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How's Working From Home Working Out?

How’s the new normal of work from home/teach from home working out for everyone else? I did not think this would be as hard as it has turned out to be, especially since I’ve been working from home in some capacity since 2006.

I’m a little frazzled, to tell you the truth, and it’s for the normal reasons – but also some I didn’t expect. (Let's just say that this is a bit more hectic than a snow day) Here’s my list of crazy work from home surprises/hiccups/roadblocks during Coronavirus Quarantine 2020, in no particular order:

1) Tons of devices in the house – still not enough for two working adults and two learn-from-home school kids

We’re tech people. We’ve got MacBooks, iPhones, iPods, iPads and yet, somehow, when all four of us have Zoom calls at the same time, all the tech in the world won’t help us.

2) Staying organized

In normal times, I’ve come up with my own way to ensure I hit everything on my to-do list (although, if you ask my husband and business partner, it is completely non-sensical and useless to anyone but me… listen, I'm in marketing, my brain is creative, not linear.) But holy crap, there's no time management system in the world that was built for the current situation.

We’ve got two students, with a range of to-dos, that are all delivered in different formats: PowerSchool; Seesaw; teachers’ blogs; Google Classroom; individual emails from teachers; YouTube videos; Dropbox videos; podcasts; etc. etc. etc. And it isn’t like everything gets sent Sunday evening, so I can go through my inbox and make a list – this stuff is coming in ALL THE TIME. I’m overwhelmed and I’m not ashamed to say so.

Still, we’ve taken to using a family Google calendar in hopes this will help – the adults are trying to fill in what we can Sunday night and then adding as things arrive in our inboxes, but it’s not a perfect system yet.

3) Rainy days are now literally THE WORST

The weather doesn’t typically matter when you work from home. Sunny, rainy, snowy, my commute is generally the same. And the work needs to get done. Yeah, turns out nowadays, if bad weather means the kids can’t take frequent breaks to jump on the trampoline in our back yard, not much is getting done in our house.

4) Anxiety – all around

I feel like I should be doing more work – but so much of the business world is on hold. I feel like I should be signing my kids up for every enrichment available – dance lessons with famous choreographers; zoo tours; kids yoga; author events; drawing lessons. But there are literally only 24 hours in a day – and only so much sanity or headspace any of us have to give. I have had to let go of a lot of my expectations (mostly of myself – but of my kids and spouse, too!)

5) Not sure what to look forward to

Running a business, working from home, and managing the schedules of two very busy kids is hectic and exhausting at the very best of times. Doing all of that in our new weird world, with the added low-level apocalyptic anxiety we all feel is also a killer. In the best of times, I know that I’m working toward a weekend, a vacation, summer break, a holiday – but right now, none of us knows when this ends, and what the world looks like when it does. Will kids have summer camp? Will our favorite family-owned summer spots survive? How about our neighborhood restaurant, ice cream place or boutique? Coming up with things to keep us optimistic is tough – so is the lack of any real difference between weekends and weekdays, although we are trying to manufacture that.

Silver Linings

On the other hand, the world just seems a lot more forgiving now. Clients don’t mind hearing my dog or kids in the background on calls. Nothing seems as urgent. People definitely seem kinder. I’m hoping we can keep some of that, even once we go back to normal, whatever normal turns out to be. Would love to hear others' stories...

In the meantime, enjoy a few articles from Entrepreneur Magazine that can help you manage this crazy new way of working from home:

Your Work From Home Self-Care Guide:

How to Work Effectively From Home:

Best Practices for Working From Home:

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