Listening to the early morning traffic report to work out the best timing and route …sitting in traffic, tapping my steering wheel with frustration when someone is very cautious with an amber light, a plastered smile on my face and wave to let someone into MY lane….arriving to find someone has parked in MY spot….deep breath before swiping the card to open the door to work… “How bad was the traffic this morning?”, the rhetorical question that has become my “Good morning” tag line.
For me, home base includes children, partner, dog, washing up, floors that always need a mop, laundry that has taken instruction from “The Magic Pudding”. For me, work includes, an “office” (where my stuff isn’t touched!) many interesting (and interested), thoughtful, intelligent colleagues, a really fast photocopier/printer/scanner, a fridge that fills itself and biscuits and fruit that appear every day…. I knew it would be a challenge to work from home…I didn’t dream about how challenging it would be to work from home, with a partner working from home, and being lead facilitator in children’s learning from home…. With the “space” of school holidays, I have realised something new – I miss the commute!!
I am missing the transition from home to work to home again…The 25 – 55 minutes (depending on traffic) where I am transported from sphere of home to world of work then a re-entry.
The trip to and from work, helps me leave my domestic roles (and aggravations) and the trip home, is part of my process to “leave work at work”. The radio has been my friend in the morning – flicking from news to entertainment channels, or playing music that my soul may be craving in a moment. Hands free telephone calls, in the afternoon to catch up with friends and not be interrupted.
I miss time in and with my own thoughts. I miss being the person who chooses the station. I miss the commute!!
Together, as a household, we are trying to ensure that each of us gets done what we need to – for work, for school, for the household. I’ve read the tips about working from home –spoken to friends who work from home in ordinary times… The consistent 6 seem to be:
- Dedicated workspace (check – I have my desk as well as an al fresco meeting room – table in back yard..)
- Get dressed for work (one day it was a dress over pjs for a video conference…that’s improved!)
- Let others know you’re working (“I’m about to take a work call!!” – I think even my neighbours know when I’m working….)
- Schedule breaks – sorted!
- Start and end time….I’m working on this one…– I’ve found that there are zones…I have early, middle and late..And sometimes, when we have to help the kids with school, my partner and I tag who is working or helping the children learn
- Eat (and don’t forget to feed the kids and dog).
My current challenge: I can’t leave home at home and work at work. I am transitioning between roles with such speed that a colleague gets my “tidy your room!” voice and my partner is requested to respond to my communication at his earliest convenience (a performance review has been threatened…) Any tips are welcomed! For now, I am mindful of ensuring that the fabric of a day is not so stretched by tasks and jobs – that I forget to have space ……to fill …..with possibly….. nothing.
I miss the commute… I think I’ll fill my travel mug and go sit in the car….