Most traditional office work is built around email. In the physical office you get to speak, see and react to your colleagues to get things done faster or more accurately. Working from home is touted as being this amazing movement which will save companies millions and help the environment. It means more time spent on the things and people you love. So why am I Googling how to become a plumber?
I’m an email monkey
It’s easy to think that your job becomes one of sending out and answering emails particularly if you are a people manager. That in itself means you are not physically creating anything (XLS and ppts ring a bell?!) just shifting boxes. Not very stimulating. Is this my purpose? What next.. These thought distortions creep in and make us look at those big life questions.
The commute was actually my time.
Of course we hate waiting for trains, buses and planes. And who wants to stand next to the local nut job whilst riding the tube to cannock street in 35oc heat. We hear ya. But actually that commute time is actually all you. Those of you who are parents to young kids may doubly appreciate the fact that the commute is a regularly carved out time frame to catch up on reading, shows, music and podcasts. Take that away and its… wake, ready, work. The commute creates space between the personal and work worlds. Now it’s just 8 steps and a cup of instant coffee.
I don’t actually talk that much to anyone at work.
Chatting to people in the office, around desks, at the vending machine etc ends up driving more work. Not work for the sake of work but actually these are micro idea generating meet ups which end up benefiting the organisation as a whole. Many a cost saving idea or innovative product was invented this way. Strip it all back and maybe thinking I only really speak with 9 people on a regular basis. 4 in my team, 1 my manager, 1 my managers manager, 2 from finance, 1 from MI. Thats not a lot of interaction even those with introverted temperampts.
Work social dos was the only time I went out out.
If you work further out than where you live, chances are you go out with colleagues for a bite to eat or a few drinks after work towards the end of the week. Over time work colleagues end up becoming solid friendships and we enjoy social time together. If you work from home then its a barrier for getting together physically to build bonds and let your hair down.
My tools are a bit rubbish
I got a monitor, keyboard, work provided laptop. Do you know much money big companies pay for architecture, mood lighting, unique office environments to ensure their people are working in the best possible conditions….. How much are you spending at home? jDinner table and ikea desk lamp? Just by being in an environment set up in a unique way, means you feel more motivated with purpose…
You might think that most of these are extrovert problems. But even those with introvert temperaments are feeling the pain. The key to winning over the anxiety of not being in the office is to get fresh air. You must block out time for yourself and go for a walk / cycle / run. Then complimenting this is making sure you are phoning friends for a catch up. Both of these things will help you stay connected and not get as fatigued.