Working From Om

As an increasing number of us swap the traditional office for the kitchen table or home study we are faced with a new suite of gains and a ledger of losses. On the plus side, as a homeworker I find I feel more grounded in family life, have longer spells of productive, focused time and have greater flexibility in how I plan out my day.

There is real need to maximise these benefits when we consider the potential downsides of working from home, such as feeling isolated from colleagues, becoming distant from the company culture and developing an overwhelming urge to keep looking in the fridge.

For me, two things have meant that being part of the 41% of TSG who are home-based is a substantially positive experience: yoga and technology.

These are perhaps words that you wouldn’t necessarily put together, but the tech giants are at the forefront of bringing mindfulness into the workplace – with Google, Microsoft and Apple all having wellbeing programmes in place (there’s even a Head of Self-Improvement in one of them – guess who?) and with 22.7 million working days lost to ill-health last year in the UK (with mental illnesses and back problems accounting for the highest portion of that figure) it’s small wonder that corporations see promoting good health and self-actualisation as integral to achieving productivity gains.

It’s here – for me – that these two worlds come together; having effective communications, the right software tools and a well-equipped laptop has genuinely meant I can conference with colleagues (via Skype for Business), collaborate with peers (Using Office 365 Teams) and effectively manage my tasks and customer interactions (Planner and Dynamics CRM). That efficiency and connectivity allows me to substitute the daily commute for a walk to my hot yoga class (no laughing at the back please!) at 6:20pm – so thank you Microsoft and thank you TSG.

We all know the importance of taking a ‘screen break’, but it’s all too easy without the pleasure of colleagues stopping deskside to briefly chat about last night’s telly, to get tunnelled into the computer screen and only come up for breath hours later. I now build in a quick run or 30 minutes vinyasa practice at lunch to split the day, and whilst I can’t quantify the impact on the bottom line, I do know that I feel more engaged in my work, collaborate more openly with colleagues and my back doesn’t hurt.

All up, mobile, flexible working for this AD has taken on a very literal sense thanks to the enabling technology. Namaste.