Home is the new office

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

by Loredana Bădileanu (Vlădăreanu)

Through this article, Loredana Bădileanu (Vlădăreanu), expert in Human Resources and Professional & Life Coach, Master Trainer, tries to answer today’s big questions regarding the new trend in the field of Human Resources brought by the covid-19 pandemic: Home is our new office. What advantages does it bring us and what shortcomings come with this new trend? Can our home be a suitable workspace where we can freely express our creativity and be efficient? Can the intrusion of service issues into our family life negatively affect our lives? Will our own home become our second long-term office, or will this trend end with the end of this pandemic? And many other questions, after 1 and a half years of forced coexistence with coronavirus.


Home is the new office. Advantages. Complaints.

The fact that we can work from home brings us important benefits, and the most often listed by people are:

  1. You work at your own pace
  2. Don’t waste time in traffic
  3. You are closer to your loved ones
  4. It is comfortable and private
  5. The program is flexible
  6. you can work from anywhere (not just from home).

However, there are some disadvantages and for this reason, for many people, this work from home seems more complicated than work from the office.

From the beginning of the pandemic until now I had training sessions with the theme “Work from home – tips & tricks” in which people asked me to help them solve these disadvantages. The most common is “I work more than before, I give and receive phone calls or emails at 10 pm!”. Then there is the disorganized schedule, ie the mixture between work tasks and household chores (more often in women). And last but not least… children! The difficulties encountered by those with children, who either have an online school or are too small and intervene with their needs over the job requirements.


We can be creative and efficient at home.

Sure, our house can be the most suitable work space, but only if we know how to transform it from living space to workplace.

Home atmosphere is intimate and comfortable, and you may not feel bound or confused by requirements, procedures, flows. For example, in many companies you lose time when you go out to enjoy the light or the air outside (elevator, badge, standing, etc.). At home, you can go out at any time, sit comfortably on the balcony / terrace / courtyard to relax for 15 minutes to be more efficient. Same with the lunch break or meetings that require travel and much more.

In our intimate space, dressed more comfortably and with everything we need close by, yes, we can be more productive and creative. We just need to know a few essential rules and apply them with a lot of self-discipline.


Pay attention to how you harmonize work obligations with family life.

Yes, work from home can certainly negatively affect our lives at home! And I say this based on real evidence. I think of the people I’ve met in webinars or coaching programs since I’ve been working online.

The first and most important situation is related to being a parent. If you do not know how to harmonize work tasks with parenting, you will feel confused, running around trying to accomplish all tasks, chaotic, frustrated, unable to do them well or on time.

Then there’s the couple’s life. Here, too, a discipline is needed in which the two respect their programs, their needs, but also combine them harmoniously with the role of partner in the couple.


The balance between working in the office and at home is possible and can become a successful model.

Before the pandemic there were companies that offered 1-2 days/week or month of “work from home” as a plus, and the respective employees were very happy with this benefit. With the pandemic, we could all benefit even more, but we were not prepared for that. Now, in a year and a half, the trend seems to be maintained in many companies, and this is a very beneficial thing, as long as people adapt effectively.

For this adaptation, on the one hand, it is the responsibility of companies, in the sense of creating new procedures, policies, flows, to regulate and establish very clearly how the combined office and home program will be combined.

On the other hand, employees need to integrate this new program into their lives so that it is perceived as beneficial. And this is not very difficult, on the contrary. In my course “Work from home – tips & tricks” I present 15 essential rules to create harmony between work from home and family life.

Here are some of them:

  1. The first and most important thing is “Accept the situation”, ie start with the confidence that you will find solutions and even come to consider working from home as a benefit, as it was in the companies I was talking about before the pandemic.
  2. „Take care of you”: the ergonomics of the chair, the place in the house where you work, the breaks, the movement – all are important to be effective in working from home. At the office, the company offered all this to you and you didn’t have much choice. At home, you can create them yourself, you have the freedom to choose. So it’s up to you.
  3. Build barriers” – both literally (for children or pets – I think everyone knows what this situation looks like) and figuratively, meaning you can create a new ritual for yourself and those in the house, allowing you to work. For example: “Quiet time” for children (reach a consensus with them), the hours to walk the dogs/pets (you can easily change them over time, and the pet will adapt), synchronization with your partner for work and household chores (negotiate together who can take on certain responsibilities, involving even older children) etc.
  4. “Evaluate your new work pace and productivity curve”. Things were different at the office. Being at home and having other people around, each with their own needs, will give your productivity a different dynamic. You have to adapt your TO DO list to the new program, taking into account this essential aspect. For example, if you notice that you are more productive when children are asleep or have online schooling, set for that timeframe all tasks that require extra attention.
  5. The day is a race” – look at every day as athletes do with a race: set the “start” and “finish” times, be warm for the start and be disciplined and fair with yourself and others in that race. And the most important thing to remember: the athletes no longer run after the finish line!

There is much more to say, and for those who want, you can request the webinar.


Family relationships can become a challenge with us constantly present at home.

Eternal meetings and deadlines can cause us to be more absent than present in our own home and this can affect our relationship with loved ones, especially children, who do not understand why we stay home, but cannot play or spend time with them.

These are real life situations that I have heard from many people, both women and men: family relationships were impacted, even major in some cases. So it is very important to take into account this concrete, real aspect.

Regarding children, regardless of their age, the first step is communication. The child needs to be explained, according to his understanding, what is happening, and children over 7 years old can even be involved in decisions about how family life will change. However, the decisions taken must be respected by both parents and children. If you agreed that from 7 PM you will spend time together, do not make exceptions, no matter how many tasks or so-called service emergencies occur. Because if you make exceptions, the child will start to do the same.

As a parent, set a new rhythm adjusted to the child’s rhythm. I know it’s not easy, but it’s possible.

Set barriers, explain the need for these barriers and respect them. Barriers, as I said above, of time and space. Explain why mom/dad need not to be bothered at certain hours and give examples for the child to understand (“look, you don’t like to be bothered when you color/ when you’re in the middle of the game on the x app”, etc.). Do not give penalties or rewards for breaking barriers. Punishments and rewards are no longer a suitable means of education, according to the new parenting strategies – but there is a lot to analyze and explain here, so let’s give credibility to the specialists.

And there is much more to say about our children and homework, but I want to end with a fundamental idea for any parent: society puts a lot of pressure on us, employees who are also parents, but in the end, all parents are human. And here I appeal to everyone’s tolerance. What if you hear a baby crying during a meeting on the online platform? What if a child enters the frame for a few seconds? We are only humans after all. We can’t control everything. The truth is that we can control very little, even if we don’t like it. Let’s not stress unnecessarily and put all kinds of pressure on each other or on ourselves.


Is the pandemic over, is work from home over?

I think we’re all wondering, in this stage of the pandemic, if our own homes will become in time our second office or will this trend stop by the end of this pandemic? But as I said above, this is already happening in many companies, ie a combined style of work is adopted both in the office and at home. And over time, harder or easier, depending on the case, we will all adapt to this new style of work.

From my point of view, I consider this new style of work to be much more effective. Precisely because of the benefits listed at the first question. As for the disadvantages, there are viable solutions. We have listed only a few of them, and if implemented, will help us achieve what was the number 1 topic before the pandemic for all those of us who work with in training or coaching programs: work-life balance. The pandemic gave us this gift: reconnecting with family lifestyle. The only thing we have to do is adapt.

Author: Editor

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