My 5 Stages of Working from Home

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We are all familiar with the 5 stages of grief- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  We also know that everyone grieves differently and some people skip entire stages.  Everyone is different.

Keeping that in mind, I’m rapidly approaching the 6 month mark of working from home.  I am so blessed and grateful that this was available to me.  However, it’s not something I ever wished for.   And, to be completely honest, when I was first asked if I thought I could be productive working from home I wasn’t 100% sure I could be.  But I knew the right answer was yes, so that’s what I said.  And thankfully it turns out that I was right!  But that doesn’t mean it’s been all rainbows and unicorns.  So, here is my take on the 5 stages of working from home:

#1 Denial.  If you would have asked me 9 months ago if it was even possible for me to do my job from home I would have said no.   I need to access my file room and other departments.  I need to have my PC and my 2 monitors and the rest of my cube set up.

#2 Shock.  One Friday afternoon I loaded up my PC, some binders and a few other things and took them home.  I felt numb walking out of the building.  I felt fear setting up my new work station in my back room.  I felt fear logging into the remote access software for the first 2 weeks.  I just couldn’t believe this was really happening.

#3 Anger.  Things that I could do in 5 minutes now take me 2 hours.  I’m playing phone tag with people who used to sit 10 feet from me.  I’m left out of meetings and announcements (not intentionally, but it happens).  I miss out on the frequent parade of treats being brought in.  I don’t know the answers to questions on new products because I’ve not had a chance to see them being produced.  Things are misconstrued in emails and require twice as long to resolve because of misunderstandings.  There are times I want to chuck my phone against a wall, but then I realize it’s MY phone and that wouldn’t hurt anyone but me.

#4 Acceptance.  I can sleep in 45 later now!  I don’t have to do my hair or put on makeup!  I can work in my PJs (for the record I don’t)!  I don’t have to deal with office gossip or drama.  I can have lunch with my husband more often.    No commute! Maybe this isn’t so bad after all!

#5 Depression.  This, unfortunately, is where I am now.  I’m losing language skills and forgetting words I’ve known for decades.  I’m getting more and more paranoid when I DO leave the house.  My concentration levels are falling and I’m getting more easily irritated with really small things that wouldn’t have bothered me even 2 months ago.  My sleep patterns are all messed up.  My diet is looking more and more like that of a 3 year old.  I’m addicted to YouTube videos of a cockatoo!  I don’t floss (I usually did that in my car). I’m getting through with the help of my doctor, but some days I really just hate everything and everyone (pity my poor husband) and just want to sleep for 20 hours a day.  It’s a lot different than I ever expected, and while again, I know I am very fortunate that I’ve been able to keep working, some days it’s hard to remember that.

Now, this is of course just my experience- yours may vary.  But before you say “Oh wow, I wish I could work from home” really think about what that means in terms of human interaction, ease of access to information, and your family/ housemates.  There is a lot more upside to going to the office than I ever could have imagined 6 months ago!

3 thoughts on “My 5 Stages of Working from Home

    1. Becky P Post author

      Admittedly I was in a pretty low place emotionally when I wrote that. This past week has actually been better, so fingers crossed you’re right 🙂

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