“Are you crazy? Working from home is amazing!” That is one of many responses I have been met with after I share that working from home five days a week is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the flexibility it has offered me as a mother, as well as being able to scoot to a doctor or dentist without the worry of judgment while slunking past the gauntlet of cubicles.
Because of my hyper-focused ways, I find myself staring at the screen awaiting that next email or task to complete, rather than getting up and taking a walk, throwing that load of laundry in, or just simply running up the stairs to grab some cheese to nosh on. I will say I am working on getting better at breaking up the day. Aside from my own issues in backing away from the computer to take care of other things, it’s the isolation from people that is really dragging me down.
My current position is not one where I’ve ever felt burn out — I am happy to say. Having experienced that in the past, I’m glad that’s not where I’m at currently. But a week that contains a handful of Zoom or Go To Meeting video calls, and several voice calls, doesn’t fill up my people meter as the extrovert I am. One thing is for sure, we’ve all learned plenty about ourselves during this pandemic. For me, something I knew two years ago about myself was simply reinforced. When I interviewed for my current job two years ago, I remember saying to several of the interviewers, “I’m working part-time right now, from home, and it’s lonely. I can’t wait to get back into an office.” Little did I know that 4 and a half months later we’d all be working from home permanently.
It’s been a little over a year and a half now of being remote. Once my kids head to school each day, I’m alone 7 hours. They get home, do homework, and jump on their computers for their screen time. My husband is then home 3 hours later. He’s completely peopled out each day as his job requires him to be on and attentive with each patient. He likes to unwind with a solitary, quiet activity like a book, online chess, or a workout in the basement. I absolutely respect this because I’d feel the same if I had that much social interaction each day. Conversely, by the time he walks in the door I am ready to don a Spiderman suit and climb the walls of my house.