Young man wearing pajamas with feet up on desk using computer
The pandemic has definitely changed our perspective, our viewpoint on how we live in terms of our social gatherings, where we work, how we’re spending time with our family, right down to how, how we shop, and how we think.
We’ve seen the domino affect of people losing their jobs one right after another and it’s put terrible, terrible strains on families, for some it’s affected mental health, over all health, and it’s put employment status in different perspectives.
In some some cases people have been moved from working in the office to working at home…that started out on a temporary basis until returning to the office was not in the near foreseeable future without heavy guidelines and specific plans being put into place. But for those businesses and state agencies who are opting to allow working at home on a 25/50/100/ per cent basis (more of a long basis), there is a level of anxiousness stemming from waiting for the final word, and it’s the waiting to see what is going to happen is nerve wracking.
This post is going to talk about individuals who are working at home on a permanent basis and how it has been viewed such as the changes they’ve had to make, what goes into the process of accepting that going into an office to work is no longer a part of a daily routine. for quite some time. It’s welcoming for some, but for others they cannot wait to break from the confines of working at home.
There are stipulations that goes into working from home. You must have a quiet and secured place where you can work effectively and efficiently. You have to be focused.
For me, when I started with the state a year ago, I pretty much welcomed the idea because it meant I was going to be home with my family. I looked at how much money I was saving on gas, I looked at how much I was saving on buying lunch, I looked at the less wear and tear it was going to have on my work clothes and shoes, and that’s when it really hit me…I was not going to be wearing my work clothes and shoes…I was shifting gears making the transition to regular casual clothes and lounge wear, or just spend days in my night clothes until I actually had to leave the house.
Your routine becomes having a set time you get out of bed, having enough time for breakfast and/or coffee, and whatever else you incorporate into your mornings before work, go to wherever your workstation is located in the house (mine is upstairs in my room), login to a computer system, get setup and get ready for the day. And you have to reprogram your mind to this new way of life. In this new daily routine you also have to take care of your wellbeing.
When we moved last May I had been already been a month in on my new job. The reality set in that I would most likely never going to wear my work clothes and shoes again and had to wrap my mind around what I was going to do with them. When I packed up all of my belongings I had to make the decision to pack them all away, and as I was doing this I kept thinking about all of the money that had gone into buying them, especially after my late husband had passed — I spent some serious money on work clothes because I was preparing myself for interviews once I got up to Washington state. So, it was a bit of a transition and a reality check that this is the new normal.
What do I do with all of my work clothes? You have options. You can either pack them up and store them away rather in a storage facility, garage storage bins that can be stored in your garage (if you have one) or in your attic (if you have one), or donate them to someone who needs work clothes who are still going into an office environment. Or you can sell those which you find are sellable and can get some of your money back to put into your savings account or put towards a more casual based wardrobe.
How do you deal with the stresses of working at home? Every day is not going to be a walk in the park. There is a level anxiety that can go into working at home, which is why protecting your overall mental health and mental well being. Incorporating things like going for walks, exercising, taking naps — anything you can do to take you away from the computer during breaks and your lunch break is important.
What should my workstation look like? You should have a space that is suitably comfortable where you can spread out enough to have space for office supplies, your work system, a comfortable chair, windows for natural light, and clothing that you feel comfortable working in. Your workstation should never be cluttered. Think of how your desk is in the office. Organize your workspace to where you are able to have what you need at your finger tips. Today the desks that you can raise and lower are very popular in offices and are affordable. Use ergonomic mouse pads, wrist pads, and remember to stay active, do regular stretches, and stay hydrated.
What should my work at home fashion be? You’re not going into an office, therefore you have many options available to you. Many of my team mates before my promotion have found comfort in sweats, workout clothes, and night clothes that doubles as lounge wear. You don’t need to go out and spend crazy money on things you really don’t need, or are not going to wear. That just makes no sense. You have to think about what your level of comfort is going to be. These illustrations just gives you an idea of what working at home can look like.
I’m not a huge fan of sweats, but I have one or two pairs I can slip into if I need to, but aside from my night clothes and lounge wear, I have simple casual clothes I found myself needing to invest in.
You can make your own determination of what to wear when you are working at home. The only exception would be if you had to participate in Zoom or Webex meetings where you had to be on video.
80% of the time I am in my night clothes and on colder days I have on socks and a sweater. The other 20% is when I have to run errands, get dinner for the weekends, go to the post office, if I’m visiting with friends, or if I am out with my daughter and grandkids.
And if you’re doing call center work, the caller has no idea of what you look like and your level of comfortability is your main concern while you are working at home. However, I would recommend maintaining healthy hygiene and a good skin and hair care routines because it can be easy to let those three things go to the wayside when working at home. I say that because once you get into the groove of not having to go into an office, you get so focused on your work that if you don’t have this as part of your getting up in the morning, it’s likely to be something you forget throughout the day.
How do I make the transition from corporate attire to casual wear? It’s really not that difficult to do and it can be done without spending tons of money unless you can afford high end casual attire. I suggest keeping it simple.
- Sweat pants
- Tank tops
- Maxi dresses (long and/or short)
- Capri pants
- Palazzo pants
- Other types of lounge and casual wear
You want to feel good about this process going forward because if this is going to be your permanent way of working, you want to be as comfortable as possible.
State agencies are going through planning phases where they are surveying staff to get an idea of what the level of teleworking is looking like. They are trying to ascertain the number of staff who want to continue working from home, who want to work at home part-time, and those who want to return to an office environment on a permanent basis. It appears that from hearing several viewpoints on how working at home has been perceived, there are many who cannot wait to get back to the office, and there are those who are ok with just working at home part-time, then there is the group, which seems to be a larger percentage who prefer to work at home on a permanent basis. These are those individuals who have a greater distance between where they live and where the office is located. I am over 300 miles, four hours away from where my team office is located, therefore going into the office daily is not an option for me.
Take care of your mental health. Working at home whether temporary or permanently is not for everyone. It has it perks, but then again it can be anxiety inducing. The thing that you have to think about and remember in making this transition is you have to take care of yourself. Your overall mental health is important. Whether you work out, take walks, get some rest,
In short, while I will not be selling, donating, giving away or tossing out my work clothes, they are being packed up and stored in storage. I’ve spent way to much money just on work clothes and shoes since 2017 that I am not about to watch them walk away. The way I see it, once my business takes off, they may very well be needed.
I hope this has been helpful. If you like this post, please give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions or have comments you’d like to share, drop me a comment in the comments section.