When Working From Home Doesn’t Work: 5 Reasons To Get Out Of The House – Forbes - Freelance Rack

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

When Working From Home Doesn’t Work: 5 Reasons To Get Out Of The House – Forbes

As stay-at-home orders begin to lift, you’ll have more choices about where you work. Some companies may ask you to continue to work from home. Better yet, some companies will give you the choice of doing some work from home and some in the office. Ideally, companies will create an office experience you cannot resist. In any of these scenarios, it’s likely working from home is here to stay, but with more choices for you to take advantage of in addition to your home office (or kitchen table).

So, when should you choose to work from home and when should you choose to go to the office or another location to work? Use these 5 criteria to decide when your best work demands you leave your home office.

When You Need To Innovate

One of the biggest barriers people report in working from home is the reduced ability to create, ideate and think in new ways. Innovation works best when you have the opportunity to learn new things, connect with people outside your usual network and be stimulated by variety around you. Face-to-face and person-to-person is undoubtedly best for generating ideas and coming up with creative solutions, so use this as a guide. The entire creative process isn’t divergent—coming up with lots of new ideas—it is also convergent—evaluating options and closing in on solutions—as well. But when you need to brainstorm or create together with others, opt for the office or another place you can be in person with teammates.

When You Need To Work Through A Sensitive Issue

Another limitation in working from home is having to communicate virtually with others. As humans our instinct is to connect and be in synch with others, and the virtual process introduces stress for our brains because we cannot see multiple people in one glance. Instead, we must look at numerous screens to gauge reactions and responses. In addition, no matter how effective video technology is, it can’t provide access to the subtle nonverbal cues or micro-expressions that help us hone our communication. If you’re going to have a difficult conversation or if you expect a disagreement, there is nothing like being face-to-face so you can more effectively tune in, demonstrate empathy and initiate what may be a tough but necessary conversation.

When You Need To Get Motivated

Working from home all day, every day can be monotonous and demotivating. When you need to energize and tap into the buzz of people around you, it’s a great time to get away from home. Even if you choose to work by yourself in your work café or alone in your company’s collaborative atrium, being among others can be stimulating. Just the act of shifting your environment is positive, but it can also be helpful to tap into the spirit and diversity of the activity around you.

When You Need To Enhance Your Wellbeing

Wellbeing is holistic and includes physical, cognitive and emotional components. Getting out and having a much-needed break from working at home can effectively disrupt the monotony of being home all the time. In addition, movement is good for your physical health, but it’s also been proven to help cement memory and learning, so going to an office and moving from place-to-place during the day can be a welcome relief. Having a place to go also helps restore your time orientation. Many people have reported losing track of what day it is because they spend time doing the same thing again and again—looking at a screen at home. Getting out disrupts the routine and gives you some new stimulation which is good for your wellbeing.

When You Need A Break

Traditionally, the advice about work-life fulfillment has included suggestions on how to create a boundary between work and life so work doesn’t intrude into your life too much. Today, the opposite is true, and people are increasingly looking for ways to leave home at home for a bit. Home has its own set of distractions, and no matter how much you love your spouse, partner, family, friend or roommate, you can often benefit from some time apart. Choose to work away from your home when you need this moment of respite. No matter how great your relationships, some distance can be refreshing.

Working from home can be a wonderful thing for work-life fulfillment, reduced commutes and greater time to connect with family, but it can’t meet all your needs. As you can again choose to be at your office or a work club or even a coffee shop, consider times when you need to innovate, connect, tap into inspiration, be healthy or get some distance. These are the conditions when getting out of the house can help you be more productive and effective. Chances are you’ve recently been released from stay-at-home orders. Enjoy, and tap into the renewed options that will spur your best work.



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