My Love/Hate Relationship with Remote Work

Unless there is another extension here in New York, we’re expected to return to the physical premises of work on May 18th. While I have enjoyed many blessings during this time working from home, it will be good to return to the office. This is quite a statement because 1) I’m a Mama-domestic-type person at heart so I love all things home and family; and, 2) the small company I work for is an extremely stressful environment. I plan to leave in the near future.

Some things that I love are also on the hate list…just in a strange reversal in how I view these things!

See the source imageWhat I love about working from home…

  • Hands down, the best part of this bizarre historical time we have been chosen to live out is having a full nest. We all work together in the house, play so many card and board games, cook, bake and eat together like it’s been an extended Christmas vacation (where we also happen to be working). Ironically as I type this, it is snowing out my dining room window (yes, in May), so it really does continue to feel like Christmas vacation.
  • Working 20′ from the kitchen. I snack all day and drink as much water as I want without worrying who is noticing how many trips I make to the rest room!
  • Working the first hour or two in my pajamas, then switching to yoga pants and cozy, cotton tops.
  • No jewelry. No makeup. No hair coiffing.
  • No heels!
  • No nail polish.
  • The lack of a hard, set schedule.
  • The time I have saved by not primping myself, cleaning snow off my car and driving back and forth dealing with traffic is truly priceless.
  • The time I have saved by being able to avoid complainers has increased my productivity. At work, staff wander in and out of my office all day.

See the source image

What I hate about working from home…

  • I was one of the wiser ones at my place of employment who did not permit the owners to contact me after hours – until COVID. Now, the highly tense, always-anxious founders along with a variety of employees contact me not only throughout the work days, but at night and on the weekends. One of the Directors called me on Easter Sunday night!
  • I’m 20′ from the kitchen and I’ve gained 7 pounds. This truth has not stopped me from eating chocolate. Nor has the reality that in a week I need to be back in dress pants.
  • Most rooms have “the office” lingering from one or all of us. Papers, laptops, iPads, pens, notebooks and binders are ever-present throughout the house. We all tend to roam about, trying to get a different view during the day, then leave office remnants on tables and sofas. The decorative vases, photos and candles have all been removed or pushed aside throughout the house.
  • No defined schedule with a clearly marked beginning and end to work hours. I’ve worked more since shelter-in-place than I ever would at the office. The rest of my fam has it much easier with their employers and I thank God every day for that! (And that we have been blessed to remain employed-we are truly grateful.)

As we begin to find our way out of our homes, stepping into this new world, I’m likely not alone when I say that I’m happy to return to a few things from our former existence. At the top of my list is a boundary line between work and home. Yet, this time has also given most people a perspective that has changed us, even if only a little. For those of us still on this side of heaven, we’ve lived through something historic. Praise God.

 

12 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship with Remote Work

  1. I’m retired and so the “stay at home” order has not been as drastic for me as it has for so many. It was interesting to hear the benefits and issues from your viewpoint. I feel for those who wonder about their jobs and feeding their families. Our governor is choosing winners and losers by not allowing all businesses to open under guidelines. So many family businesses will go under. I personally mainly have first world problems—no restaurants, no church, and few options for getting outside the house. And I will have to cancel a trip this summer to visit a brother I have not seen in way too long—NY’s Chautauqua Institute vía airlines canceled. I am healthy and stay busy. I am blessed (albeit a little jealous of your snow😉).

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    • Here in NY we just received yet another extension to our stay at home order. Even the businesses that try to reopen eventually I fear will close again. Too much time without revenue. Like you, we’ve been blessed. Hopefully you can reschedule to see your brother by the end of the summer!

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  2. Oh, how I can relate tot this post– as I’m sure many can! I had to set hard limits of when I would stop answering emails. As a teacher, though, it’s difficult. Many of my students (who work at fast food and grocery stores) are being asked to work more– so many of them don’t even get home until the evening and that is when they start their work. I find myself often “breaking” my rule of no email after 6pm because the students need me. I will be glad to go back to in person classes someday!

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    • It really has its pros and cons. I can’t imagine trying to track all of those students! Maintaining the boundary lines between home and work is difficult. I wonder if all schools will reopen in the fall or remain online for a couple of months…?

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      • I’m trying to not get my heart set on going back in the fall… but I really don’t know how to start a year without knowing the kids! At the same time, if we do go back I wonder what that will look like. They are saying each student needs 6 feet of space, but our buildings aren’t set up for that… I mean… just think about lockers…Passing period… group projects… I rarely teach my class sitting in desks and rows- we are bunched together or moving around… how would that even work? It’s enough to make me go crazy sometimes!

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  3. That was really good Mama Duck; I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think I was feeling for you even though I’m retired. I would love a part time job that I could do with my computer and be anywhere I want to be. I haven’t been anywhere but that is because there is an elderly person here with underlying conditions.This has been ok for her; not doing too bad for her age but I would never want to be a possible cause for her to be closer to Heaven than she is; she currently sees a Nurse twice a week.
    But really, I could just picture you guys changing your positions, trying different foods but over-all just enjoying each others company. One can either complain or go with the flow and enjoy the treasures in the silver-lining; yes?

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    • Yes! Just when I start bemoaning something, I quickly thank God over and over that we all have jobs that have continued through this time! Glad to hear the elderly person you are with has remained healthy.

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