On normalizing Working from Home
If there is a huge mindset shift the quarantine will leave us with, that’s normalizing working from home (WFH).
Isn’t it wonderful how this option has now become valid when the majority of employers wouldn’t even consider it before?
Even Mark Zuckerberg commented on that last week in Clubhouse and from his sayings I can feel the air of improvement in WFH tech tools coming fiercely:
“Remote work has gone better than I expected. Lots of people have kids at home, it will be different when some people are in the office. This year has been a forcing function. There’s no reason to tie our recruiting to cities where we have offices.
I’m excited about AR & VR unlocking the ability to live wherever while being present where you want. VR meetings with spatial audio gives additional cues.
Zoom is comparatively unnatural. VR could unlock productivity, freedom of location and reduce emissions.
We should be teleporting, not transporting ourselves.” Mark Zuckerberg
As someone who has been working from home for the past 10 years, my joy cannot be described. There have been many years when friends and relatives would believe that my persistence for “work from home” arrangement was just an excuse for laziness. Or when relatives would insist on insensitively sending me “normal job” postings to consider.
I worked twice as much as corporate mothers who had daycare and still no matter how hard I was trying to explain my “why” it seemed to go unheard:
I had my kids on my laps every day.
I saw them growing up.
I heard them saying their first words.
I took them to the playground and helped them tackle collaboration issues with peers.
I was there when they started reading and writing.
I taught them to make cookies and flipping crepes.
I waited for them at the doorstep, upon returning from school, while the house was oozing with the smell of their fave meal.
My work breaks involved hugs, laughter and play, but most important…
….I could work in my pajamas!!!!
Now, I know this kind of life is not for everyone and the way it has been forced upon us during the pandemic does not help at all, but I have yet to find one mother who doesn’t appreciate it. Recently I also heard a University Professor admitting how much he enjoyed fathering during the quarantine, despite the extra workload.
For the sake of all of us who understand how important it is for our families to work from home at least for some days of the week, I will go on and underline how WFH is easier when done outside the quarantine.
- Starting with the obvious: You don’t get to work from home AND home-school at the same time. It’s just not viable, unless you are one of those unbelievable Instagram moms who do both while sewing their own couch covers. Well I’m not in that category and good news is we don’t have to be. Kids are off for the most of the day, allowing more than enough time to tackle all work related tasks.
- You don’t get to struggle as much with the routines. When the pandemic hit, most people forced to WFH didn’t even have a designated space to do so let alone there proper routines for time management, online meetings and the rest. However once you have these in place life is so much easier and you don’t try to invent the wheel each time.
- Working from home takes a whole other approach from the office lifestyle. Instead of runs to the kitchenette, insert more short coffee dates with fellow WFH colleagues in cute local bistros.
Instead of lunch breaks in the common designated area, insert random fancy meals in the area’s most beautiful spots,
Are you tired of your home office (and I’ll get into that shortly)? Try beautifully curated shared work-spaces, or setting up your “office” in amazing locations like that cute cafè by the sea.
And if you are not in a mood for fancy dates and the day demands for a more practical approach, you use the breaks to put the laundry in the washing machine and get some chores over with. Or do some Pilates exercises that help your stiff back recover from sitting all day.
- Making it personal. We all know that however a “good corner office” you may have, it’s still public space. When I work form home, I have the freedom to curate my space however I desire, which is HUGE if you are a visual type of person like me. I can diffuse my oils, stick post-its with random and often personal reminders, put my bible verses in full display, play the music that puts me in the right mood. None of these are easy to do in an office.
When all this will be over, please make sure to enjoy all the pleasures of working remotely. Pajamas included!