Is Working from Home a Joy? By Christine Woodham
Back in April, I wrote a blog on ‘The Joys of Working from Home’ and seeing as we are now nearly 8 months into the global pandemic, I thought it was time to write a follow up on if I still love working from home.
The short answer is, yes.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I’ve developed a love hate relationship with WFH. The introvert in me is thriving, but I’ve fallen into some of the traps I listed in part 1 of this blog. So, why didn’t I take my own advice?
I simply thought I could avoid them… wrong!
Yes, my productivity has sky rocketed, I have had more time in my day and a chance to re-charge my batteries, but in doing all of those things, I have fallen into every single one of my traps. I have become lazier – I find myself taking less and less pride in my appearance every day. My boundaries have blurred – working and living in the same environment has not helped at all! And my mental health has most certainly taken a beating – fortunately, I’m lucky enough to work with Coaches, Therapists and Mental Health First Aiders, so there’s always someone around to listen.
When the UK was plunged into lockdown back in March, I think we all thought it would be over in a couple of months - I never imagined I’d still be working from home in November! The truth is, no matter how hard I tried to avoid them, I was always going to fall into my traps because I had only ever worked from home 1-2 days at time, not 8 months!
Now I’ve had all this time to experience and reflect on working from home long term, I came up with some observations:
Boundaries are officially blurred
It’s 5pm, end of the day, but you have just one more email to send, one more task to finish, one more Tweet to send, and just like that, it’s 6pm. I’ve definitely done this more than a few times recently, but I have got better at stopping at 5. All of those ‘one mores’ can definitely wait until the morning!
Communication is even more important
It has always been important, but now we’re all sat at home, quietly getting on with work, it has never been more important to talk to each other. People don’t see your never ending to do list, or that you’re having a bad day. This also applies to our friends and families; if you live alone like I do, make sure you talk to someone or the days become very long!
Don’t hide away at home
The introvert in me loves being alone with minimal human contact, but on the days where I have spent time in the office, sometimes with a few other colleagues, it gave me the boost I needed. Working from home means you miss out on all the other conversations - ‘What did you have for dinner?’ ‘Did you watch Bake Off last night?’ that you don’t necessarily talk about on Zoom because everyone is so focused on work.
There is one positive…
Everything I’ve said so far is a bit doom and gloom, but if I had to take away something positive from the last 8 months, it would be a combination of all of my ‘joys’ from my last blog.
No commute means I have so much more time on my hands. No more running out the door with half my Weetabix down my top - these days, it’s more of a leisurely stroll to the spare room!
I can wear my dressing gown all day and no one knows… although they might do now. We’re pretty relaxed at Barefoot on dress code, but I think my fluffy Harry Potter dressing gown might be a stretch!
I am much more focused at home. Yes, my to do list is always growing, but I am getting things done! I’m sure I would be getting through my list in the office, but I would be 10 times more distracted.
The bottom line
Don’t get me wrong, I still love working from home (mostly because I don’t have to get up so early!), but I think like many, I would prefer a blend of working from home and being in the office.
What about you?
Photo credit: Aleksandra Matvejeva