It's 2020, lots of us are working from home (WFH). You know why. I've only seen one of my colleagues in person from a distance and rarely leave my flat. But I can now make my own Pasta and bread from scratch so it's not all bad.
At SimpleClick we've been working from home for nearly 6 months now. As a software development agency we're lucky that we can do this. We only need a computer and an internet connection.
We don't have to make the same sacrifices that the millions of essential workers have, putting the health of themselves and their loved ones at risk, in a world that is only now starting to notice and appreciate the important work they do.
Before C Who Must Not be Named, we would work from home occasionally, connecting remotely to our desktops in the office. It was clear this couldn't work long term though so we carted everything home! And now I have a full-time office in my flat.
I have it easy compared to many on my team and the rest of the world. I live alone with my cat, I enjoy cooking for myself, I have no dependents, I'm in good (enough) health, I'm an introvert, all of my hobbies can be done indoors and alone. Even with the relative privileges I have in this situation, there is still the struggle of an enormous mental weight following us all around.
I watch my colleagues with children somehow manage to work nearly full time whilst parenting, running a household and stepping into the role of teacher while kids have been joining us on the remote-first journey. I have so much respect for parents navigating a hostile world right now.
Neil Webb on Twitter said it best, with this viral tweet.
"You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work."— Neil Webb (@neilmwebb) March 31, 2020
I've heard this twice today. I think it's an important distinction worth emphasising.
While I'd prefer different circumstances I can say that, personally, I've come to really enjoy WFH full time.
Years of university, living in London flatshares, sleeping and eating 3 feet from my computer desk has taught me the most important part in maintaining my own mental health whilst WFH: having clear separation between my work space and my home space.
This is only possible now because I rent a two bedroom flat. That second bedroom was relegated to a hobby room but now it pulls double duty as a home office. Being able to step into this space at 9am and leave it at 5:30pm allows me to compartmentalise work and physically separate it from the rest of my home. I try (and often fail) to wear a proper outfit to work, building in layers of routine. I try (and often fail) to take a walk every day.
Let’s end on a high note - there are positives of WFH that I don't see people talk about as much.