I've been working from home starting on March 17th 2020. How do I remember this? Because I clearly remember that it was St. Patrick's day the following day when watching Prime Minister Trudeau announce a state of emergency in Canada. I had hastily packed my laptop and supplies from the office, with the mindset that I will be returning to the office shortly - max two weeks. It has been almost three months now, and the work from home (WFH) protocol will possibly extend until the end of the year.
At first, I was in denial. I desperately wanted to return to the office and was missing my desk, the convenience of the office, and the ability to freely communicate with my colleagues in person. As an extrovert, and someone who needs to be constantly engaged, I struggled with this new change - as I'm sure most people felt the same. However, I had to slowly accept reality that this pandemic is REAL and people's lives are in danger - shops are going out of business, and people are losing jobs. My problems were incomparable and I was actually one of the fortunate ones whose job allowed flexibility in working from home.
So, I decided to look at this situation in a positive light. It was hard at first, I was constantly distracted, unmotivated, and unproductive. However, I was determined to get back on my feet and create a system that works for me. I found the key to effectively work from home is to have a set schedule. Following a routine similar to how you would go about your day in the office was immensely helpful. Watch my video above on what schedule and routine I follow to have a productive work day!
Aside from being stuck at home, I was seeing WFH in an optimistic way. One perk of working from home is definitely saving on commute time - which is time you can allocate to more sleep, to starting new hobbies, revisiting old hobbies, starting other projects you've been putting off, etc.
All in all, while I miss the old ways, I know life after quarantine will not be the same and the way businesses operate will be drastically different. My firm is already rolling out some major changes, and it appears we would have a glimpse of what our new future would look like after the vaccine has been developed, perhaps later this year or in 20201.
In the meantime, hang in there. As most things in life, phases pass and in a couple of years, we will look back at this time as a unique stage in our life.