I have been working from home full time for over a year.
It’s wild to even type that. The time has done nothing but fly by. I can remember packing up my desk at work like it was yesterday. What originally started as “a few weeks of work from home” turned into a few months. “Better grab my monitors”, I thought. Boy am I glad I did because there’s no way I would have survived this long with only my laptop screen.
Six months, eight months, now a whole year has passed and here we still are – Ben and I sharing a home office with two desks and an elliptical in it.
There is a lot of comfort in my work from home routine.
Instead of small talk with a coworker, I can knock out the dishes in the sink. The time spent commuting to the office is now spent sleeping in if I need it or a trip to the gym if I’m up early enough. Walks to the break room for coffee are replaced with walks around the neighborhood with Ben and the boys.
5pm traffic? Don’t know her. Try twenty steps and I’m immediately on my couch, cuddled up with a pup on my lap. That fact alone makes late nights at my desk so tolerable. I know that once I shut down my computer, my only commute is from my office to my living room.
Recently, I made my first visit back to the office.
I told myself I’d only go in for an hour or so. There were a few in person meetings to knock out and I figured I’d run into a familiar face or two. It’d be a quick visit – get in, get out.
Imagine my shock when I actually felt EMOTIONAL driving up to our big brown, ugly, but stoic building. I couldn’t believe it – it was almost a feeling of overwhelm. Never did I think I would feel the way I did when the building came into sight as I drove across the Courtney Campbell Causeway. The view was one I knew all too well and nothing about it had changed except for the way it made me feel.
I actually felt giddy as I rode the elevator up to our office suite. Aside from some new faces in cubicles, the space was exactly how I left it over a year ago. The floor tiling reminded me of how often it served as a backdrop for IG stories when I would share my breakfast. Blue bay views from our suite windows still make me crave a beach day in the same way. My path from one side of the office to the other is the exact same – a swift cut through a row of cubicles, past the break room and right by our office supply cabinets. My feet knew the way without even a second-guess.
I was in the office for a few more hours that day than I thought I would be.
And I’m not mad about it. It was good to see familiar faces in person rather than through a screen. Being outside of the house in a buzzy network of productiveness can definitely motivate the brain. A small bonus was that it also forced me to get ready at a normal time in the day.
While I don’t see myself being happy in a full time office setting, I could see some hope for a hybrid one.
The work/life balance I have now is far superior to any balance I’ve had previously. That all stems from working from home. I’m not naive enough to believe that I’ll be able to work from home forever (if I could I would), but I am hopeful in believing that a hybrid setting might be the next best thing (if it has to be).
Believe me – if I get the option to go fully remote, I’m taking it. You’re my witness to reading this.
My visit to the office was eye opening, mostly because of the feelings it drew up for me. You don’t know what you miss until you’re back in it. It’s almost like walking the halls of your old high school after you graduate. Even walking past the science class you hated most could get you all teary eyed. Don’t even get me started on the classes you loved most.
For now, I’ll cherish my WFH status for as long as I can.
For the commenters:
Are you back in the office yet? Do you prefer working from home or in an office setting? What pros and cons do you notice in either setting?