So you’re not cut out to work from home? Some of us have ended up working from home, but not by our own choosing. If this is you, was it because of the pandemic or for another reason? This can be a frustrating situation. Let’s unpack this further.
Your current mandate to work from home may be temporary. It may be due to this nasty pandemic we all hope will go away soon. If and when it does, this could change your situation.
Is it because of some other circumstance, such as a change in your employer’s organizational structure, or because of the kind of work you do?
No matter the underlying reasons, what follows are some pointers.
We suggest you dig a bit deeper and identify which of your likes/dislikes are magnified when you work from home. For example, social adventurers are significantly affected if they cannot socialize regularly. Many of us need to spend time with others to feel productive and validated.
Other known areas of frustration are:
- reduced sense of being in control.
- being out of the work loop.
- reduced ability to network or advance your work/career positioning.
- inferior work tools (technology or other) – that restrict your productivity or make it harder for you to be effective.
- less ‘time-out’ (or none at all) from your partner/family life. Yes, we love them… but not 24/7!
- no scenery change, day-to-day. We all love cafes and cosmopolitan escapes.
- a more sedentary lifestyle that affects wellbeing
- missing the freshness of adventure, excitement and challenge that comes with venturing out
If your frustrations are for other reasons, we’d love to hear about them.
The Hybrid worker
Are you aware of the hybrid option?
Many Wofomers* work both from home and their place of employment, alternating between the two throughout the week. It’s either ad-hoc or based on a fixed schedule. (Example: Mondays and Tuesdays from home and the rest of the week at their employer-provided workplace). This kind of work is called Hybrid.
Is this option available to you? If you work for an organisation, have you asked your management about this? In a best-case scenario, you get to decide which days you work in which location.
(*a Wofomer is a work-from-home-er)
Understanding yourself can also help. Different people have different life circumstances. People fall into life-circumstance profiles or personas. You should identify your profile/persona in the context of working from home. Here are some profile/persona examples:
- Self Employed
- Parent with Child/Children at home
- Single Solo
- Single Co-sharing
- Home Trader
- Special Needs
See if you fit one of these personas, and look for ideas we will be outlining in our PROFILE category. You will benefit most from the views of other Wofomers who have a similar profile/persona to yours – look for what they say or do about their work-from-home situation.
Do you belong to the younger generation? Young people, as I once was, are particularly itching to venture out into the wider world to discover themselves and everything else. It’s only natural. Is this you?
Does your work define your social life? Is your job the only means you have to gain access to the broader world? What if you could separate work from your need to venture out? Your social life needn’t be chained to your work life.
If you are a worker, pretend for a moment, you do not work at all. Would you stay locked up at home, or would you venture out anyway? I think I know the answer. See things from this viewpoint. Don’t let working-from-home handicap your ability to venture out.
Maybe you have already figured this out. If so, what tips can you share on wofome that other young people can try themselves?
Organisations are recognising a need to be more flexible and creative to retain restless young talent. For the most part, they are working hard to provide options, especially in these challenging times. You should ask your organisation what they offer in this regard. Maybe you can help. In doing so, you might find a new outlet for yourself (or a job promotion maybe?).
With teenagers of my own, I can’t help but notice young people now experience much of their social life online. A hunger to venture out is now being satisfied, in some measure, by going online instead. Older generations (like me!) think this may be unhealthy. Younger generations (like you?) think older generations are just out of touch. An age-old riddle, methinks!
Revisit your situation for improvement
Maybe the answer to your current work-from-home frustrations has nothing to do with being at home. Perhaps you can revisit your current circumstance, environment, practices and personal interactions (while at home) and give things a brand new lease of life.
Think about this: When you redecorate, renovate or just spring clean your home, this usually generates a sense of excitement, with an expectation of experiencing new things. Maybe it’s time to spring clean your work-from-home practice!
Have you unpacked your frustrations, and are you looking at them from a new and different viewpoint? Sometimes, stepping away and looking at things from a distance can reveal things you can’t see close up, day-to-day. New opportunities are spawned when you do this.
We hope other Wofomers can inspire you. Maybe you’re already on this journey of discovery yourself. Do you have any gems to share with the rest of us?
All being said – working-from-home can be joyful and fulfilling. We hope this post is of some help to you as well.
Understand yourself and ask yourself again “do I not like working from home due to something other than the practice itself, that I can change?”
Explore what options might be available to make your work-from-home experience better, that you have not looked at in detail already. You may uncover something that totally changes your current outlook.
If you are sure working from home is not for you, check out the section with the heading How can you secure the work choice you want? in our other post titled Future of working-from-home after Covid-19 for some extra tips.