Why I will be Work-From-Home (WFH) for LIFE
I am WFH for life. Especially since as a working parent, it is SO MUCH EASIER to be able to pick up, drop off and run mini errands during the day. Plus, eat in my own kitchen….! So when I read articles about parents being forced back to the office, I am wondering why we are making it so hard to be a working parent.
Here are the main areas I see that benefit us the most:
Even if it is only 30 minutes with traffic in, that’s an hour a day as a roundtrip, which means it’s 5 hours a week, not to mention having to find a parking spot, or if you were like me, you had to park a few blocks away and walk to the office because there were no spots left in the building.
Worse, maybe you’re taking the bus or the train, and you may not get the seat, or the bus is so full you have to wait for the next one. Or those who live out in other mini outskirt cities, have to get to the train station on time before they have to wait another hour for the next train to come around. It never ends.
It is “only” 5 hours, but it is mentally exhausting for many. I would love to leisurely ride the train or bus and just zone out listening to music, but I am always hyperaware of other people around me, eating, making noise, talking, snorting… whatever.
Or.. traffic. Maybe there’s traffic. Or a pipe burst and now you gotta walk for 2 hours to get home because the metro stations are flooded (true story, happened last summer).
Then there’s the prepping for the office – outfit, makeup, making your lunch, bringing your things for the day that you might need if you are running around the corner for a bank errand.
For me, I have to think what I am going to wear tomorrow. You’d think it is simple, but I am checking the weather, and if it is raining or extremely cold, I need to think of wearing thermal underwear, and then how I am not going to boil to death when I am in the office that is heated or maybe freezing cold (in which case, I would have kept a pashmina around to snuggle into and stay warm).
Next, it’s my lunch. I used to make the same thing, 5X for the whole week. It got boring. I’d add hot sauce or other things once in a while to make it lively, but really, it’s a bit annoying as you can’t eat what you really want like freshly made eggs on top of rice and vegetables. You have to stick to what can keep well in the fridge. And no random snacking if you didn’t pack your yoghurt or special snacks.
How about getting ready the day off? Showering the night before (my preferred MO), or the day of, and then applying makeup, sunscreen, dressing, and hauling your lunch, your child’s lunch, your laptop, his backpack along with his indoor clothes and shoes…. it’s a lot.
Speaking of children, being able to drop them off and then come back in time for your meeting at home, is a GODSEND. Instead, if you have to drop them off, do the goodbye scream+dance I used to do every morning, I would be late to the office by about 15 minutes unless I left half an hour earlier from the home to be able to deal with his daily meltdown from separation anxiety).
Then, you have to pick them up at 16:00, and work ends at 17:00. MAKE IT MAKE SENSE. So you are rushing from work to go get them because every minute you are late, costs you an extra $5 each minute to make sure you respect the daycare worker’s time (well deserved, I might add)..
Finally, we make our way home. Makeup probably slightly smeared, empty, dirty lunch boxes to wash (hopefully your child didn’t forget his to fester and grow bacteria at school/daycare), and you have to change out of your outside clothes, into inside clothes, maybe start laundry, dinner, and take kids to their activities.
IT IS A LOT. All the laundry that could have been done while you were at home, lounging and working, now has to be started and tracked. Instead of having time to do anything leisurely, you’re rushing to cram it all within the few hours you have left in the evening before prepping for the next day of work – outfit, lunches, any homework or slips to sign for school, etc.
It continues all the way until you flop, exhausted into bed, only to repeat it 4 more times until the weekend, where you rush to catch up on everything you couldn’t get done during the week because… WORKING IN THE OFFICE.
It all adds up.
What kills me at the end of all this is …we are SO PRODUCTIVE AT HOME. I get more done in the hours I have at home, than I do at the office (especially having to go to ENDLESS MEETINGS).
I am not distracted by coworkers, I am not being bothered every 5 minutes for a question (I can ignore your call, and messages/emails). I am focused, I am in a quiet environment (for the most part), and I can decide to shower in the middle of the day if I wanted to workout.
So.. yeah. Working from home? Best. Ever.
It’s the real answer to working parents who need flexibility in their schedules. I don’t get why we are so against it.
I don’t even mind going in ONCE IN A WHILE. Like ONCE A WEEK. But not the way we are forcing people back 100%.