Just a few weeks ago, many people who spend their days in a traditional office setting would have leapt at the opportunity to work from home. Now, most are begging to be “called into the office.”
As long-time teleworkers, the Your Edge blog team has struggled somewhat to relate to the memes circulating the internet. From our perspective, the perks of working from home are phenomenal:
- No distractions from co-workers popping over shoulder-height cubicles, knocking on closed doors or chatting on the phone just an arms-length away in the truly open office environments.
- A commute that shrinks from 30+ minutes to <30 feet means that one could “sleep in” if desired. (Rested workers = productive workers, right?)
- The comfort of working in workout clothes – and the motivation to maybe sneak in a few squats or sprints between conference calls.
- A stocked fridge and pantry for snacking…er, refueling.
- Lots of natural light and nature! (Depending on where you live, of course.)
- The flexibility to accommodate more appointments, lunches and coffees with clients and colleagues.
Then again, we weren’t thrust into this “working from home” gig in the midst of a global pandemic. And kids/spouses/partners/roommates were usually elsewhere during the day, leaving us with peace, quiet and sweet furry paws napping on our laps, save the occasional bark or purr at passers-by outside. Indeed, working from home has been a real boon for productivity for several years now! (We promise, there is truth in the above list.)
But if you’re one of the millions of working parents that was thrust into teleworking…and homeschooling kids…and tending to constant interruptions from spouses, partners and/or roommates…and feeding the dog…and doing it all on very little sleep, with very few groceries amidst relenting winter (or are they spring?) storms that have kept everyone cooped up inside, then you probably feel like you’ve been punked. All of those who make working from home sound glamorous clearly haven’t tried to do it in your household – or a full household, right?
Honesty is the Best Policy – and Makes for the Best Email Signature
Given that this “temporary” teleworking situation could last for quite some time, many have taken to the internet to seek and share survival hacks. Zebra’s own Laura Ott is one of them.
As a human resources (HR) professional, Laura has become accustomed to guiding others through challenging situations. As a mom, she has learned what it takes to successfully mediate any situation. However, the truth of life is that there are some situations that aren’t going to be resolved by a conversation. Not a quiet one, at least.
So, her solution to get ahead of those situations was to give fair warning to colleagues and job candidates that things are exactly as they appear – or sound – when they talk with her on the phone. Her “co-workers” (kids, pets and, yes, even adults) are subject to throwing a tantrum at any minute, and she’s likely just going to talk a little louder over them.