For the past few weeks almost all aspects of our daily lives have changed. It has certainly been a learning curve (and juggling act) for many as work-life merged with home-life and for some – also school-life. Our worlds collided. We were no longer able to ‘leave the office at the door’ when heading into our homes at the end of the day.
While the funny memes about just having to “watch Netflix at home – we can do this”, do make us chuckle, has it actually been that easy? Being thrown out of our normal day-to-day schedules has certainly tested the strongest and most positive of us at times. We’ve had to adapt and find our own ways of constantly balancing demands like work time and family time under the one roof, 24/7.
Isn’t working from home the dream?
Isn’t it the dream? Working from home with no traffic or commute? Sure, it does have its benefits, and I actually work from home quite a lot in my current role. But the flexibility of working from home takes a lot of self-discipline. And for the past few weeks it’s also included the additional stress of the unknown, watching the news from here and around the globe, and not being able to be with our loved ones.
For some, it may have been the dream, but for others, as we move to Level 2 this week you may be taking with you a greater appreciation for some of the things that we took for granted when working in an office, such as:
- Being able to deal with situations quickly within the workplace (face-to-face) rather going back and forth with sending emails and making phone calls.
- Having a dedicated place of work without the distraction of home, your partner, or your children.
- Being able to spontaneously bounce ideas off your colleagues. Yes, there is Zoom, but it’s just not the same as being able to pop your head around the door, be in the same room and see reactions first-hand.
- A bit more human interaction and team comradery within the office space. The isolation of all working remotely can certainly take its toll.
- And leaving work – at work.
Do what’s right for you
If it’s been a bit overwhelming at times, I’m sure you’re not alone. None of us has witnessed a global pandemic and there are many things that are completely out of our control, including the absence of a physical boundary between our colliding worlds of home, work (and school). I think we have to not be so hard on ourselves and whatever you have done to get through this will have been what’s right for you.
Over the next week or so, many of us will be moving towards a little more normality (whatever the new norm will be) when it’s safe for us to do so. For some we may be able to combine a little of the old way of working and a little of the new way. For me, I’ll be heading back with an appreciation of some of the smaller things I took for granted about simply, heading into the office.