It’s really not as bad as I thought it’d be. That’s the main takeaway here, I think. At the very beginning of lockdown, when my colleagues and I were all instructed to work from home for the time being, I honestly thought it was the worst thing that could have happened.
How would we get any work done? What would happen to all the meetings we had scheduled?
Even more concerning was the thought of not being able to see or socialize with the people I worked with – my friends, my family. One day into working from home and I already missed them all terribly. But we all made do, didn’t we? We called each other more often, we used Zoom 24/7 and life went on.
It was actually very surprising to me just how productive I was working from home. Back in mid-March when everything in Ontario shut down and a state of emergency was first declared, I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to get anything done if I was forced to work outside of my normal office environment.
Now that I’ve accumulated nearly 6 months of time spent working from home, I’ve learned to appreciate (and love?) working outside of the office. At home I’m just as productive as I am at my office cubicle. Not having a commute is wonderful and the convenience of having virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts has relieved a lot of the pressure we all faced at the start of the pandemic.
Now, I split my time pretty evenly between home and the office. I am required to work at least 2-3 days from the office per week and the rest of the time from home and that schedule suits me just fine. I think we’ve all learned that travelling to and from our homes to the office 5 days a week just isn’t practical anymore. It’s 2020 and things have most definitely changed.
I always wonder what this will mean for the future. Will office work continue to be phased out? Will commuting every weekday to a workplace entirely disappear? What will happen to all the empty office buildings in the city? I’ve read some newspaper articles that say the big office towers in downtown Toronto may be converted into affordable housing for the city’s residents (which I think is a great idea, personally, because Toronto real estate prices are through the roof and the average Torontonian just can’t afford them).
It’s amazing when you think about where we started the year in January 2020 and where we are now. I don’t know about you, but I could never have guessed that our entire lives would change so quickly and so drastically. At first I think we were all scared – at least I know I was – but now the majority of us have all adapted to new routines and new lives and we’re pressing ahead with what’s most important to us.
If you’ve been working from home during lockdown, I’d love to know how you adjusted and how you’re liking your new routine (and if you’re not liking it). For me, it was a massive adjustment at the beginning but, over time, I’ve certainly learned to enjoy it.