You know you’ve worked from home too long when…

by Valerie Delaney, Principal, Learning + Development

I hope you are well and keeping safe and sane during these COVID-19 times. As we practise good social distancing, we will flatten the curve as the experts say and move to safer times – maybe, not “normal”, but safer and hopefully better times. The social distancing of working from home is affecting people in different ways. I heard it said somewhere we are all in this together, but in different boats. For some people who have been working from home for some time, things have not changed much – possibly more company and noise in the home office, but a lot of the same routines.

For others, especially those who thrive in the work environment of camaraderie and water cooler news, things have changed a lot. Just getting the home office technology to work can be a challenge – no IT department!!!

Either way, let’s be clear: most people able to work from home are grateful for the opportunity. Still, it can start to get to you. Read Jaana’s Small Business Guide to Working from Home  to help you out. You’ll find some novel ideas, including embracing distractions and setting up your floating office tote bag.

On the lighter side of things, I asked D+A team members how they knew they’ve been working from home too long. Here are some of their responses.

You know you’ve been working from home too long when:

Valerie –

  • The grandkids decide to join the business. D+A now offers the following services: driveway sweeping ($10 double size), car washing ($5 per vehicle); pencil sharpening (10¢ per pencil) and paper shredding (5¢ per sheet).  Terms: payment upon delivery; cash only.
  • Business smart means pajama top and bottoms match.
  • Rosie thinks zoom is something to chew; she’s had a plastic zoom groom brush for years.
  • Jess and Rob’s kids freak out while playing and say, “Mommy, did you stop your timer?” We bill to the second here!
  • Garden weeding is a welcome break to the constant telephone chatter of VERY IMPORTANT PHONE CALLS taking place in the house.
  • Rick insists on a facilitated engagement process to come up with breakfast options when there is no decision to make. I only want toast…..please.
  • The delivery lady is my new best – from a distance – friend. We’ve bonded thanks to online shopping.

Jessica –

  • I plan my day around a visit to the mailbox.
  • All the mugs get used.

Danielle –

  • I’m about to set up a family Zoom meeting…for you and your kids…who are doing schoolwork in their bedrooms next to your office.
  • I’m trying to figure out whether the books on the office shelf behind me are the appropriate backdrop for my next online meeting, or whether it’s best to take my laptop into the bathroom because the walls are a neutral white and the lighting is good (and probably also the only quiet place in the house).

Richard –

  • I bribe Val with wine so she will walk Rosie – again – so I can deliver my online session safe from the threat of doggie barking. Fair, right?
  • I need to shave for a zoom call, but can’t find my shaver; when I do, it’s not charged.

Jaana –

  • I swap out my afternoon coffee break for an earlier cocktail hour.
  • I’ve taken on the “floating office” that I talk about in my Peace and Productivity Guide because I never know where I’ll find the inspiration, motivation or peace and quiet to get work done.
  • I buy new office supplies that are not necessary but cheer me up and motivate me (sometimes) to get more done.

Emina –

  • I turn to TikTok when you can’t sit in your office chair any longer, and dance to TikTok videos as a form exercise – much to my children’s chagrin.

Naomi  –

  • I’ve worked from home for years, but have also had access to a co-working space, so for now it’s all home, all the time. Right now, I “splurge” on meeting my favourite and newly discovered authors on Quarantine Book Club, which has been an enlightening experience.
  • Like Jaana, I also swap out my afternoon coffee break for an earlier cocktail hour and time for reflection; my current favourite is the Penicillin. We’ll see what May’s favourite will be 😉

Send me your response to the question by May 7 and I’ll do a random draw for a $25 Starbuck’s gift card for some lucky – tired-from-working-from-home – person! You can reach me at: valerie at rmdelaney dot com