I Fell In Love With Working From Home
Remember when being at the office was a “necessity” for productivity? That’s not the case anymore
I’ve always been jealous of the people who got to work remotely. I didn’t think it was all that special, mostly because I’ve been told that you have to be a regular fixture in the office to be productive. So when I got the chance, I was reluctant. There can be cases made about camaraderie and teamwork skills being lost while we are away in our own spaces and some people prefer to be within reaching distance to a colleague in a different department. I don’t, and it took 2020 for me to see what all the hype was about.
There are certainly two sides to this coin, but I think about the upsides that I’ve experienced being a white-collar worker whose job mostly consists of caffeine and a staring at a laptop. There are some real benefits to grinding out a full time job at home. Here’s a few that might feel familiar.
Since I started working from home, it cut out a lot of unnecessary small talk with people that I had to be in the right mood or mind frame to deal with. Don’t act like you aren’t the same. Simply put, we have people we gravitate towards and people that we’d like to limit our communication with. Having to entertain coworkers who can’t seem to stop coming up to you with questions they could have emailed you can be bothersome. For me, being in the office really made focus a harder thing to wrangle at times when I needed to finish projects in a timely manner.
On top of that, it took away the fear of being swindled into an edgy political discussion. No more wondering if anyone noticed you not laughing at corny jokes like you’re the office jerk. Most importantly, it gives more leeway to be unavailable and make the communication you do have with others more meaningful and productive.
The pandemic closed me off from social interactions with people at a large scale. People to people contact feels nostalgic at times, but on the other end of that spectrum, it’s very easy to forget that it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. I need space. Humans naturally need space. If that wasn’t the case, then why do we hate being micromanaged so much? Because we need time to ourselves to process before the interferences.
Working at home opened the door for me to feel and vent in a place where I felt comfortable doing so, where I could be myself in my own way, and not have to try to maneuver the social climate at the office when there was something going on with me that I didn’t want to share with everyone else.
Also the silence that comes from being in my own space sets the tone for working hours. I can work, be creative, walk things out, and get things done in a pace that suits my personal working style.
Unplugging is one of the hardest things to do. Fifteen minutes at work seems like one minute. By the time I made my way to the bathroom or the break room, it was time to start all over again. Mentally, it was exhausting and sometimes it was just not helpful to sustained productivity.
Working from home gave me the ability to take breaks that were beneficial to me and do them in ways that were crucial to being refreshed. Burnout is not hard to experience when workloads are tough and deadlines are tight.
The better breaks I take, the better I work, the better decisions I made. Making a routine that I could break and bursts of self care made me better. More than anything, these breaks at home, remind me that work is finite and that there are times where I need to stop. Just because I’m at home doesn’t mean I should take on more without taking care of myself. I’ve been able to make a habit of knowing how to stop and listen to my body telling me to take a second to reset and I’m healthier for it.
Working from home was hard at first. I didn’t like it. I thought I needed to be surrounded by people to do my job. But I saw my performance numbers go up and it affected every other aspect of my life too. My time management is better. I clean more efficiently. I cook more often. I do more, better, and it makes life easier.
After I adjusted, it’s been one of the best things to happen to me. Working from home should become an accessible option for those whose job doesn’t require physical labor.
The office isn’t as necessary as we make it out to be. I’m proof of that.