Monday, March 30, 2020

Working from home, is it really that bad?

I can answer that question very quickly for me, and I would say no, it isn’t bad working from home.  With our business, we work most of the time remotely, so working from home is something that we usually do. 

What is interesting about this time when everyone is working at home is understanding that we can’t go out to a coffee shop or another place for a break.  For us, a coffee shop for a treat when we wanted to have a break from sitting at home and doing the things that we had to do.  We would take our computers or paper with us and do the things that we needed to do. The routine of getting up at the same time and trying to get to our desk has remained the same currently.  I am not sure how things are going to change if this self-isolation/stay at home continues for quite a while.

For people that haven’t worked from home, I think this would be a challenging time.  It does mean that you are juggling a few extra things while also trying to get work done.  If you have children, it would be more of a challenge to work remotely as you also need to keep them entertained as they aren’t seeing their friends currently. 

Here are some points that I see can be both a benefit and a disadvantage of working from home:
1)     No co-workers wanting to talk about non-work related things.  This is offset by the family being around and wanting to talk when you are trying to work.
2)     Commute time doesn’t exist.  It can be a nice advantage not having to go to the office, but it means that work is always close by, and you don’t get that time to yourself on your commute.
3)     I can get more things done at home.  This is something that I can see could happen if you don’t have children, or you can close a door for a bit of time to get work done.  Being able to get the things done quickly is excellent as you don’t have the usual distractions of everyone around you when you are in the office.
4)     Meals can be easier to prepare.  Lunch is something that becomes easier to make when you are at home, but you also need the discipline of getting back to work after you have taken the time to have lunch.
5)     Distractions can get frustrating.  When you are in the office, you can forget about the things that need to be done around the house.  When you are working from home, you can see the items you want to get done, and it can be difficult.
6)     Quality family time.  This is something that can be nice because you don’t have the extra commute time to get too and from the office.  It does mean that the commute time can either be spent getting tasks done around the house, or you can spend that time with family and do the jobs when you would typically do them.

Working from home can be difficult, depending on your job.  There are going to be jobs that cannot be done at home, so there is no choice but to go into the office. Working remotely isn’t going to work for everyone, even if you have the opportunity.  Working remotely can be a challenge during this time when we can’t go out and see people for a break, but at least we know that we should get back to our regular routine at some point.  Until then, I am going to figure out ways to get things done well, also making sure that I can take care of myself.