It’s been over 10 months now since the first lockdown announcement by the government, and apparently more workers have increasingly been asked to work from home by their organizations due to the second phase of the Covid-19 infection.
At the start of the Work From Home season, most workers jubilated about being able to have close proximity to their homes and family, but ten months down the line, is the situation still the same as they perceived it to be?
For about ten months as a Work From Home worker, you will have experienced a feeling of monotony, boredom, anxiety, fear, emotional stress, and feeling cramped in the same space for a long time; all the while living with the same set of people, and trying to gather your thoughts for what is to come.
This can be a hard thing to cope with.
I spoke to Janet, a young accountant with a real estate firm in Lagos, and she had this to tell me,”When this lockdown first started and I had to work from home, I thought it would be the best thing to happen to me, but now, I’m not so sure.”
“I can’t visit my friends, my working time doesn’t have any limits or schedules as my boss just calls me whenever there’s a new task for me to work on, and to make matters worse my family do not seem to understand the amount of emotional stress I’m currently going through right now, and keep stressing me to do awkward house chores when I’m trying to get work done. I can’t go out to my friend’s place, or do the things I always enjoyed doing during my spare time. I practically have no personal life any more and I hate it.”
For a whole lot of young office workers from the corporate world who are like Janet, the feeling isn’t much different as most people feel like the personal life that made them who they really were has been invaded by their Work From Home routine.
I spoke to Eze who is a graphic designer with a marketing firm in Abeokuta as well, and he had this to say,”Well, when I first started this working from home thing, it felt a bit weird. It wasn’t exactly strange though as I was already used to doing a bit of graphic design job during my free time at home, but nothing long term like this.”
“Like I said, it felt strange at first, but soon I began to adapt to it. I simply created routines to fill up for the time I normally would have used to commute to and from work, I set up a real-life working space just like mine at my place-of-work and made sure I stuck to this space for everything work related, and I also made sure to create a working schedule for work which I shared with my boss and family.”
“Oh yes, and I also made it a habit to communicate with all my friends using either Zoom or Whatsapp video call.”
“It’s been about 10 months now, and I think I’d love to continue working from home even after the whole lockdown and Work From Home thing ends as I enjoy having a whole lot of time to work on myself and learn new things, and be with my supporting family that understands that I’m trying to make it all work. I love that my work team also makes sure to keep to schedule and time always, and never intrude into my personal ‘me’ time.”
While Working From Home could be emotionally stressful just like Janet mentioned; making you lose out on every aspect of your personal life with friends and family, however, like John did, you also can try coming up with different routines to fill up your spare time during the day.
Do some exercises, read a chapter of a book daily, do some skipping in your compound, join an online yoga class, or just learn to cook like you always wished you could.
You should also keep a designated working space and work ONLY within this space, create a working schedule and communicate this schedule with your boss, team members, and family members.
And most importantly, communicate with your friends and family via video call to keep in touch and see what they are also up to while Working From Home as well.
This article was written on my bed while working from home, and I believe Working from Home isn’t so bad if you actually learn to do it right.