I’ve been working from home almost 20 years. I used to be in an office of sorts but my company closed it down and told us to work from home. At that time, I just had an internet connection and our company software. I wasn’t completely connected to the corporation. Nowadays, I’m on VPN and have a phone system connected through our main office. Things have changed a lot in 20 years with technology.
I’ve been reading all these stories about how to handle the work-from-home environment and have no sympathy at all. We’ve got doctors and counselors trying to prepare and help all these poor workers. Bunch of rookies. The analogy I use to make my point is that if you were a ditch digger and had to work from home, you would still dig a ditch in your backyard the same way you would anywhere else. You have tasks and responsibilities, you just learn to make them happen from a different location with different obstacles.
I’m trying to sympathize with these rookies, so I took a few minutes to recall some of my struggles from when I initially started working from home. These are the things that would have been helpful to be prepared for beforehand.
*My little kids didn’t understand why they couldn’t go in the playroom to see dad when he was working. They’re all grown now and I’m happy to report they weren’t severely damaged by that experience.
*My wife never knew when I was working or just playing on the computer. I had to declare “I’m off work” sort of.
*As my kids got older, I became the person that just handled stuff during the day because of my flexibility with work. However, it slowly became that they just acted like I didn’t do any work(wife included) and was at their beckoning call. “Dad, I forgot my lunch. Can you bring it?” again. And who wants their kid to starve to death at school?
*I had to remember to shave/shower/brush teeth/put big boy clothes on.
*Don’t sit down all day.
*Don’t stand up all day.
*Take breaks and lunch or you’ll just work all day if you’re that kind of person.
I can’t name anything that really stumped me on day one. I just did it and over time all the little nuances began to pop up.
The only real sympathy I have is for people who look and sound very different at home and at work. They live two(or more) different lives. When they were told to work from home, they freaked out like George Castanza’s world theory. “IT BLOWS UP!”
Now quit reading blogs and get back to work.