On adjusting to life working at home

Monday, 23 March 2020

Like everyone in the UK, currently I'm adjusting to a life sat mostly at home, trying to make sense of the situation which seems to have escalated rapidly over the last week. Thinking back to the previous weekend, Jack and I spent a rainy but blissful day wandering around Richmond with coffees in hand with the coronavirus pandemic still a distant worry, the situation could not feel more different now. In hindsight, I'm glad that we used our time wisely.

For the past week I've been working from home along with the rest of my company, saying hello and trying to maintain regular contact with video, phone calls and messenger to make things feel as normal as possible. It's been hard to adjust as we're a small team that spends most of the day peppering questions at each other over the desks, I've always loved that we don't rely on Slack to communicate. I'm missing the chat as we work, especially as I can talk for England. It's not long before I'll be talking to the walls just to keep myself occupied - poor Jack can only take so much!     

Since Jack is also at home 24/7 it's felt different to be around him while I'm in work mode. Our rented place isn't ideal as the kitchen and lounge are one room so it's impossible not to work around each other (unless I fancy working from bed but I doubt I'd get much done). It's a delicate balance to strike on a daily basis to ensure that we have enough space from each other and that we're aware of each other's thoughts and feelings. For the moment, we only really have each other for support, so we'll need to work hard at this.

It only really sunk in yesterday that this could be our lives for the next few months, or even until the end of the year. It's a hard pill to swallow. To think that we may not see friends, family or colleagues for a while is going to affect us all in different ways. I'm not much of a homebody and I get restless quickly so I've found it hard to keep myself entertained and I'm trying to connect more with friends over the phone to ensure they feel supported too.

In uncertain times, it's easy to panic about the future and I'm the worst for worrying about things I have little control over. However, having so much time to yourself should also be seen as an opportunity to pursue hobbies, interests or skills that we often put off doing because we're too busy. Well friends, now is the time to learn that new language, read a new genre of book or perhaps try a new recipe. For example, I've been trying to get into the habit of practising yoga in the mornings or evenings and it's helped to clear the mindfog I sometimes get from working at a screen all day.

That said, it's important to be kind to ourselves as this is a big change for most of us and we will increasingly start to feel the effects of isolation as the situation progresses. Some days, we might have bundles of energy and are able to tackle the washing-up, hoovering and laundry in one day, and on others, it will feel even too taxing to shove frozen chips in the oven, and that's completely okay. 

It's sad to hear how many people have lost their jobs or projects due to a really difficult economic climate and I'd be lying if I said if I wasn't worried about our financial situation too - we can never be too sure what will happen in the future and that can feel bloody stressful. The most important lesson I'm learning is to take everything one day at a time.

Thanks for reading   


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