I seriously miss my usual morning rush of getting to work, dressing up for office, occasional excitement about pairing a new shoe with a dress or vice versa, saying good morning to everyone at office and getting my strong coffee to start the day. And then there’s that light banter with colleagues and of course the go-get-your-day feeling as a woman. I miss all of that! While we all are getting use to this new lifestyle of being in the house, the work from home challenges are something. How does one ensure work remains a priority when everyone is working from home and kids can’t believe you are around all day.

Life is going to be same for next few weeks and it will be all about work from home. So through personal narrative,I am going to share my challenges, my lessons and take a look at how things stack up on the ‘work from home’ front.

Challenges

Staying relevant

My work revolves a lot around client sessions / interactions / internal communications, webinars and a lot of it has slowed down. But we still have to use time wisely, and so ideating differently in these challenging times is more important and staying connected is the key, especially given that everyone is working from a remote location.

Miss meeting colleagues

Over the years you don’t realise how your office becomes second home and meeting your colleagues just becomes part of your life! In the world of social distancing face to face conversations have become zero and sending/ receiving emails or messages have become a preferred way of communication! A quick conversation with senior partners, fellow colleagues while bumping into them casually, all made work quite seamless and certainly more interesting and easy.

Also Read: How are men coping with Work from Home

Restricted movement

To stay active I take a stroll in my room unlike moving around from one wing to the other in the office. I miss those impromptu tea breaks, quick catch up. For now tea is at home desk at 4 !

Personal challenges

I am a mom with two young kids (5 and 1 year old) at home. Voila ! They think mommy is at their disposal – making them understand at times is quite difficult. They cannot believe that I am home, locked up in a room and working in a way they have never seen.

Working mother’s dilemma

Before every concall kids have to be reminded not to shout / scream in the background or barge into room or knock the room – they think we are enjoying our time.

How to stay focussed!

Work desk ! The new work desk is the study table of my guest room – it helps me to stay focussed and not make me feel entirely lousy sitting on bed in my pyjamas. I lock myself in my so-called new office, have made my child repeat too – entry is not allowed because it’s Mumma’s office space now.

Agenda wise, I try to pen down my agenda every evening for the next day, just like I would do in office. So that’s something I am hoping to stick to.

Now that Lunch breaks are with kids, I only step out right when lunch is served to keep it short and avoid getting carried away

Learnings

  • Staying connected requires more effort then usual
  • To be relevant one has to remain more productive and deliver quality work
  • It’s extremely hard to manage both work and kids’ expectations

Unpleasant truths

I actually want to break free and get back to work. Can’t wait for that day. It makes me more independent. Striking a balance between work and kids is serious business. If you have not cultivated habits like reading, discipline or regular exercise in your child, then staying at home will just turn us to couch potatoes.

Also Read: Moms Share A List of Books for COVID19 Lockdown

Advantages

The beauty of work from home is that I am home the minute I log out from my laptop! WOW ! Early dinner – I would usually enter after my kids were done with their dinner! I am completely enjoying my early dinner with them. I have also learned that its beautiful to slow down at times.

Also Read: Confessions of a working mom stuck at home

Though I am enjoying my evening walks and more time with kids, and certainly not missing traffic jams ! Despite all that I realise working from home is just not my cup of tea – I miss driving my car and getting to work , miss seeing people around me. I get anxious about where the economy will be headed after all this, with countries locking down to fight against COVID-19 , the depression we will soon be witnessing. All these anxious thoughts do cross my mind. I hope our world gets healed soon and life again becomes slightly chaotic.

The author works with a leading law firm. Views expressed are author’s own

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