If you asked me 6 months ago if I could work from home, I’d have said that it’s impossible. My job includes too many moving parts and requires specific technology that’s only available in my office. Then Coronavirus-related mandates forced my company to work together and make the impossible happen. So here I am, working from my kitchen table in my best sweats, successfully doing my job from my apartment.
Working from home offers many perks. I get to sleep in a little later because I no longer commute to the office, and I’m saving money on gas. I love hanging out with my dogs all day, too. Taking them on walks throughout the day which forces me to get some fresh air and reconnect with nature. My boyfriend and parents are also working from home now, so I can also spend more quality time with them.
I also love the flexibility that working from home offers. I can change up my environment on a daily basis to match my mood and improve my productivity. Somedays I choose to blast music, whereas other days I enjoy the silence of my apartment. I can dress up for a video call, then cozy up in my PJs for the rest of the day. While I can sit at my kitchen table and pretend I’m at my desk, I can just as easily answer emails from the comfort of my bed.
While working from the comfort of my home offers many advantages, I’m discovering that it’s not all sunshine and roses. I sometimes feel isolated, which can lead to depression if I’m not careful. My colleagues and I check in on each other daily, it’s not the same as seeing them in person. Video conferencing isn’t perfect, and you can miss out on important social cues and body language while communicating this way. Staying home is the smart and healthy thing to do right now, but I really miss human interaction.
I worry that working from home makes me less efficient. Although we are all doing our best, assignments take longer when I can’t immediately access all of the materials I need. When I have a question for one of my bosses, I can’t just walk over to their office and ask them. Due to social distancing, it can take hours to receive a response that would normally take a few minutes.
Also, it’s hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance when you move your office into your home. Personally, I created a routine that works for me to separate work from home. I work during the same hours I would in the office, then I set work aside and try to be fully present for my loved ones when those hours end.
I’m proud of everyone in my company for making the most of this circumstance, I can’t wait to get back to the office when this pandemic ends. I’m curious to see what the transition will look like when we return, and I’m excited to incorporate what I’ve learned from working at home.