It is a dream come true for some. It is a punishment for others. The reactions to the suddenly imposed remote collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic cover the whole spectrum. One thing, however, is for certain - the majority of people are not used to staying at home for a long period of time, having to play many roles, some of which simultaneously, in one and the same setting.
That is why a lot of experts have taken the floor trying to help all of us adapt more effortlessly to the temporary obligation of working from home. Although we do not consider ourselves experts by any means, we decided to ask some of our colleagues for their personal tips and tricks for dealing with the situation. We sincerely hope that you will find either something practical in this advice, or at least the much needed feeling of not being alone in the current circumstances.
What was the hardest thing about working from home?
Silvia: Lack of direct contact with my coworkers.
Orlin: Finding a place to put my laptop on.
Ina: The lack of face-to-face communication. I miss the laughter in the office.
Tseni: Lack of social contact, missing colleagues, missing the office.
Ivelina: I've worked from home, as well as with distributed teams previously, so the challenge was not a new one to me. The hardest thing about it though is the lack of live meetings that we're used to having with my colleagues, along with the opportunity to have a quick chat about a serious topic or a joke. Still Slack and Zoom do enable us to do this as well. So to sum up: it's nice to meet your colleagues at the office and I miss it for sure. Taking a nice walk in the park is another thing I miss a lot, still that's the state of this pandemic´s challenge and not necessarily the WFH challenge.
What was the most practical/clever thing you came up with?
Orlin: Throw everything in the other end of the room in order to clear space for my laptop. 🙂
Ina: Created a daily routine on what gets done when (including breaks and exercise).
Tseni: Going up the stairs to the 14th floor.
Ivelina: Ironing a new T-shirt early in the morning just like I do every day when I go to the office. That's the signal for my brain that it's a business day and it's about to start. 😊
What is the best thing about working from home?
Silvia: Having more time to do stuff.
Orlin: The illusion of having plenty of free time.
Ina: I was able to save my energy and still work when I wasn't feeling particularly well for a couple of days.
Tseni: Getting more sleep. 😴
Ivelina: I practice yoga much more than before and do it at least 3 times a week now (hoping to get to a daily routine). Previously I was able to practice on Fridays only. I do it with two ladies with great videos on YouTube: Adrienne (English-speaking) and with Tanya (Bulgarian-speaking).
What is the thing you never would have done if it was not for the long term WFH?
Silvia: Funny things like jumping rope on the balcony and disco nights with no other people around.
Orlin: Finish watching Breaking Bad.
Ina: I tried sitting on the floor while working, which was advice I wanted to try, to avoid spending too much time in the same position, which usually happens when we are at the office using chairs and desks.
Tseni: Run out of beer so often 🍻... at least I fixed my wardrobe 🛠️.
Ivelina: I wouldn't have tried so many new recipes. We purchased a mixer on the second day of the WFH period and I started experimenting with recipes (cooking hasn't really been my focus so far). And that's how time for commuting successfully translated into time for cooking experiments. 👩🍳
What are your top tips you have for other people?
Silvia: 1.Get up often & exercise; 2. Call team mates, family, and friends; 3. Use the time to rethink what you want and make plans/changes.
Orlin: 1. Get enough food; 2. Secure your network connection; 3. Make sure you have plenty of PC games for after hours working- 🕹️
Boyan: Don't spend the time saved from commuting working. 😉
Ina: 1. Take the initiative and talk to your colleagues; 2. Exercise and move as much as possible; 3. Be very aware of the time you spend working - don't get carried away in doing overtime. 😅
Dimitar: 1. When I started working from home, I decided to use the desk where my personal computer is located (so I could use the big monitors and keyboard and so on). Don't do that! Go to another room and leave your personal computer free so it can be used if anyone else needs it. I've found this the hard way, when my girlfriend wanted to shop online 🙄; 2. Prepare your lunch the evening before (if you are cooking instead of ordering), so you don't waste time during the day. Good and tasty food is important but it takes time to prepare and 1 hour lunch break isn't quite enough to cook and eat.
Tseni: Drink, socialize online if possible, evade the cops, drink! 😎
Ivelina: 1. Don't act, as if you're a victim .When life gives you lemons, make yourself a lemonade! 🍋; 2. Do the things you never had the time to do; 3. Try out new things, as they may end up being your new hobby - cooking, yoga, books, movies, a new language... the sky is the limit!