My oldest has been sick the last two days, and because of my wife’s schedule, I’ve been on home duty. I’m fortunate that at least some of my work can be done from home, but working from home also provides an interesting reflection opportunity on how our environment dictates what we can and can’t do.
There are a number of similarities between my work office and working from home. I have comfortable places to engage my thinking, distractions that invariably arise, and people to talk to (though a conversation with a seven year old is often different from one with an adult).
And of course, there are some key differences. While I can access most of my files from home, I can’t get my hands on everything, and it can be difficult to connect with people as I work and play. Plus, there is the need to honor my time with whoever I am home with. While I can do some work from home, it isn’t the same as a full work day.
What’s fascinating about reflecting on this is that humans can become incredibly adept at working under whatever conditions they are in. Despite being nowhere near as effective or efficient today as on other days, I was still able to complete a number of phone calls, write a number of emails, and begin thinking about a number of different initiatives.
I’ve noticed that my thinking pattern is different as well. It is punctuated by different tasks (i.e. helping my daughter log on to a Lego games website) and different thinking patterns (one second working on an email, the next folding the laundry). Despite a decrease in efficiency, I wonder if this type of thinking switch is valuable, simply to keep our minds as flexible as possible.
Happily, my daughter seems better today than yesterday, and if all goes well, hopefully she’ll attend school again on Friday. While working from home certainly has its challenges, in the end, it is all about helping people feel good!