Working From Home. Is it for me?
Every day on LinkedIn, I am constantly bombarded with post after post of how happy everyone is with working from home now and I am starting to think I am mad as I want to return to an office.
I have now been working from home since just after the pandemic started and for me at first, it was exciting. I was on furlough so I was occupying my days streaming a code project on twitch. However, after around 6 months I finally got the call that my role was no longer needed, and had to find a new job. I found a remote dev job for a small company and got working. Since then I have come to realize working from home full time is not great for me and I will try to explain in this post why.
I know this sounds crazy, but I am one of those sad people who miss my morning commute. The reason for this is that my commute gave me time to catch up on podcasts while I walked to the station and to read some books on the actual train journey itself. Since lockdown, I have only managed to sit down and read 1 book and that was while I was away on holiday in the Lake District.
I have also sadly got into the habit where when my alarm goes off, I wash, get dressed, and immediately sit at my machine and start working most of the time without ever having breakfast. To op that off because I am already at home. I have not gone past my gym on the way to work and done a little workout.
I have tried to combat the fitness part by finally starting to run weekly. You can read about this journey here.
The next part I miss most is I miss social collaboration. Those moments where you go for a quick coffee at the local shop, get around a whiteboard to solve a problem and sit down for a nice lunch with colleagues.
Some of the best conversations and ideas to problems have always been fostered in these conversations with me and so far I have not found that a skype, zoom, or teams meeting has the same effect. People can just mute themselves, turn off a camera, and disassociate from a call and I even find myself being distracted by the outside world while on calls.
But most importantly, it is not good for my mental health. Sitting in a room on my own for 8 hours a day is not good and the occasional chat on a team stand-up is not enough for me. I find it super difficult to separate the idea of being at work while I am at home and I am lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to working. At the end of the day, you are still at home and my home has never been so dirty and needs cleaning as much. I use to love getting home from work and just walking into a clean house. Now I walk out of my office space and have to start cleaning up the mess I made by rushing around and lunchtime making food or from all the tea and drinks I quickly make during coding breaks.
I think the hybrid model is best for me. It is clear to remember that not everyone is the same and we all have our own ways of working, we should not be shaming people online and in job applications, if they prefer one type of work over another.
I know there are ways for me to approach trying to solve the issues I have outlined above and I am working on ways to do this but I feel that without getting some structure back in my life that is not focused around the house I live in, I probably won't be happy long term working from home.
Whatever you pick, pick the one that is best for your mental health.
Let me know in the comments below what you think about working from home. What is your long-term plan or even let me know if you have found some ways to help combat the issues I am having above.
#teamhybridworking #hybridwork #mentalhealth