I have been off work and working from home following knee surgery a week ago. So now I have some insight to what it's like being forced to work from home.

Nearly 20 years ago I worked from home at a start up accountancy practice and hated it. It felt like I was never fully at home and never fully at work. It was also prior to the cloud so communication and systems were not fit for purpose.

So what has my experience been to date:-

  • Modern day systems are so easy to work with there is hardly a difference to being in the office. Having one screen and trackpad instead of a mouse aren't great, but workable. I can't sit at a desk as have to keep my leg up, but virus isolators won't have this problem if they have the hardware.
  • I have had no reason to use paper in a week, makes me think the dream of a paperless office is actually achievable.
  • I have been able to concentrate on really important client matters without interruption, helped as I have had no meetings in my diary as wasn't sure if I could work or not. Makes me think how many of those face to face meetings were strictly necessary?¬†
  • Phone calls have been really useful, plugs the gap of working in isolation and is better for communicating than emails.
  • Wish the nice to have decent firm wide video conferencing system had been implemented earlier. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
  • It's harder to work when the kids get home from school, but needs managing, less phone calls and more laptop works for me when they are around.

I haven't done a full week's working, probably two thirds as need some rest and exercises as part of my recovery. However in terms of loss of output I would say hardly any lost.

Although my absence has caused extra work for my colleagues in the office, this is easily overlooked when focusing on your own output.

My co-directors have done all the heavy lifting on disaster planning due to the Coronavirus; I am grateful to be part of such a fantastic team where we can rely on each other to step forward when somebody has to step back temporarily. It looks like there will be a lot of this going forward.

Finally, I didn't have the worry of those self isolating due to Coronavirus, so I didn't feel the stress they must be under, wondering if they have it, or will they recover or pass it onto loved ones.

As with all challenges, look to see what you can learn and benefit from going forward!

Best of health everyone!

About the Author: Morgan Davies

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