Of all the lockdown restrictions frustrating Australians, working from home is not one of them. In fact, survey upon survey show a vast majority of Australians now want remote working to be a regular feature of their lives.
Many workers are enjoying the flexibility to structure their days as they see fit, from replacing morning commutes with yoga to catching a few rays of sunshine on mid-afternoon walks. And despite the Covid-19 imposed adjustment, workers have remained as productive as ever.
The good news is the benefits aren’t going unnoticed. Business leaders are wasting little time making the necessary changes to accommodate remote working.
“Prior to Covid-19 around 10% of our staff had flexible work arrangements, long term I expect that will be more like 40%,” says Allyson Carlile, head of people and culture at insurance firm Metlife Australia.
The rigid corporate lifestyle that compelled workers to long office hours, often at the expense of family and personal wellbeing, is undergoing a pandemic-inspired revolution.
“Historically, there was a view that remote working wasn’t appropriate for law firms and the sector was somewhat fixated on presenteeism and ‘being seen’. The pandemic has put paid to that,” says Andrew Pike, Australian executive partner at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). The law firm found its employees largely enjoyed the work-from-home benefits, which improved their outputs.
With this in mind we would like to suggest a some solutions that can help your workplace facilitate socialising and collaboration.
If there is one cohort uniquely prepared for both working from home and going into isolation – it is writers.
Writers with book deadlines or a passion project that must be written now usually have to go into lockdown in order to get the damn thing finished.
They stock up on food, limit their communication with the outside world, create and stick to a routine and stay healthy by getting enough rest and healthy food.
Here’s some of their tips for not just surviving while you work from home or socially isolate – but for thriving and doing some of your best work yet.
Ernest Hemingway started writing at 6am each morning and had the fairly consistent routine of a mid-level accountant – not the loose unit that he was in his non-writing life.
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write,” he told Paris Review.
Writers in full throttle will have a schedule that wouldn’t look out of place in the military. They get up at the same time each day, have a word count goal, a time when they put down their pens, a time set aside for exercise, a time when they start drinking and – for today’s writers –a discipline around using the internet and social media.
Even interaction can be scheduled. As Graham Greene wrote in the End of the Affair, “When I was young not even a love affair would alter my schedule. A love affair had to begin after lunch.”
Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami could only get through the slog that is a writer’s confinement by committing to a rigid exercise regimen. He said in a 2004 interview, “When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerise myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
Social distancing would be a lot harder without the internet. As I write, it’s day 90 of my social isolation and I’ve been in more contact with more friends, in more parts of the world, than the entire rest of this year combined. With no coworkers to look over your shoulder and judge you for checking Facebook, texting, and having long phone chats, you’ll have to be self-disciplined about not spending all day on FaceTime in your pyjamas.
If you are going to be effective you’ll need to quarantine yourself from social media and phone calls with friends.
This elegant whiteboard is mobile, making it easy to move around your home office. Especially in a home environment where you are often juggling multiple space uses,The benefits of a mobile, standalone writing board are obvious.
From office to home and from hotel to dressing room: Coach offers exactly the right support in every room. The handsome team player made of curved beech plywood is a coat rack, bag rack, seat and backrest in one. Put down your bag, hang your jacket on one of the hooks or buttons and take a seat to tie your shoelaces. The design of design duo Hermes/Jessen is well thought out in detail.
Ossa is named for a street in Berlin, hometown of designers Geckeler and Michels. The storage module has a distinctly Berlin vibe and designed for clearing up small spaces —a playfulness combined with thoughtful functionality. For example, the top of each Ossa has raised sides, so it can hold folders or knickknacks. It is a striking visual element that has a real purpose.
Smart Chalkboard Paint allows you to create a blackboard area with a durable matt black finish. This product can be applied to any smooth non-porous surface including drywall, wood, plaster and metal.
The Framery 2Q meeting booth is designed for people. It’s privacy, noise control and intimate environment is the best place to co-create, brainstorm and have zoom meetings. The superior sound insulation system ensures that the house activities and noise won’t disturb you.