31st March 2020

Jonny Richardson, PR & Communications Officer at BGU shares his experience on how finding balance helped him adjust to working from home.


I don’t know about you, but it’s taken me little longer than I expected to adjust to home working.

I originally viewed the transition as a great opportunity to clear out long term projects, or those unusual pieces of work you never quite have time for but for the first few days (in fact if I’m being honest it was probably the whole first week) I struggled to settle and my motivation and productivity never quite seemed to be where I expected them.

Eventually I realised the issue was my choice of working location. I didn’t have immediate access to a home office space so at first I’d chosen what I felt to be the most relaxing location: my lounge. Looking back now that was an obviously poor choice, it was far too relaxing and provided too many distractions (namely Winston my new four legged coworker), so I moved into the kitchen and set up at our dining table.

This was a much better spot, I was now sat on a proper chair and at a sensible height table but I could also look out a window into our garden which, luckily for me, backs onto Hartsholme Park and offers a very peaceful back drop.

Success, it seemed, had been found until my wife’s work closed for quarantine. Although the kitchen had been a good spot to begin with, I was now attempting to work in one of the busiest rooms in the house. Again, my productivity began to suffer and a new spot was needed.

So, over the weekend we worked together to clear out our spare room which has now become my home office for the time being and so far it’s been brilliant:

  • It’s quiet but I can still hear the general bustle of the house which means I don’t get distracted by noise or silence.
  • It offers a nice even level of light throughout the day meaning my eyes don’t get too tired.
  • It’s upstairs which gives me an opportunity to increase my physical activity on essential trips for tea.
  • I still have a window that lets me look onto the park, recharging my brain, but I don’t directly face it so again I’m not easily distracted.
  • And to top it all because it’s a reasonably small space it’s easy to control the temperature meaning it’s never too hot or too cold.

Finding balance in these areas has been the key and would be my advice to anyone else who is still trying to settle into home working. Don’t work in an area that’s too noisy or too quiet, not too bright or too dark and not too hot or too cold. Remember not to simply choose a space that’s ‘making do’, create an environment that supports you mentally and physically.

Are you proud of your home arrangements? Or do you have a special new coworker? Let us know and we’ll share your top pieces of advice. Here are some sent to us by Emma Maltby, Admin Assistant with BG (Lincoln) Ltd.:

  • Have a designated workspace where possible
  • Ensure you have a drink and snacks to hand
  • If you have children who also have school work to complete make your line manager aware that you may need to support them too so tasks may take longer
  • Set clear schedules of work you anticipate you can complete with your line manager and feedback at the end of the day
  • Prioritise tasks in order of importance. Work on the most challenging when you are most productive

Remember if you have a question about ways to improve your mental and physical health, or your home working practices, let us know and we’ll do our best to find the information you need.