I don’t even know how long I’ve been working from home now, but it feels like a long, a very long, time. Though I really worked from home pre-covid, it didn’t feel like that. Because I got to travel a lot. On the work front, we’ve all gotten much better at online meetings. So many phone calls & email exchanges turn into online meetings now.
We’re all much better at, & more prepared for, impromptu online sessions too. I keep a hairbrush in my desk drawer now, for example. I’ve moved the underwear-laden clothes horse out of my office. And I’ve swapped out the juvenile posters on my back wall with some hoity-toity Venetian masks. They’re a good talking point, while we wait for that important laggard to join the session. It’s all very streamlined & business-like these days!
All in all, the whole work from home thing is far more professional now. Far smoother. It is also quite effective. And very time & cost efficient. If everything went back to normal tomorrow, I think I’d still use the online get togethers. A lot.
But now that things are starting to open up a little more, I recently took the opportunity to go out for a mask-to-mask meeting & to bump elbows. I had to dust off my big-boy pants. I had forgotten that pants had creases. It took me a while, but I managed to dig out a belt that wasn’t a draw-string. Finally, I found a shirt with a collar & more than three buttons.
I was feeling pretty good about heading back into the real working world again. As I was pulling out of my driveway, good job I noticed that I was barefoot & wearing flip-flops!
How are you doing, as you transition back to the new normal?
You’ll have to cut me a little more slack on the weight-loss front though. I’ll come clean on that soon! 😜
I’m gaining weight, but the rate of gain has slowed, so I’m taking that as a big win this month! 😜
Somewhat grumpily, I’m still a non-smoker. And I’ve been forcing myself to chip away at my home & office decluttering exercise. During this process, I’m finding stuff I didn’t even realise I bigly needed. While I’m selling & donating the stuff that others need. Okay, it’s just crap I don’t need but hey, that’s one of those win-win things, isn’t it? Hate that hackneyed expression. Am I thinking outside the box now?
Clichéd expressions aside, if you’re stuck at home a lot these days, try a little decluttering. It can pay off. It also pushed me to do other things. With an even bigger payoff.
I started decluttering my social media feeds! This is big. I was following political sites. From all sides & ends of the political spectrum. I unfollowed all of them. I followed a bunch of investor types. Precious metals guys, crypto currency gurus, energy fans, even some that are into oil. I think a few got rich more because they were lucky, than smart. Or are they just messing with my head? They’re the rich ones, after all. Maybe I’m Dunning-Kruger-ing myself? It doesn’t matter, I unfollowed all of them anyway.
Not listening to all these people sniping at each other was uplifting. But I wanted even more. Guess where I got it from?
My friends! LOL
I’m not kidding, I’ve got friends on Facebook that were … I know you’ll find this totally unbelievable … but they were stressing me out a little. I didn’t even realize how much ’til I turned them off. Doesn’t matter if it’s about politics, religion, or vaccine positioning, you can kinda tell who isn’t fact-checking stuff & watching the news from both sides, can’t you? Or maybe not! 😜
Anyway, I try to avoid these conversations online. If we could get together & talk over a beer, that might be fun. Social media doesn’t seem to be the place for it though. But you can mute your friends for 30 days & they don’t even know it! If they’re still ranting when they are automatically restored a month later, snooze them for another 30 days! 😂😂😂
The calmness & serenity that follows is a relief & a joy. Maybe I’ll follow the Dalai Lama instead. Ommmm!
Or should I just join the melee? So many doing it. Is being nasty really that much fun!?! 😜😁
I think I’m getting the hang of this working from home thing at last. It was a little chaotic at the start. I found myself getting caught in unplanned online video conferences with yesterday’s t-shirt on. Or with a three-day beard. Sometimes, I discovered that I’d forgotten to comb my hair, but only when my headshot popped up on screen. Now I have a much better routine. But I also keep a hairbrush in my desk, just in case!
I’ve always done some work at home, so my office is well set up from a technology standpoint. Nothing special, I’ve got a desk, dual monitors, fast internet, great cellular signal, & all the basic stuff you might need. My office is big enough not to be claustrophobic, with a nice view out the window, overlooking a forested strip with a babbling brook running though it. The most practical addition I’ve made is to squeeze in an armchair & ottoman. My back suffers after a few hours at the desk, regardless of where I’m working from, & this proved a Godsend. A few minutes stretched out on this comfy old chair is a wonderful cure. Can’t believe that I didn’t think to do this in my real office. Years ago.
I must admit, my home office is a little untidy. With my desktop covered, I’ve taken to using the floor as a sorting surface. I really need to work on that. And my office is pretty boring too. Functional, but really plain & blah! I’ve taken to studying the backgrounds of home offices on TV these days. I’m trying to watch less CNN & Fox News (a story for another day!) & my entertainment tends to come from BNN Bloomberg now. I’m fortunate to still have a job & I figure BNN offers the best insight into my future job security. I time my lunch break to catch my favourite show on BNN. Not only is the stock market very entertaining during these crazy times but, with different guests being interviewed every day, this show is a great source of home office inspiration.
You can tell these people have already done what I’m planning to do. Their home offices have improved, week by week. Some of them look so good now that it’s as though they’ve been professionally staged. Strategically positioned highbrow books, nice artwork appearing on the once-bare walls. Accent furniture pieces. Fresh flowers. And some people introduce their doggies to viewers. Very cute, almost makes me want to rush out & rescue a puppy!
On the back wall, I think I’m going to go with some artwork. And some enigmatic bric-à-brac on a console table. That should all make for good idle chat. While we wait for the late-comers to sign into those online meetings. Though I might have to refinish the table so it matches the decor a little better. Another thing for the to-do list!
I’m going to put my own artwork on the wall. I once painted, & even sold some paintings along the way. If there had been cellphones back then, I’d probably have some pics of those works to show you how brilliant I was! 🤪
Sadly, I abandoned the hobby when I got engaged with an early version of Adobe’s Photoshop software. I’ve long been a photography aficionado, so superimposing digital art manipulation on my photography hobby was a perfect fit. It was fast & efficient. And it made a few of my mediocre photographs look better. I’m thinking of doing a gallery of artsy pics of my real office for my home-office wall! 😂
The weirdest thing about working from home is the lack of social contact. I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I had come round to hating airports, but I’d kill to be back flying again. On the other hand, I don’t want to die, so that probably won’t be happening any time soon. I really, really miss the office & customer interactions. You can’t spend a career in sales without enjoying time with people. Regardless of career, I think we all need this social interaction. Many of my friends come from the ranks of my colleagues & customers. Even though some of the bastards buy competitive products on occasion, they’re still my friends! 😜
Our colleagues, customers & suppliers are all very much an important part of, not only our work, but of our social circles too. I find it difficult to imagine, despite the potential cost savings, that too many companies will go to a 100% work-from-home, office-less model. It’s just not a social solution & that aspect of working life may prove too important a contributor to the bottom line. Thankfully!
I can do this & I’m getting better at it with each passing month. But I really hope we get a successful vaccine soon. How are you doing with this whole work from home thing? Let me know. And I wouldn’t mind if you sent me your ideas for home office decor either!
Just in case I’ve got to walk around during one of those online meetings I’m off to hunt online for a pair of dressy flip-flops now! 😁