It took some work to get used to working remotely
By April Blake
Working from home — this phrase inspires either anxiety or great delight in people. There are those who truly believe their happiness comes from sitting under fluorescent lights surrounded by the humming and throat clearings of busy office mates. Then there are those who feel trapped, drained, and stressed by those same things. No matter what anyone feels about it, working from home became a new reality for many office workers in 2020.
I’ve always wanted to work from home, but very rarely got the chance. When I did, those days flew by. The next day, unfortunately, I was again waking up an hour and a half before having to be at work — looking presentable, with everything I needed to survive away from home for the next 10 hours, and a long commute ahead.
But suddenly, the pandemic hit a tipping point, and the government was actually trying to keep us safe at that point. Many businesses, including the corporation I work for, instructed workers to work remotely in late March. I didn’t think it would last long, but I brought my office plants home to be on the safe side. I was sure we’d be back in the office by Memorial Day, but by that point, COVID cases had skyrocketed. At this point in time, I’m not forecasted to go back to the office for the remainder of 2020.
When working from home dreams come true
So, what was it like finally getting to live the dream? Disconcerting. I felt like the rug would be pulled out from under me at any moment during the first month. Time felt like wet sand and, for a few weeks, I looked at my phone constantly to confirm the day, date, and time. But after about four weeks of working from home, my new routines fell into place, and I got a feel for days and times again. Technical issues were resolved by that point, and it finally became enjoyable.
Of course, while not everyone is well-suited for this lifestyle, when it is necessary, you should try to let go and embrace it. Find the good side of things, and let your days unfold naturally. See what feels good, and what needs to be tweaked to make the day feel better for you. For some people, that means getting dressed in work clothes. For others, it may mean finding an office space that’s separate from the rest of the home. Then there are those of us who are content to work in pajamas and enjoy the extra time in the mornings to not be rushing around in a tired fog.
I hope companies begin to use the word “when” instead of “if” when it comes to returning to the office. It may increase both their bottom line and employee happiness more than they ever could have predicted.