At first, I thought this is great! I will work from home! I will be able to cook dinner and spend some quality time with my family. Well, it’s been two weeks, and I have learned a great deal. Working from home is hard, especially when your spouse or significant other is also attempting to do it as well. My bedroom has become my office since my husband took over our entire kitchen /dining room. What I didn’t anticipate was having to establish perimeters for each of us. If I had thoroughly thought this thru, then I would have suggested the following:
1. Wearing a headset during all your conference calls and Zoom meetings is so important. Do I need to hear every detail of your meetings? A better question is, “Do I want to hear every detail?’
2. Establishing designated rooms for each of us. Having my husband take over our kitchen and dining room has made meals a challenge. The kids and I get the evil eye every time we grab a snack or a drink. Forget using the microwave! I think he believes that he is still in his office at work.
3. Go over our daily schedules before we start working. It would help determine who can take the barking dog out for a walk during important calls and reminding our teenagers that there is no video gaming or FaceTime during school hours. Now we both expect the other to come to the rescue.
4. No talking about work once we close our laptops. This one is tricky since talking about what is happening in the news is very stressful. We have tried to pick new shows to watch or other activities. We have selected small home projects to do, and we have become puzzle experts.
5. Having set work hours. It seems like a no brainer, but things get in the way when you are at home, like reminding your teens to get out of bed, eat lunch, or do their assigned homework, you seem to work all day. There is no longer once I leave the office that I am leaving work behind for me to concentrate on home life. There are blurred lines. It seems like some of us are working much longer days. Working from home is flexible to some degree. I am beginning to set 90 minute/2 hour blocks of time where I am not to be interrupted, and I keep working. I look at what I need to accomplish and project a stop time for the day.
Having these five guidelines in place may help create a healthier and happier working from home environment. I am attempting to put them in place now that we are ending week three. And as far as cooking, I am doing a lot of that, much more than I have ever done! I am still trying to convince my teens that spending time with their parents is very cool. I may need some luck with that one!