Working from home – My perspective
Updated: Sep 6
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we work at Hoyle Da Silva, and our staff are now working full-time from home. Find out how associate Simon Hill has adapted to his 'new normal'.
The outbreak of COVID-19 saw a significant yet necessary adjustment for people as they had to adapt to a home working environment. I am fortunate to work for a progressive company, and I’ve been working from home 2 days a week for the past few years. During this time, I’ve managed to implement a great working arrangement that functions well for both me and my family, and my employer.
That said, shifting to a permanent ‘home office’ set-up amidst the onset of the pandemic propelled me to tweak my work space and indeed, my habits, so I could tailor my working day in order to develop a better work-life balance.
The ‘big move’
The first thing I did was to finally move away from the dining table and relocate to the back room. Once I took down my daughter’s psychology notes and her animal and plant cell diagrams and replaced them with a montage of court rules and regulations, I was able to proudly call the place ‘my office’. To be honest, I don’t know why I hadn’t made the move sooner.
I believe that creating an effective working space is essential if you want privacy, to put you in work mode and allow you to maintain focus to get things done. It is also important to ensure you have one designated place with enough room to work comfortably (comfortable office chair is a must!) and all the equipment you need is to hand.
I purposely left my printer/scanner in a separate room so I can get up and stretch my legs throughout the day.
No more commuting
Around the globe, the average commuting time for working men and women is 38 minutes each way.
A huge benefit of WFH has resulted in respite from my stressful 3-hour commute to the office which is based in Melbourne’s CBD. Consequently, I no longer rise before the birds start singing and have the benefit of using this ‘in-between’ time more effectively. Time is precious and by WFH I’ve found I can use the extra time for different things – primarily my family.
A healthy routine
It is important to balance productivity and well-being. Therefore, I have strived to implement a good routine to ensure I don’t lapse into unhealthy behaviour. For example, I keep to regular start and finish times, I make sure I get enough sleep and eat at regular intervals. I take short breaks to make a cuppa and ensure I get some fresh air by taking a stroll around the lakes where I live.
Stay focused, stay connected
Prolonged isolation can potentially impact morale and productivity. I try to stay connected with my individual team members and colleagues on a daily basis to discuss ongoing matters or even just to have a general well-being catch up. Staying connected has been possible via Microsoft Team chat/meetings, picking up the phone and via emails.
‘Tiger’- My daily companion brings much joy, rather than distraction
I am looking forward to returning to the office because…
In short, I miss the camaraderie, the face-to-face interaction with my colleagues, even work meetings! I am immensely proud to be part of a vibrant and energetic team and there is no substitute for this.
It remains to be seen what WFH will look like post COVID-19. I suspect that those who were working remotely before the pandemic may see an increase in their WFH days even after they can return to their offices. Personally, I would be happy with this arrangement, working from home for 3 days, with 2 days in the office.
For those new to working remotely, I envisage that there will be a significant upswing in their adoption to WFH.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Questions? Contact Simon Hill, Associate