Its now been 2 weeks of working from home so I thought I would share how I am getting on.
For some time I have discussed with my IT team about making us of opportunity to work from home more often however few have taken me up on this, and personally I haven’t taken up my own offer very often either. I found myself wondering why would team members come in to work, travel to and from work, when they could actually sit in the comfort of their own homes and work from there?
The last two weeks have given me some answers to the above question with two factors in particularly sticking out.
- Work has an ebb and flow about it, be that the specific meetings, the movement of students between lessons or the school bells. There are also the longer term ebbs and flows and sports events on Wednesdays, weekly assembly and head of department meetings on Mondays. There is an inherent structure in these ebbs and flows. Now I am working at home I am finding it difficult to keep track of where I am within each day and also to keep track of where I am in the week. The last two weeks have disappeared plus I have often found myself wondering, “what day is it?”. I suppose the answer to this challenge is to build a new structure at home, however I don’t think this is as easy as it sounds given the previous structure for me personally was built up over 20 years working in schools and colleges.
- Humans are social animals. We want to be around other people and to interact whether this is formally in meetings or informally discussing the football results in the morning or as you pass someone’s desk. Now video conferencing helps in allowing us to communicate but it simply isn’t the same as real life face to face contact. It also needs to be scheduled whereas our normal day to day interactions include many incidental conversations as you walk to the staff room or to a meeting. These meetings and discussions were never planned but their existence added to the rich colour and uniqueness of each working day. Working from home doesn’t quite have this same social dynamism. I am not sure how we might address this issue, and I think randomly video calling staff across school might be a little strange or even creepy.
Now it may be that as more time passes and I become more used to working from home that I miss the issues above less and less. Or maybe I will find solutions to allow me to address these challenges while still working remotely.
Would be interested in how everyone else is finding this work from home experience?