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The Block’s Neale Whitaker gives his 2021 interior trend tips

By Mikaela Fowler

You’ve been working from home for a few days now, and you’re quietly losing your mind. Don’t stress – you’re not alone.

This working from home malarkey ain’t for everyone. And there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to go about it.

Here’s what not to do, under any circumstances, when it comes to dialing in a day’s work from home. You can thank us later.

1. Eat all your snacks on day one

You hoofed it down to the supermarket once those government restrictions were read out, and – good news! – you managed to bag the last packet of Mini Eggs!

You also stocked up on hot cross buns, splurged on a variety-pack of little packets of chips and bought all the Lindt balls. You’re good to go, right?

Wrong! Don’t be fooled into thinking your epic snack haul will last you through the next few weeks of working from home – you’ll be lucky if they see you through the day, quite frankly. Stay away from the snack drawer as much as possible. You’ll thank us later.

There’s something about working from home that makes you 70-80% hungrier than you’d normally be during an average day in the office. Perhaps it’s the proximity to the fridge and pantry? Resist temptation! We all know how this lockdown’s going to go otherwise – it ends with us all looking like those humans at the end of Wall E (it’s true – just ask Taika Waititi!). Proceed with caution.

2. Forget to claim offsets when it comes time to do your tax

You’ve set up your working from home space – time to get smart about what you can and can’t claim as a legit expense.

Head online to the ATO website for up-to-date information, get your facts straight – then proceed directly to Officeworks and breathe in the sweet, sweet smell of tax-deductible stationery! You may also be able to claim a portion of your rent, electricity, heating and gas. But don’t take our word for it – check with someone official. And keep those receipts!

3. Have booze in the background while video-conferencing

It’s 5pm and you’ve just cracked your first post-work G&T. But what’s that? Ah, bloody hell, it’s your boss video-calling you!

Doesn’t he know you’ve already changed out of your ‘Day PJs’ into your ‘Night PJs’? Nope. And he doesn’t need to, either.

Hide that bottle of Four Pillars, pop on a work shirt over the top of your sloppy-joes and act semi-professional – he’ll be none the wiser.

If you’re already three gins down, feel free to feign “internet issues” via a post-it note placed strategically over your computer’s camera – what your boss can’t see, he can’t know about.

Keep the espresso martini out of the frame when you boss wants to video conference call.

4. Allow your housemates to cameo in a towel during a Zoom chat

It’s time to lock that bedroom door, house sharers! Especially if you’re about to Zoom with your colleagues.

No one wants to see Pete’s big, hairy be-towelled frame lingering in the background. And trust us – he WILL find a way to saunter his way across the lounge just as your “circling back” to that very important talking point.

5. Forget to include your pets in that dial-up meeting

Pets, on the other hand, are perfectly permissible – nay, essential! – during a work video conference.

A cute floofer of the cat, or dog variety is the absolute best way to distract your boss from the fact you’ve done absolutely Sweet Fanny Adams this week at work from home.

Don’t have a pet? No stress! Lure next door’s cat in with a tin of tuna.

It’d be unfair to your team to not include your cat on conference calls.

6. Forget to move

This one might sound a bit strange, but now you’re out of your daily routine, you may forget to, you know, actually move your body.

“Going to work” may now be as simple as rolling over and clicking on that Google Hangouts link. But as nice as a day lounging in your boudoir sounds, take time out to do at least 30 minutes of proper exercise.

There are stacks of great free online programs, but going for a walk around the block (practising good social distancing, of course), works just as well.

Move it or lose it, people!


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