic afterwards
  • You’ll experience a far more productive second half of the day

6. Bypass the BS.

We all have parts of our jobs we love and parts we’d rather do without (yes, even for those of us who’ve been working from home long before COVID!). When you’re working outside your home, workplace politics are common. The boss who won’t stop micromanaging you, the colleague who stomps on your last nerve, the competitive counterpart who’s always trying to one-up you, and the annoying vent sessions during lunch hour.

The good (if not incredible) news is that when you work from home, all of that nonsense magically goes away. In its place, you have a quiet and serene work environment of your personal design – with you, and only you, in it.

Afraid you might miss all the people? Be lonely? Turn into an isolated weirdo? Hardly. There are so many options for human interaction: pick up the phone to call your superior, insta-chat with a good colleague, conduct virtual meetings with clients. You’re unlikely to be lonely and more likely to be a hell of a lot more productive now that the useless distractions have been eliminated. Oh, and did I mention happier?