So no, this is not entirely an original idea. A friend / former colleague of mine is accepting stories for a “lockdown journal” compilation and while submitting something for that, I thought it would be good to also write something here.
So first of all, I have to say, working from home or WFH is not for everyone. If you are able to do so and still get paid for doing so, please consider yourself very privileged. Same goes for those who are able to learn online as well. So many have lost their jobs or in the process of losing their jobs because of the pandemic and this added with existing unemployment rates will obviously only do more harm. Also, this blog post is not meant to be a ‘guide’ of sorts on how to WFH, there are plenty of resources online for that 🙂
If this is the first time that you are WFH, it can be daunting. Not to sound like a hipster (haha) but I used to write about WFH a few years after I got into it and for once I thought there was something there and I could write more on the same, but then I well didn’t. But here we are back now, writing this haha.
Some of these still stand true from my first post back in 2015, but think of them as perhaps, updated versions of the same, a new, advanced version from Seni in 2020.
- To be honest, WFH is not really as easy as you think. Or maybe it is for you. I did this kind of full time for a few years and it took me a while to find my footing and by footing I mean, discipline. But maybe it works perfectly for you and you’ve managed to established a routine that works, if so, well done!
- Since the current WFH is a special situation, maybe you wouldn’t have as much work to do after all because everyone is in crisis mode. So, evaluate and try to find some semblance of balance between how much you actually have to do for work and how much you have to be present at home. The latter might be especially true if you have other family members around who might need your attention, who might not be working from home because well, they don’t work or are children who are on holiday or happen to be other adults working from home for the first time. Be an adult and talk about it to the other adults if you can and explain to the kids to the best of your ability – also I don’t have children but from what I know, they can entertain themselves (sometimes not very safely) if you leave them alone for long enough haha, but no, don’t take Mom advise from me.
And yes, talking about things is not in our culture and it’s uncomfortable but who knew washing your hands would be so damn important in 2020?
- I’ve heard that some say that unless they are in “work clothes” that they can’t “work”. Well, it isn’t really the case for me so I can’t relate but if that’s the case, get into your work clothes if it makes you feel better. I only really need to brush my teeth and drink some water before checking my mail in the morning. But as I said earlier, there are tonnes of resources online and even really cool infographics on Pinterest on these things. Try to go through some and perhaps you will find something that works for you!
- Okay coming to snacking, sleeping, getting distracted. So while you are at work on a regular day, there is something on the likes of a routine yes? You go to work, maybe have tea/coffee, continue working, pause for small chats, check your phone and refresh your Instagram feed, have lunch at 12-1ish, beat the post-lunch nap by going on Instagram again while managing to half-ass some work and then get off work, go home/to the bar/gym etc? It might take a day or two (we are getting another week it seems for this containment period it seems) but try to maintain a similar routine while at home. If you did manage to have the chat with your housemates/family members from earlier (#2), you will know that you cannot fix the broken pipe you’ve been meaning to do the past two weekends at 11:00 am or decide to binge eat on Lays or TipiTip after lunch (or even sneak in a post-lunch nap). Again, this would depend on how much of work you actually have. Maybe you don’t have as much work and you can sneak in that nap, and if so, lucky you!
- Try to draw some work-life boundaries. Not balance, but boundaries. if you usually finished work by 07:00 pm during a regular day then there is no need for you to be on a skype call at 10:00 pm. It might take a few days for even those at work also to realise this but if this didn’t happen while you worked full time in an enclosed office space even during a peak work/industry season, then there should be no reason as to why this should take place during a pandemic (especially when a majority of business are not necessarily booming – unless you are in healthcare,healthcare-by products, research etc). If it continues, try to approach your employer/team leader on this and let them know about the boundaries you would like to have in place. Here is a helpful thread I found on Twitter.
- As for after-work entertainment, while going out is not-advisable, try to see what you can do at home. If you are the type to usually go out for drinks, bring some alcohol and keep it at home, maybe not too much, because remember you have work the next day, from home. If you don’t drink, maybe make some dinner for yourself or even binge-watch LOTR.
As I said earlier, it’s not really easy (or you are a lucky one and this is a breeze). This might be especially difficult if you are a social person, enjoy the company of people, it can be very lonely and might even impact your mental health a tad bit, keep in mind that this might not be forever. It might be for a short while that might seem like forever but hang in there. It’s for the greater good if you can believe in that. Not everyone can do what you are doing now and afford to have the ‘luxury’ you are having – yes, it’s a luxury it seems according to most.
If you want to see how you can up your WFH game, there are tonnes of resources on having a designated work area, having a schedule to follow etc that you can easily find online. But again, it comes down to finding what works for you. If it helps, just know that it took me a few months or maybe even closer to a year to start waking up before 10:00 am haha, WITH AN ALARM. So read online as much as you want on how you can better this WFH experience, but then you might also be reading so much about a how to work from home without getting much work done anyway *ba-dum-tsss*
Also for those who don’t have WFH, remember the Internet is still full of ideas from creating TikTok profiles (on the steady rise), cooking (a friend calls it ‘Quarantine Kitchen’), learning – https://classes.brit.co/learn/ has free classes with the promo code ‘SELFCARE’ – and of course, Instagram!
Okay, that’s it from me. I’ll try to write more often. My time schedule still remains the same more or less. I do have some saving in time by not commuting, almost 02 to 04 hours in total, that can be used to blog more on stuff.
Until next time.
Stay safe, be kind and wash your hands.