Fitnest Staff stories. We asked one of our staff to share her thoughts on the whole working from home experience. We think it is interesting to share with you all.
June 2020, the Netherlands. I have to repeat the date I write this article because it is such a strange time for all of us. Three months ago, middle-March the Netherlands went into lockdown, same as many nations worldwide amid the Covid-19 pandemic. From June, the Dutch government has slowly loosened up the restrictions phase by phase. By the time I write this article, the pandemic is not yet to be over, but the events lately got me thinking: is it (the new) normal if I say I don’t want to go back to work in the office anymore?!
At the start of the pandemic, as a foreigner, one of the questions I got asked the most was: how is it like living away from your family during this chaotic time? And lately, the question has shifted to “Haven’t you have enough with working from home already?”
For the first question: yes. It was difficult. The worries I have over my family safety overseas, the lack of those casual hi hello chit chat with my colleagues, the temptation of “can I watch Netflix now, but I still have work to do?”. But I have to say, I also felt warm. I was happy that people checked up on me, which reminded me that these days, anyone can lift someone’s day with a genuine word of care. In my own experience, the scary pandemic seems to have brought people closer to each other.
For the second question: no. I do want the lockdown to be over. It is such a joy to do more outdoor activities. However, I don’t per se to go back to work in an office. Here is why:
1. I don’t want to go back to work in the office daily
An ideal scenario would be a day or two in the office, or only when needed. By doing this, I think we will learn the skill to prioritize the important topics to discuss. For a larger corporate atmosphere, much time is saved from office politics. Not working in an office, one can be flexible about their day, could be at home, or on a terrace somewhere in France, or a co-working space with friends. Anywhere really. Changing up workplaces alter my surroundings, which excites me. Be sure to discuss with your colleagues about the possibility, you never know.
2.I want to be around my dogs, Bamboo and Shoot
I don’t want to go back to work in the office because it means my dogs, Bamboo & Shoot will have to stay at home ±8 hours a day. I can see how much they are happier they are when we are around. That makes me and my partner happy too.
3. I have time for a personal project
Isolation throws at us more free time than we need. Sometimes I feel lost from not knowing what to do with those free time. Through the quarantine, I found the joy of running again, and have been doing a 5k three days a week. The endorphins kicked up my mood and helped me stay ground and healthy. However, it doesn’t mean that because I have time, so I will automatically put on shoes and run. It requires mental strength and self-discipline too. Tip: I write down my run records on my mirror for a small prompt.
All in all, the quarantine helps me value my time more. I think it’s not just about having time, it is about using them to you & your loved ones’ advantages. Is there anything personal projects you have been wanting but haven’t managed to make time for?
4. Solitude gave me room for clarity & creativity
A large advantage of working from home is its peacefulness.
Sometimes I listen to music when I am working, sometimes I don’t. I have quite a tranquil workspace, where I can hear beautiful birds singing during the day. Silence can be a great pill for the mind. Have you ever wondered why late-night or early morning working session feel so great? This is because the noiseless environment can surprisingly put you in a trance state.
5. I used to think it is impossible
I don’t want to go back to work in the office because I know it is possible to be just as productive. I used to think it is impossible to maintain my workload pre-corona. But my mind proved me wrong. It is not easy. I have to fight with myself to get up some mornings and kick the temptations away. The quarantine gave me a new challenge, and I enjoyed it.
There are little tips I used to boost up my speed. Working at home can feel like you are slowing down, doing more but accomplishing less. I try hard to keep a clear boundary. There are certain times for work and relaxation. There are certain spaces for different activities, sleep, relax, work, and eat. It is important not to mix them up. Moreover, a proper workspace setup is also important.
6. I don’t want to go back to work in the office because I miss hot my lunch & sleep
I don’t want to go back to work in the office because I miss my hot lunch and sleep. Nowadays, excellency at work may be traded with your health, physically and mentally. Working from home means I can set aside time for a hot lunch, even a small 10-15mins nap. And best of all, I have sufficient sleep (I have 2-3 hours commute). It may sound funny, but I have heard many complaints or even boasts about how little one sleeps. I was one myself. From experience, I must say I was wrong. Sufficient sleep helps me be sharper, and control my emotion better. Fewer mood swings, better decisions.
7. I don’t want to give up on my home workspace
Workspace set up can be underrated. I can work with the laptop on my lap, sitting on the couch. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t work in the long run. Those aching shoulder, hurting lower back and stiff neck. Postures matters!
I have one of Fitnest standing desks. Work standing is not new, but I wish I had invested in them earlier. It feels as if blood can finally flow through my body. And like a good workout, it can feel exhausted too. When I first got the desk, I was so excited that I stand too much, phew. Thanks to the timer feature on the Fitnest Electric Desk Pro, I can combine it with this sit-stand ratio guide. I also place my remote work desk next to the window, where enough light shines on my green desk plant.
I don’t want to go back to work in the office because it means I will have to spend much time away from this cozy, yet productive home office.
Disclaimer: I think I am lucky because the characteristics of my job allow room for remote work. I could imagine that some occupations, such as drivers, athletes, HoReCa staff, etc don’t share the same experiences. Moreover, there are perks of working in an office that cannot be traded with. Above is my experiences, let me know what is yours is the comment below.