A working from home newbie: Any tips?

So, like so many others in the UK in light of the new guidance to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, I have been asked to working from home. I had my first experience of this on Wednesday this week…it was very odd!

However, because it was so sudden, I am not fully set up yet, so there is a limit on what I can actually do. But I can email and communicate with my colleagues remotely thankfully, but it does feel strange not being able to just talk across the office to them!

It all felt very weird and I wasn’t sure what I should be doing or how I should be doing it! My job is a desk and computer bound, 9-5 one, so I am used to being in an office every day.

turned on silver macbook on white bed
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I started the day hunched over my little chromebook on my bed, but after about of hour of that I knew that my bed could not be my desk for the day!!

I decamped to the dining room table, much better…but I also have to share this with my partner who is of course working from home as well.  He is used to it and has his own routines, so the sudden presence of another WFH-er was a bit disruptive!

We live in a flat with limited space, so the only desk like area we currently have is the dining room table. It’s certainly not ideal and will be a learning curve for both of us I’m sure!!  We are going to look into setting up another space if this arrangement continues for a long period.

The radio on or off??  That’s been one of the debates! I’m a definite radio on person, but he is not!

Compromise is going to be key to get through this!

So, as I my first week  of home working finishes, with no idea how long this might last, I am asking you lovely lot for your WFH tips!

I would welcome your thoughts, advice, hints and tips on how to survive!!

How do you work from home?

Do you have an office?

Do you have a routine?

Do you stay in your pyjamas all day, or get up and get dressed??

What do you for lunch?

And if, like me, this is your first experience of working from home, how are you finding it? 

Please feel free to share your stories below! It would be great to know how it’s going!


24 thoughts on “A working from home newbie: Any tips?

  1. My husband and I have worked from our home office for past 15 years. It does take getting used to but we have a routine, and we stick to it. We share an enormous double sided partner’s desk and have everything to hand. Initially, our WiFi was restricted to the office but now it’s available throughout the flat and on our terrace which makes it easier if one of us is on a conference call. We do generally dress though I have been known to wear lounge wear when it’s cold. We break the day up into chunks, ensuring there’s enough time for some exercise or just to enjoy the outdoors. We stop mid-morning for a coffee, and mid-afternoon for tea, have lunch at pretty much the same time every day. We would occasionally go out for lunch but that’s now strictly verboten, as is our post-lunch walk with coffee. I fit in housework and household chores around my work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you definitely know what you are doing then! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It sounds like you have worked out a great routine between you, which suits you both. I think having a bit of a routine in terms of breaks and lunch is a good idea. I noticed I wasn’t eating particularly healthy food last week, I am much stricter with myself when at work. Of course it’s early days, so I’ll try and sort out my lunches in advance next week, like I would do if I was going to work. It’s getting out for some exercise which I must make sure I do, it’s all too easy not to bother!

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  2. It can be quite the transition if you’re not used to working from home. I usually work from home one day a week and have done so for the past four years. It’s a big change to now work from home full time.

