A colleague once talked about how our work / life balance has shifted over the years… and how we now live ‘scrambled egg’ lives.
Previously our work time (the egg white), though linked to, was a very separate thing to our play time (the yolk… see where this is going?), and to confuse or scramble them wasn’t something that was encouraged. However as we all are very aware of, this has now changed completely. Life is scrambled. AF.
We have the weight of our working world in the palms of our hands at all times. We set out of offices but note that we will still be checking emails should anything be ‘urgent’ (don’t even start me on how we effectively sift through what is important/urgent/nonsense). We answer calls out of the 9-5 without a second thought, within reason. We might even find it strange that a company doesn’t want us to take our work home with us. And – of course – the biggest indicator that we live a scrambled life? Working. From. Home.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the flexibility of working from home, of being able to start and finish work when I want to – if I can’t sleep I can pick up with my work exactly where I left off a few hours earlier. I can technically never be late for work, even if I oversleep. I don’t have to wait to collect missed online deliveries in the longest post office queue on weekends. I can head to the gym before everyone else does to avoid busy classes or waiting for machines.
But sometimes I feel like working from home can scramble your brain too.
If something changes in your home life and you work in an office, you step through the door into work and the rest of your stresses kind of exist separately. There are really people sitting at the desk next to you, talking about things other than what is going on in your head. There are really people waiting for you in the conference room, ready to cover topics for an hour or so – none of which will involve what has gone in your life.
When you work at home, you are on your own and you are your own worst distraction. No one is there to stop from thinking about anything else, to stop you from article hopping, to stop you from carrying on with your work when you probably should be taking lunch. And to be honest, it can be quite isolating if you don’t have a plan in place to stop yourself falling into the ‘working from home not going out and seeing real people’ pattern.
It’s something that over the past few months I have struggled with – and I think it can be difficult to disclose to people because ‘you work from home, you are so lucky!’ and it will seem as if you are ungrateful. However a lot of bloggers, YouTubers, journalists etc. have started talking more about how this way of working has its downsides - and I think seeing this snapped me out of the aforementioned pattern I was falling into. And personally I found it a little reassuring to note that other people felt this way too… sometimes I felt I was going mad (probably from cabin fever) to not be happy 100% of the time with working from home. So I thought I would share this in case anyone else is stuck in the same rut, not sure if anyone feels the same or how to get out of it.
As with the scrambled eggs, no matter how much you love your job, I guess there’s only so far you can mix the work life balance before it all gets ruined. It can get to a point where both worlds are too mixed with the potential for negative effects on both. Thankfully I caught myself before that happened. I'm learning there still needs to be a schedule, there needs to be changes of scenery, and there needs to be other projects or things to focus on to make sure you stick to your working routine (this is where I imagine children come in handy… amirite #parents).
So it's back to blogging, and trying a work routine as if working ‘in a real office’ again, and most excitingly starting some new projects this year. Watch this space lads…