I started noticing some of the significant differences between working in the office and working from home (WFH). I mean, sure there were big things from the start that stood out, but these are things that have more kind of crept up on me.
I don’t mean to make these statements to whine. I’ve mostly come to terms with WFH. I still don’t like it, but I’m tolerating it better than I was. With return to the office nowhere in the near future, I just have to get use to these things being the way it’ll be. I’ll start with five, but there are easily more than that, so maybe I’ll have more later.
I personally liked the cafe at work, but a lot of people talked shit. I wonder how they’re feeling now that they’ve had to make their own lunch for fifteen weeks. At least at work there was some comfort in the variety, but now for me it’s the same three lunches repeated over and over. There’s only so many ways I can jazz-up canned tuna before it’s the same tuna salad.
Yes, I’m not spending money on gas or lunch so that part is nice. Pre-pandemic lunch totals out to $30-40/week, and gas is another $70 or so a month since I ride a motorcycle. So that’s about an extra $200/month in my budget for doing nothing. Nothing by choice I suppose. However, I spent that much easily on completing some languishing yard projects, flooring, indoor projects the wife wanted to do, etc. Definitely spending more on booze- not because I’m really drinking that much more, but because I’m buying from the bottle shop instead of a restaurant. Over time, I’ll probably find we’re spending less, but not $200/month less.
Although I didn’t really like commuting to work, it at least gave me a sense of change throughout the day. Home-commute-work-commute-home. Now it’s just home-home-home-home. Without really being able to go out of the house socially, it’s even more so home-home-home-home-home-home. In the beginning of this I really struggled with the transition from work to home, turning that switch from worker-bee to dad-husband. I’ve gotten better at it, but I have to will it into existence, when before the commute would let me blow off most of the work stress (even when work isn’t necessarily stressful.)
The people I see throughout the week has decreased exponentially. At the beginning of this it was just the four other people in the house, one or two people at the restaurants we order from, the guy at the bottle shop or brewery, a neighbor once in a while. Compared to work where I’d be at some level see 800 people every day.
My workload hasn’t really decreased, but it’s different. There’s much less of the ad-hoc impromptu work that would tend to fill in the gaps of my day. Everything from helping someone figure out an application, to quick little help-me tasks, or just the random discussions with coworkers about how long roly-poly live. It has mostly turned into task based, head down work. That’s not bad, but different, but I find the lack of intermittent ‘brain breaks’ wears on me after several weeks.
That’s it for now. I’m sure there are more.