    My tips?
    Wake up at the same time every day. Get dressed straight away, don’t linger in pajamas . Having regular clothes on helps get into the mindset that it’s work time. Have regular breaks. Don’t work from your bed. Bed is relax time. Try to set up a work spot. And if you want radio,
    Maybe put in ear phones?
    Also, allow yourself to get used to it. I was doing fine the first two days. Third day was awful, fourth day was om and last Friday was fine again.
    Good luck! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All great tips, thank you! It is a big adjustment isn’t it. Interesting to hear about your week and that there were ups and downs, I guess we just have to prepare ourselves for that don’t we.
      Following a routine and making sure you get up and dressed I think is definitely going to help me too. I think earphones will be the way forward, I’m so used to just having the radio on in the office, it feels really strange to work in silence! I am going to have to try to sort out the routine, I found working in a break and lunch quite difficult last week. Thank you so much for your comments, it’s really helpful and I’m pleased to know I’m not alone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. And you’re definitely not alone. I personally don’t have timed breaks. I just eat something when I’m hungry or take a small break when I need to.
        Everyone will want and need different things. Yes, big adjustment for sure. Test of character too! I’m sure there will be ups and downs throughout this period, so I’m also going to try and enjoy the opportunity that it presents, i.e. Watching that tv show I’ve been mesning to, staying up a little later, doing crafty hobbies.
        If only more people would take this social distancing seriously. So many people outside snd not keeping their distance. Smh.
        Hang in there! I’m curious to learn what ends up working for you in this wfh adventure 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! You are totally right, this will be a test of character for sure won’t it! I agree, in between all of the anxiety I am trying to enjoy the extra time I will have (hopefully!) to do a few more bits around the house – and staying up a bit later like you say! I think I want to try to get back into yoga so would like to incorporate that into my daily routine too. Time will tell how I get on! Thanks again, all the very best and do look after yourself!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve just started WFH myself, so I’m interested in what others suggest. So far I’m trying to stick to my regular pre-WFH hours including stopping for my lunch hour to do something completely different. At shut down time I’m turning my desktop off and unplugging the network cable to prevent work seeping into my “real life”. I set up a group chat for my department so we can still carry on with our daily chitchat, which I hope will keep morale high as we try to figure out how to manage this new reality as a collective. My biggest issue so far is snacking so I’m going to get some more fruit and vegetables to have at hand.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments! It sounds like we are in the same boat!! I think I am going to have to be strict about unplugging at the end of the working day, I found it quite difficult last week, but as you say about work seeping into real life, it is something I am worried about. I am used to there being a clear line as I never have brought work home with me before now. We’ve also got a group chat set up which was invaluable last week, and will be going forward no doubt. But I did find it quite exhausting with so many messages flying about – it’s so much easier to just have a chat across an office!! But these are things I will just have to get used to, it’s all necessary we stay at home. And snacking!! Yes, this is an issue for me too! I’m going to try to follow my work pattern of snacks and lunch, which were fairly healthy…but it’s difficult when I’ve got other things around in the house! Thanks again so much for your comments, I hope that all stays well with your and you settle into the routine, do let me know how you get on!


      1. It’s definitely going to take a bit of adjustment for us, isn’t it? I feel like we’re all in this together and it’s going to be interesting to see how we adjust and make things work best for us. 💕

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  4. I love working from home and try to do it at least once a week (would do it every day if my employer let me, our office building is so ugly and untempting and all that office drama I could do without – so this time my boss could not object to us all working from home, hahah). I wear a comfy home outfit (sometimes pajamas) and don’t do makeup or anything. I sit on the sofa withmy work laptop in my lap and the mouse on the sofa’s arm. It’s not ideal for ergonomy but then again my hobby for the past 5 years had been blogging on my Macbook in bed so 🤷‍♀️
    The only catch with the covid wfh is that I have to simultaneously care for and entertain my very active 3-year-olds who normally would be in daycare and who don’t yet understand the concept of work. Our flat feels tiny and I have no breaks whatsoever. Whenever someone suggests ”Since you’re all in lockdown, maybe you’ll have time to write more now” I feel like punching them! 😄 I’m twice as busy than usual! 🤣😳😴
    Take care!! Good luck with your new ”co-worker”! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, thank you!! It’s definitely a learning curve for both of us here 🙂 Oh gosh, of course, you have the added issue of trying to look after your children. I hope your employers are being considerate of this? It must be so difficult, but you can only do what you can do in these extraordinary times. I can image how exhausting it must be! Haha, yes, it would be great to have more time to take up all of those hobbies we don’t get around to, but although I don’t have children to look after I’m still having to work. I haven’t seen much of that extra time yet! I’m interested to see how much I like working from home, it may be very difficult to go back to a full-time office job!! I haven’t bothered with make-up or anything yet either – that may change if I have to video call anyone!! I’ve ordered a little desk that I hope I can set up in the bedroom, that will give me another space to work in apart from at the dining room table with my partner. I think it will be needed as we could well both need to talk to colleagues a fair amount. Thanks so much for your comments, lovely to chat as always! I hope that all stays well with you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m happy we don’t do video calls! Just conference call meetings on MS Teams. I glued a piece of tape on top of my laptop’s camera to block any accidential pajama footage 😁
        Hope your new office space works out! 👍 My brother rearranged his ”home office” too and commented that finally he got a window desk! 😁
        Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha, love it! I have a few weekly meetings booked in via video conferencing so far, so I’ll have to make sure I get dressed for them…but then other times?! We’ll see!! Thanks, you too, look after yourself!

