READERS PLEASE NOTE: This article was published
I feel no shame in saying — I can’t wait to get back to work
You know that episode in Supernatural where Sam keeps getting woken up by the song Heat of the Moment every morning? He relives the same day over and over again until he dies. This is kind of what living through this pandemic for the last month has felt like. Only I’m not woken up by a catchy ‘80s pop song, but the triggering sound of the Radar alarm going off on my phone. The same one I happen to snooze every day until I find myself waking up in the middle of the afternoon.
I don’t think this is what any of us expected. I thought working from home would be a dream. Something we’ve all longed for. I’ve always been that person who had to commute over an hour and half to get to school or internships. So I thought working from home would be a breeze for me. Finally, no more long commutes. Home-cooked lunches. No more wasting money on iced coffees and lattes. No distractions from my colleagues and friends. My focus levels should skyrocket in my office at home. Right? Wrong. Turns out those things are what I miss the most right now. Those things are what actually motivated me to get things done.
Although my to-do list is still seeing checkmarks, they’re at my own pace now. There’s no more set schedules and waking up on time to make it to class or work. Becoming your own boss is something we’re all still getting used to. As we’ve been shooed away from our desks and offices to practise social distancing, acclimatizing to the working-from-home lifestyle is trickier than I thought it’d be.
The lack of stimulation without the hustle and bustle of work is starting to get to me. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve interacted face-to-face with someone who isn’t my parents.
Among much devastation and casualties, COVID-19 has created many other inconveniences among millions of people, such as people getting laid off and the stock market crashing.
Ah the joy of being a millenial with plans to graduate university right now. Just as you were starting to find your footing in what you wanted to do, a global pandemic comes along and sweeps you right off your feet. I, just like millions of other students, have lost a dream internship because of all this and don’t really know when or IF I’ll even get a chance to go back. All this, while simultaneously getting laid off from my part-time job that gave me just enough money to pay for my iced coffees, gas money and a small portion of my crippling university dept.
Being stuck at home with little to do isn’t helping to distract from all that. The lack of creativity due to stimulation is unsettling. Although research like this 2014 study led by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom praises working remotely from home, claiming it as “more productive.” The study considers a Chinese travel agency’s remote workers, finding them to be working 13 per cent more efficiently than their office-based peers.
Personal experience and many on social media would disagree.
Guys so sorry I haven’t posted anything online of me taking class, doing work outs, making banana bread or learning a new language. It’s not because I don’t want to show you it’s just…… I haven’t done it. I. HAVEN’T. DONE. A. THING. GETTING. DRESSED. IS. AN. ACHIEVEMENT!— Philip Joel (@PhilipJoel) April 7, 2020
Bombooclaat pic.twitter.com/lM8KwfTUyK— Angry tiger🐯 (@AngryTiger__) March 2, 2020
I often find myself sucked in by every meaningless app on my phone. Especially one I vowed to never be on — TikTok. Almost every day, I find a tweet or Instagram quote that has me down in the dumps and questioning my existence right now. It’s always something along the lines of “Take this time right now to start up a business and accomplish goals you’ve always wanted to! Don’t be lazy! Do something incredible.”
Yes, we should be using this abundance of time and solitude to accomplish goals we never had the time to before. But some days, getting out of bed and being grateful for your health is enough in times like this. We’re all human and we all should remember that not every day is going to be one where we’re our best selves.
Working with other people allows our creativity to flourish by expressing qualities like collaboration, understanding and empathy. Those skills cannot be practised by sending emails and working in a room alone behind a computer screen. Human contact is what we miss out on the most when we’re stuck working by ourselves. We’re surrounded by no one else’s opinion but our own. Speaking for myself, some of my best work has come when my perspectives have been challenged by others.
Working from home does have many benefits for those with disabilities and others who struggle with a traditional office environment.
I often find myself feeling sad for the millions of doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, pharmacists and other essential workers who are risking their well-being during times like these. We have to remember that we are in this together and that we are staying inside for them.
But even though this is exactly what we all should be doing, I’m not ashamed to say that I can’t wait to go back to work.
Being a millenial, I feel as though I should be rooting for the working from home revolution. But despite how Drake might like it — I don’t work best with my sweatpants, hair tied and chilling with no make up on, pretending to want to grind it out with inconsistent emails and video conferences in-between the frequent trips to my fridge.
I’ll do this for as long as it takes for the world to get back to normal. But I feel no shame in saying — I can’t wait to get back to work.