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How to shift into and out of work mode when working from home

22 October 2020

 

This year has impacted us in ways unforeseen at the beginning of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to adapt more than any time since World War II.

Isolation, curfews, social distancing, wearing of masks, working from home are all terms that weren't generally in our vocabulary prior to this year.

The majority of the Australian population has experienced long term working from home arrangements, with multiple people working from the same home for different organisations in many instances. The routine of getting dressed, battling the commute and entering the workplace has been replaced by moving from the bedroom to the lounge room and for a lucky few, to the study within the house. Business attire has become tracksuit, pants and hoodie or T-shirt and shorts depending on the climate.

Whilst this environment is new for many, there is a need to implement a psychology shift from the home space to the home workplace and back to the home space. It is simple to become distracted by the flexibility of working from home, however the majority of people we have engaged have found the productivity has increased whilst working from home. Less time spent commuting, in meetings or doorstop conversations have been forgone for increased time achieving work outcomes.

There are also psychological benefits such as the ability to take time out during the day to exercise or play with the kids. However, boundaries must be set so the workplace does not encroach on home life to the point where there is no delineation.

The use of workday apparel is a simple but effective tool to switch from home to work and back to home mode to enable those working from home to signify mentally, and visually, that they are in work mode. Conversely just as the commute used to signal the end of the workday for many the removal of workday apparel, be it a employer branded T-shirt, hoodie or casual polo shirt, signify the shift from work back to home life for their family, for their housemates, and for their own mental well-being.


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