Updated: Apr 16
Let's face it, working from home can be a lonely affair. It can feel like you have no escape from the place you call home, and if you're not careful, you could find yourself feeling down and unmotivated.
This situation worsens dramatically if you live in an area that doesn't offer much in the way of scenery, nowhere to escape for a walk, or no place to go as an alternative to your house. Whilst working from home has its benefits, it is important to draw a line between your home and your work environment.
That could be as simple as having a home office you can leave and shut the door behind you, whilst heading into the garden for a cup of tea. But maybe there's more you can do, to escape the WFH blues...
There are many ways to change up your home working situation, even if it's just a few days each week. Whilst familiarity is wonderful, giving ourselves a break from that familiarity can often make us feel more productive. Particularly if your WFH situation involves putting up with other people in the home whilst you're working.
Let's check out some options to change up your work-from-home lifestyle.
Coworking desks are an ideal option for changing your WFH environment, even just for a few days per week. It was the first thing I tried before settling on renting an office space, at the same location I found the coworking space.
Coworking allows you to rent a desk and a chair in a shared office space for a day. You will often have access to free wifi, kitchen space, a breakout room, toilet facilities and even a phone line for an additional cost. Most coworking spaces will have options to allow you to book on an ad-hoc or regular basis, booking weekly or monthly. Some even let you book a seat and desk space that's always yours.
Starting from around £25 per day, this is a great option if there are key days or times you need to have peace, or just want to feel like you're in an office environment.
2. Pub Hot Desk
Pubs started renting out tables as hot desks during the Covid-19 pandemic when they could re-open but going back to the office wasn't yet an option. It's worth looking at pubs local to you, to see what's on offer. Brewdog offers a hotdesk in one of its bars, with unlimited tea and coffee all day, with a pint at the end of your day for just £7. They call it DeskDog.
Offering a season pass at a reduced rate of £70, your 9-5 could be revolutionised with a DeskDog option. It's worth checking if there's a Brew Dog in your area.
If you have a cafe close by, it won't cost you a lot to spend a morning or afternoon working there. The change of location can be so beneficial and is great if you don't like to be bothered.
The din of customers can be soothing, grounding you as you feel the presence of others around you, whilst not having to interact with anyone. A pot of tea goes a long way and staff will often not expect you to leave in a hurry. I wouldn't recommend spending a whole day in a cafe, or doing this every day, as it might become frowned upon by the management, but it's certainly an option worth considering if you just need a change of scene.
4. Landscape Locations
Working remotely gives us opportunities to travel. As long as we have good wifi and access to power, you could work pretty much from anywhere. This could be taking yourself on the road for a long-term trip, just taking day trips here and there to locations you enjoy or want to visit, and setting yourself up on a picnic table.
In 2021 myself, my husband and my 2 children embarked on a 3 month UK tour in our touring caravan. I had my laptop, portable printer, 4GEE wifi box, and battery pack along with a box with all the paperwork I needed.
During those 3 months, I worked. For day trips I would just start really early and work in the evenings, or sometimes I would base myself on a picnic bench whilst my hubby and kids enjoyed activities.
Instead of allowing working from home to make you feel depressed, see it as an opportunity to enjoy your freedom.
5. Rent an Office Space
Finally, and if affordable, why not look at renting an office? It might not be as expensive as you think, and in fact, if you can find someone who wants to share with you, it could become a very viable option.
I love working from my office. I don't go in every day, but the option is there if I want to. It makes me more productive and I love the feeling of 'going to work' and 'returning home from work'.
Having an office space enables me to compartmentalise my work life from my home life in a way I wasn't able to do before.
All in all, there are many options to help beat the WFH blues. Changing it up whether that's on a permanent or temporary basis will help you to feel motivated, productive, and less likely to dissolve into someone who no longer bothers getting out of their pj's unless they have a zoom call scheduled.
So, fire up your search engine and start taking a look at what's around. You might have to be clever in your keyword search, try using hot desks and coworking in your searches. I would love to hear how you get on so please, let me know!