Many employees had a dream of working from home. They thought it would be nice to roll out of bed and walk just steps to the next room to begin their workday. Gone would be their long commutes, and they wouldn’t have to contend with the workplace banter. They further imagined working in their pajamas and slippers and tossing away the uncomfortable neckties or pantyhose. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, much of the population was forced to work from home. Now, immediately after, many corporations are making it possible for employees to work remotely long-term. For some, just hearing this idea makes them cringe. They are going stir-crazy being at home and can’t wait to get back to the office. Others think this might work well for them after trying it for a few months. Will it work for you long-term after the “work at home” honeymoon is over?
There are many distractions at home that you wouldn’t have at the office. The laundry is staring you in the face, and the doorbell rings because the neighbor just wants to chat. Working at home, you must be disciplined with excellent time management skills. You can keep your focus by creating a quiet workspace, keeping a to-do list, and letting friends and family know your office schedule.
Will your family respect your time and office space? During the coronavirus, the kids were often online doing classwork. Also, your spouse might have been home too and able to share in childcare and housework. You’ll have trouble working from home if you have to deal with constant interruptions from the kids or if your spouse thinks your working from home means you’ll handle all the household chores. Before you decide to work from home, make sure your family understands and is on board with your new work arrangement.
After the summer, you might be the only one at home during the day. Although you don’t have to be a recluse to enjoy working from home, you have to be fine being without social interaction and face-to-face connections with coworkers. If you’re the type that likes to bounce ideas off of your colleagues, you might not be happy working at home long-term.
Things won’t always go well when you work from home. You probably have already experienced embarrassing situations like the dog barking in the middle of a Zoom meeting or the kids interrupting you because they can’t find their favorite toy. If you can’t laugh at something small like this, you might experience more stress working at home.
When deciding whether to work at home, you should also note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, business was slow for most industries. Now that things are returning to normal, your workload will increase, and you’ll get a better idea of what it is like to telecommute. For this reason, it might be a good idea to ask to work from home on a trial basis with the option of coming back to the office if it doesn’t work out. You can also work from home a couple of days a week and in the office the other days to see which you prefer.
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