Working, while parenting and other stuff, from home.
For most, the fantasy of working from home differs significantly from the reality of what they have experienced. The past few months highlight the importance of the commonly used phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Our daily roles overlap without defined hours dedicated to focusing on work. Without access to the social support available during non-pandemic times, we find ourselves as parents, employees, dog walkers, food preparers, mess-cleaner-uppers, and so many other identities simultaneously while trying to work.
For some, this might be permanent. Some companies have already identified positions they are comfortable with as entirely remote and have extended the option to those employees or potential new hires. For instance, Twitter announced in May the opportunity to permanently work from home (https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/12/twitter-says-staff-can-continue-working-from-home-permanently/).
For those who did not desire to work from home, there has likely been an adjustment period. Yesterday I was on the phone with an insurance company, and I could hear the agent’s toddler over the call. When I jokingly asked about her co-worker, she mentioned with a laugh about how her 2-year-old daughter just kept poking her for attention. Unfortunately, not all of our work from home distractions are that cute. I found this article to be a helpful place to start for those struggling with working remotely. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/getting-monday-morning/202007/struggling-work-home-and-in-the-office
To help illustrate how we are adapting to working remotely, listed below are some of the practices we have implemented:
- Connect with colleagues- At our practice, we have a standing day and time to connect, via the telemedicine platform we use for clients and check in with each other. This might be brief or might go for an hour, the idea is to recapture some of the in passing check-in or conversations we might have when in the office.
- Plan what tasks you do where- This is, for the most part, already built into our work. Aside from sessions, there is a more concerted effort to plan when to handle the administrative tasks (like writing a blog). For instance, finding a day lighter on scheduled sessions and blocking off time for the administrative side of things.
- Remember to relax and recover- This is admittedly more difficult because, pandemic. Similar to planning tasks, I will look at my schedule and find gaps. In these gaps, I will commit taking my dog for a walk or riding a bike. Just as crucial for me is that while I do the activity, I leave my phone at home, to truly disconnect in that activity.
While we eagerly await the option to return safely to the office we continue to work with our clients remotely. If you are interested, we can be reached here: https://www.healthymynds.com/contact/