You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…
I’ve always dreamed of working remotely, but sadly it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I used to envision myself with my laptop poolside soaking up the rays whilst typing away, yet the reality couldn’t be any more different. Before my working days were filled with noisy coworkers, overbearing toxic managers, bad coffee and pointless meetings. Yes, as sad as that might sound, that was my life 5 days a week… Now, my life is a lot different and even less fulfilling than beforehand. I feel as though I’m constantly cooped up in my tiny apartment and totally cut off from the world. Who’d have thought I’d miss real life conversations with my coworkers or my old routine of waking up early, doing my makeup and running like a mad woman to the subway? I certainly didn’t! I’m living what I thought was my dream, but ironically it's become my worst nightmare.
>>> Read; So what if I hate working?!
Working from home has had a negative impact on my mental health
I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as one of the most sociable people out there, but I can’t deny that being a remote worker definitely limits our social interactions. Isolation can be very hard to deal with because as humans, even as shy ones, we need contact with people. We need to tell people about the ridiculous purchase we regret making on Amazon last weekend, or about the new series we’re currently binge-watching on Netflix and how cute the main character. All of this alone time confined between my four walls is nothing other than oppressing and depressing. If truth be told, I’ve never felt this down and dejected before. What seems ironic is that we’ve never been so connected before, yet paradoxically, I’ve never felt so disconnected. Quite frankly, Zoom meetings just don’t cut it and I want my old life back.
If this experience has taught me anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take things for granted.
My work-life balance is totally off…
I’ll be honest, I’ve never worked this much in my life and my body is suffering because of it. The aches and pains are creeping in, and I'm not even past the 30 mark, plus my sleep pattern is totally out of control and this is causing me to have panic attacks… For some reason, being at home makes us feel like we need to prove ourselves even more. We feel like we have to be more productive, more efficient and more hands on. In short, we overinvest and this can have serious consequences on our health. Not being under the constant observation and supervision of our manager means we want to impress them more and prove that we can be independent. In my case, that means eating in front of my laptop at lunchtime, finishing way later than I should and even signing in on the weekends too. My job is taking over my life, and it’s quite frankly unhealthy!
>>> Discover the golden rules to successfully working virtually
Remote working gets my blood pressure rising
The benefits of working from home may seem attractive, but that’s when everything runs smoothly. When you add internet connectivity issues to the isolation and lack of stimulation of the situation, you’ll soon feel a ball of anger form in your stomach. Gone are the days when you could traipse over to the tech team and complain about IT issues, now you’re on your own in the big wide world of tech, which if you’re anything like me, you’ll know nothing about! I'm no Steve Jobs, after all… Now, I’ve never been a particularly lucky person, but once one problem crops up, a tsunami of them seem to follow and this makes me feel completely out of my depth.
Interruptions are my worst enemy
I used to think that certain noisy coworkers were my bad, but I soon realized that I was naive to think like this. My apartment block is like Times Square on a Saturday evening, yes, that's right, I can hear absolutely EVERYTHING and people are SO loud! From the sound of vacuuming, to my neighbor’s kids yelling at each other and fighting, and not to mention the woman who lives upstairs and her Zumba class; concentrating on my tasks is a real challenge. It’s probably not very neighborly to want to bang down people’s doors whenever they start to make the slightest bit of noise, but trust me, I think about doing it at least once an hour.
>>> Learn how to be assertive at work
This brings me to my next point, which is procrastination
Procrastination is the worst thing to have to deal with. When we are in the comfort of our own homes, everything distracts us, and we always seem to find something better to do. Whether we decide we need to clean from top to bottom, or rearrange our winter closet, everything draws us in. Although I’ve upped my working hours, I can’t be productive every second of the day, which evidently means I have to make up for my lapses of concentration late at night. You’ve guessed it, my days seem unending, and my social life has suffered because of it. I’m sad to say it, but my job has become my life and my poor organization skills are at the root of this problem. The truth is, no one ever prepared us for this full time lifestyle, and few of us are disciplined enough to be able to succeed in it in the long term.
>>> Discover why working from home is even more tiring than in the office
Why is it so hard to work from home?
Working from home (WFH) has become commonplace in many companies as part of the anti-Covid measures. But many employees suffer from this imposed situation, which has now become a daily occurrence. Whilst many people love it, others can’t bear the idea of working at their dining tables for 8 hours a day, and the main reason is that they don't feel as if their efforts are rewarded. Plus, they are legitimately afraid of becoming demotivated and in some cases cast to the side. There is a feeling of being relegated, that one did not choose to WFH. Employees are no longer at the heart of the company and the organization of work, they feel dispossessed of their place, and it’s therefore difficult to work effectively under these conditions. There is also the fact that employees can no longer express their emotions or their aggressiveness. Face-to-face meetings allow for the resolution of micro-conflicts, which cannot be done remotely since the only means of communication are virtual.
Editor’s advice: Approach your day methodically and structure your routine
Working from home doesn’t necessarily need to be something you hate with a passion! To fall back in love with this privilege that lots of people dream of, you need to learn to be less harsh on yourself. You’re only human, after all, so you can’t pull off superhuman things. To make your days easier, set yourself achievable goals and plan out a timetable that will help you stick to your tasks. This technique will stop you from feeling guilty about your methods and will teach you to organize your schedule better. You’ll soon see just how much you do and will learn to be proud of your efforts!
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!
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The novelty of WFH wore off after about 1 month for me. Now I try to go into the office as much as possible but the office is empty / at 10% capacity - still depressing! Can not face this for the next 40 years of my life - will be looking to change career path to something more social or move to a company that requires 4/5 days in the office and I'm sure many other young people will be on the same boat..