I put on real shoes today to go to work. Real, as in not my slippers. Real, as in the shoes I would normally wear to work at the office.
Since March 23, I have been working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic and I have only worn “real” shoes a handful of times during the day when working.
I mean, I have super comfy slippers so why would I wear shoes, right?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because I miss the office. I miss the normalcy. I miss my coworkers something fierce. I miss my desk, my very large desk. (OK, it’s not that large, but in comparison to my desk at home, it is gigantic!) I miss my contacts and doing interviews in person.
Don’t get me wrong, I have normalcy in that I still get up and do the same routine as I would if I was going to the office – coffee, asthma meds, banana, work out, protein smoothie, shower, get ready, more coffee.
But there are things that have certainly changed. Like when I said getting ready, that means still putting on makeup (because Zoom meetings, right?). But it also means letting my hair air dry and not giving a care in the world that my frizzy mop of curls looks like Medusa gone wild when it’s dry.
I actually thought this week that I should “do” my hair, but it hasn’t happened yet. Each day it is still a wet looking mop in the morning and a bushy looking mess in the afternoon.
Working from home isn’t all that bad, however. There are parts I like and things I have learned.
I like working closely with my husband. Our spare bedroom has been transformed into our office and we each have a small corner of the room with our small desks and not-so-small computers.
I learned that we can go hours without speaking to each other because we are both so focused on our work.
I like having a window to look out of versus being in a cubicle with no windows nearby.
I learned that our neighborhood is quite busy during the day. Although I do wonder if it is really busy or if it’s busier now because of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order. Bike riders, walkers, runners, UPS and FedEx trucks, garbage trucks, mail trucks, small vehicles, big vehicles, lawn mowers, motorcycles – it is a constant whirring of activity.
I like seeing the sunshine and hearing the birds chirp.
I learned that when it is sunny, my mood is much more different than when it is cloudy and gloomy. Sunshine perks me up and I find myself smiling for no reason. The clouds just make me cranky.
I like the chat room we have set up for our editorial department. It keeps us connected.
I learned that my coworkers are quite witty and funny. I learned that we can get our work done, but can still joke and laugh and have fun even though we are not together.
I like the connection I still have with the outside world thanks to Zoom, GoTo meetings, FaceTime, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts and other virtual conferencing tools.
I learned, however, that although technology is wonderful, it is not perfect and technological glitches are bound to happen. I learned that virtual meetings are no comparison to being at a meeting in person or doing an interview face-to-face with your source. I am a people person and I miss being with people.
Working from home definitely has advantages. But if I am completely honest, I truly miss the office. I miss the buzzing sound of our heating/cooling system. I miss the all-call pages from our front desk gals.I miss hearing the constant ringing of phones. I miss hearing laughter coming from the other side of the building and wondering what was so funny. I miss walking in the lunchroom and having a quick chat with a coworker. I miss my daily popcorn. I miss our monthly lunches and eating all together as a team. I miss hollering over the cubicle walls to ask questions to my coworkers or reply back to a question asked of me. And I even miss the constant chatter of the police scanner.
As an asthmatic, I know the best thing for me is to work from home. I get it and I respect it. But I cannot wait until I can once again be in the office among my peers, my coworkers, my friends, my work family.
Home may be where the heart is, but the office holds a special place in my heart, too.