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  5. As a teacher, I’ve only been WFH since Wednesday. Actually, I think I’m kind of a natural at it (this doesn’t mean I like everything about it – see below.) I have continued my normal pre-workday routine of getting up early, having coffee and doing the crossword, and then exercising. I’ve made an office space in our library/craft room/podcast studio so that our regular home office can be for our home business. The things I like: no commute, no makeup, not deciding what to wear (though I do wear clothes – not PJs – while working). Things I don’t like: so much sitting!! As a teacher, I’m not used to all this sitting. That is why my morning workout has to be HARD. Gotta go anaerobic to combat all that sitting. Also, technology and I hate each other, so trying to figure all that stuff out has had me in tears more than once already. The only thing I’d add to what others have said is that it’s become really important for me to take a longish walk at the end of my work day. Never did this before, but it puts a little barrier between my work day and my “I’m done with work” evening. Also, I need it after all that sitting and just to get out and get some fresh air. Good luck. This is going to be interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is isn’t it! We’ve just had more restrictions imposed on us as of last night, so we are confined to home even more now. I like the idea of putting a barrier between your work day and evening, that’s a really good idea. I’ll have to think how I might do that here. I’m thinking yoga! I haven’t done it for ages and this could be a good opportunity for me to get back into it. It’s a real challenge for everyone isn’t it…and I hear you about the technology!! I am being tested on that front too as we figure out the practicalities of working from home!! I am also waiting for a small desk to arrive so I hope that I can set up another space away from the dining room table. It’s not ideal but given that this has all been very sudden it will just have to do. Anyway, thanks so much for your comments, glad to hear you guys are ok over there! Take good care of yourselves.


  6. I still have to go into work, even though there is no direct client contact at the moment for me. But they haven’t completely suspended it – Australia’s response is painfully slow, so we could be headed for an Italy situation. I am going to ask to work from home and do some admin, as I live a while away from work and the travel time is extensive. I would like to save on that. I guess you will need a bit of time to adjust and get your set up worked out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, I hope that they will let you work from home. Is there any compelling reason for you to be in the office? I guess a more restrictive lockdown will come if the situation doesn’t get any better over there? It’s scary to see what has happened in other countries and know that could be what is in store for us too. We have been told that we must work from home wherever possible and our place has pretty much completely shut down now, we are not supposed to go in unless it’s absolutely essential. It’s been a tough week to be honest, I have found the whole situation quite stressful. But it’s now the weekend and I plan to spend today reading! After venturing out to see what is left in the shops – we need toilet roll, but can we find any anywhere?! No! All the very best, take good care of yourself.


      1. Oh no. Not the loo paper hoarding! Right here the toilet paper situation is improving but vegetable seedlings, meat and hand sanitizer are still very hard to get. As I am an assistant physio, I have to go to work.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That must be tough when you’re not used to it! I’m not working from home but I think if I were, I would get dressed and take breaks as you would do if you were at work. I would definitely be a radio on girl! Good luck with it all 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s been a challenging few weeks, but I’m slowly getting into a routine. Getting up and dressed is definitely something I feel I have to do to be ready for the day ahead. And glad I’m not the only radio on girl 🙂 Hope all is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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