Coffee Break After Pandemic
Illustration by Olha Khomich from Ouch!

Coffee Break After Pandemic

The remote work approach after the pandemic is gone.

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Most of us got used to working remotely since the pandemic started, well, not all of us, I've been working remotely since 2013. I gotta say that this is not at all a lifestyle everyone can get used to.

The first two years into working remotely it was like a dream, I could be at home with my family and still get paid for doing what I like to do. Although, around the third or the fourth year working remotely things started to change.

This is my advice for those that start to feel things are changing as well.


Either you're working or you're at home

The first rule in the book is to be able to separate home from work, the best way of doing this is by having a dedicated room to build your office, make sure that the only thing that happens inside that room is work. It's your corner, decorate as you wish, but make sure when you step outside of it, you're home.

Back in 2013, I moved from the UK back to Portugal, that's when started working remotely as well as I moved in with my girlfriend. I used this approach, I had a dedicated room for myself, to be away from all the distractions, although the internet signal from my router couldn't reach the office, so for the first few weeks, I was working in the living room.

At the end of the day all my girlfriend wanted was to spend time with me in the living room and all I wanted was to not be in the living room, I had just spent 8 hours there.

Fooling yourself with stuff like, “It’s just today.” or “I can control it, today I will be checking Facebook, Twitter and YouTube videos.” is just wrong.


Don't be lazy

Just because you're at home, there's no excuse to spend the whole day in pyjamas. One strict rule I religiously follow is to take a shower in the morning and make sure to dress as I would go to the office. Of course, I might dress in more comfortable clothes, and instead of shoes I use flip-flops, but that's all.


Breaking the break routine

Make sure to take enough breaks, if you're feeling un-productive take a little break, go for a walk, get some fresh air, come back refreshed, trust me, you'll thank me later.

What do I do? I do just that, get some fresh air, I even leave my phone by my desk so I don't have the urge to grab it and check news and social media.


The 9—5 nightmare

Companies need to understand it's hard for someone to stay at a desk from 9—5, especially if you're working at home. If you don't do it in the office, why should you do it at home?

Usually, the problem is that people tend to over-work to prove themselves because there's no one controlling them. It's perfectly normal, I've been there, but if you're doing this you need to stop right now.