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  • smiley1steph

Full Tank, Out of Gas

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

Working From Home - a luxury or a curse? Over the past 9 months, I went from having the flexibility to regularly work from home a few times a week to the workplace being strictly restricted to essential employees. Torn between hating a long commute and missing in-person collaboration with co-workers, I certainly still favor the at-home arrangement. But, it has its downside.

While it seemingly offers the ultimate in convenience and gives the impression of being 'easier' to balance work/home life, guess again. The laptop is always on, always beckoning. And these days, with everyone working from home, it blurs and extends typical work day hours because a lot of people are likely to be on in the morning before kids wake up or after they go to bed at night. Then there's the fact that work has ramped up and the number of meetings increased. You get on early to get a head start, then are caught up all day and have to do your 'real' work at night.

Many days, I am back to back and heads-down immersed in work. The kids get shooed away if they are trying to get my attention when I'm on video without losing my train of thought. I see the clock ticking away and sometimes can't make it to my own kitchen to get lunch. And it is often difficult to get dinner on the table if it requires multitasking while on a call.

WFH is quite stressful as a result. On top of that, with COVID, there's very little else to do, so how is it possible that I cannot manage my day to attend to my kids (no matter how big they are) or prepare meals or get anything done around the house when I'm home all day? Days where there were practices and carpools were completely overwhelming, giving a nagging sense of failure and lack of accomplishment.

On the up side, I enhanced my home office with a couple of awesome additions. First is a treadmill with a setup to walk-and-work. The other is a desktop convertible standing station with a monitor. I can get a change of scenery during the day and not just sit staring at the screen. These were great quarantine investments that I'm super happy with.

There will always be more work to do to achieve a better work-life balance, but I have an understanding family that can come up with dinner in a pinch and lovingly lets me know when I need to step away from the computer for family time. If we've learned anything through this pandemic, it is the importance of our loved ones and our health, which need to be top priority.

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