Why Working from Home is Not My Ideal Situation
The work from home movement has become an increased demand, but personally…I’m not sure how well I’d adapt
Given the ongoing evolution of the landscape of work, individuals’ identities are becoming less defined by “what we do for a living” and more by “who we are outside of what we do”. In light of that, the demand to work from home has been on the rise for many of us who are confined to cubicle space inside an office. One can even say, working from home is becoming the new norm.
For example, the resume of a “typical” Mom is not as typical as it was before. Now, there is no “typical” Mom. Instead, she’s a working Mom, who not only supports her family with a full-time job, but maybe also runs marathons, or volunteers within her community, or attends a book club, or does a number of other things outside of that full-time job. And with this juggling act that she takes on each day, the need to work from home once in a while has become a more common request.
However, in this day and age, it’s not just the working Moms who are asking their employers if they can work from home. Now, its employees who may want to permanently work remotely or employees whose commutes are equivalent to half the time that they spend physically being at work. And when it comes to the factors that impact whether an employee stays at a company or not, having the ability to work from home is beginning to have much more weight on people’s decision.
In a 2019 article written by Abigail Hess on CNBC titled, “People who work from home earn more than those who commute — here’s why”, Hess writes,
A recent survey of 2,000 working professionals and 1,000 hiring managers by LinkedIn found that 82% of workers want to work from home at least one day per week, and 57% want to work from home at least three days per week.
Seeing these statistics are in no way shocking to me because just by talking to the people that I personally know, I often hear working from home more often would be an ideal situation for them — this could be due to a number of reasons such as being able to spend more time with their children, increasing their level of productivity, or eliminating their commute time. However, for me, those things don’t really apply.
As we’re in a time of crisis, where working from home is being enforced by companies worldwide, I’ve had no choice but to take a stab at adapting to the work from home lifestyle. Though I haven’t entirely hated it, at the same time, I don’t think that it’s something that I could regularly uphold. And this is why…
I like to separate my work environment from my home environment.
My biggest argument for preferring to not work from home is the fact that I’ve made it a point in my career to separate working hours from non-working hours. That means, when I’m physically in the office, that’s the time that I’m dedicating specifically towards work (and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always nine to five). There are days when I’m at the office until six or seven o’clock, then there are also days when I may leave closer to five. It’s a matter when I’m done with work that I leave.
However, when you’re working from home, there’s no clear distinction between “official” working hours and non-working hours. You can open up your laptop at six in the morning or at twelve o’clock midnight. Being able to draw a clear line between my work environment and my home environment is something that has helped me not only avoid burnout, but also allowed me to set time aside for the other things that I enjoy doing outside of work.
I enjoy physically being around my colleagues
The truth is, though I don’t necessarily speak to my colleagues every singly day, I still enjoy being around them and working from home prevents that from happening. Sometimes, there’s the need to just get out of your desk and chat with a colleague about non-work related things — to catch up on life in general. It’s much easier to do that when you’re physically at work and you run into someone in the kitchen or on the way to the bathroom.
Having those five to ten minutes to have a bit of small talk is often what keeps me (and many others) productive. If I’ve been sitting down for hours, staring at my screen for far too long, work can easily become very daunting. Having the opportunity to physically, socially interact makes work a little less daunting and gives you something to look forward to each day.
I don’t really have the resources or space to make working from home an enjoyable or sustainable option
One of the biggest reasons why working from home is a little more challenging for me to entirely adopt is the fact that my living situation doesn’t yield itself as a sustainable or even enjoyable option. Yes, my apartment is more than ideal for living, however, it’s not as ideal for working.
I don’t have the proper equipment or the designated space which is just the truth of the matter. Yes, this is something that can be easily changed, however, it’s also something that I can’t necessarily change on my own — if it were, for some reason, a necessity for me to work from home (as it technically is right now due to the current health crisis), I would hope that my company provides some support in making my work from home situation a little more comfortable.
The reality of the situation right now is that working from home is looking like it’s going to be the new normal for me as well as many others as this coronavirus pandemic continues to be prevalent. Though I’ve only recently adopted the practice of working from home, as it’s been recommended by my company, I am trying to make the best out of this situation for the time being. Though, I’m not quite sure if my views towards working from home will completely change or not. Only time will tell.