Home office is a good thing. You save so much time. No need to travel to work every morning, stuck in traffic jams. You save money and in the end you help to reduce air pollution, at least a little each day. To have lunch with your wife in your break is also very nice for a change. Fresh home cooked food also tastes better than the regular canteen food from the menu. I am lucky that in my job as a software engineer I can basically do all my work from home. Still it takes a lot of discipline and over time the home office pressure seems to rise.
When you go to work your daily routine is straight forward. You are there to work and when you are done you go home to relax and let go of it. Easy. But now you are at home and at work at the same time? This creates an inner conflict in the beginning. When you are at home you also get distracted a lot more it seems. Feels like to focus on a certain topic gets more difficult.
At home the daily life just keeps on throwing things at you. The Corona lock down has thought us that staying at home is the best thing to do. Both of us are working at home full time day in and day out. So naturally home delivery and online shopping has increased a lot in our place. In an important meeting or focusing on a complex topic? Your next next delivery is waiting for you. The doorbell does not care and will ring any way.
Home Office is less fun
I miss the interaction with my colleagues the most. We have a very good and friendly atmosphere in our team. All of us are working together having fun most of the time. Figuring out complex problems and finding technical solutions as a team is just much more fun than solving them on your own. Conversations are not limited to work as well. There is always time for a little chat in the process of finding solutions. Most of the fun little things of daily work life fall short for me in home office.
Communication and conversation is still possible of course. As long as your internet works when you need it that is. But it is less fun for me when all of it is digital. You can not simply walk to your co workers desk and take a quick look at a problem helping him. Make a small joke on the side without seeing the reaction is also only half the fun. I am missing the instant feedback.
All of what you do feels much more isolated. We meet via Skype in the morning. Everyone has a task assigned he keeps on working until he moves on to the next one. Day in and day out. You feel much more isolated from the rest of the team and your friends at work. For me this adds an additional mental home office pressure for every day it lasts.
Hanging in there
For now all we can do is to hang in there and try not to crumble under the mental home office pressure. Slowly things are going back to normal. It will take a lot of time until we all meet in the office again though. Until then I treat this situation as an opportunity to appreciate our good work atmosphere even more.
As mentioned earlier in general home office is a very good thing. It is a very powerful tool to improve work life balance since it saves a lot of time. It comes with a lot of advantages when trying to juggle work and family life. Now it is also the only option for many people to keep on working or even keep their job in the first place. My job included. I think for me it is best in smaller doses though. Not all week over the stretch of several months. So I am looking forward for things to get back normal soon. At least I hope so.