As someone who spent years working in a cubicle, I never thought I'd be able to transition to working from home. However, after a series of events, I found myself in a position where I had to make a change. In this blog post, I'll share my personal experience with transitioning to working from home, including the challenges and benefits of this change, as well as how I adapted to the new work environment.
The Cubicle Life
For years, I worked in a cubicle in a large corporate office. While it had its perks, such as a steady paycheck and benefits, there were also many challenges and limitations to working in this type of environment. For one, I found myself constantly distracted by the noise and chatter around me. I also felt like I was always being watched by my managers and coworkers, which made it difficult to relax and focus on my work.
I didn't have a long commute to and from work each day, but just the pain of getting dressed felt like too much. Yes, the pain. Choosing what to wear, comfortable shoes, etc. was not more appealing than working in my pajamas. Sounds lazy, I know. But a cubicle was so restricting to me. It felt like a box. And if you've ever met me, I'm sure you know I'm more comfortable outside of the box than in it.
When an opportunity to transition to a remote position became available, I knew I had to go for it. It was what I wanted for so long. The role was at the same company but my responsibilities would be greater. I didn't care. The vision of my sliding around in my house slippers instead of heels was too motivated to let this opportunity pass me by. I had to take it. I'd prayed I'd get it and I did. Finally, I was working from home.
Contrary to what I initially believed, the transition was not easy. I had to learn how to manage my time and stay focused without the structure of an office environment. I also had to create a designated workspace in my home that would allow me to be productive and separate my work life from my personal life. Which means, I had to work outside of my bedroom and away from the kitchen. Those were the two places I could always find some kind of house chore to do.
Working From Home
Now that I've been working from home for several years, I can say that there are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of work environment. Although the pandemic has made it popular to work from home, it takes discipline and time management to be productive. I love the flexibility that comes with working from home. I can set my own schedule and work when I'm most productive. I also save a lot of time and money by not having to commute to an office every day.
However, there are also some challenges to working from home. It can be difficult to stay motivated and focused when you're working alone in your house all day. I also sometimes miss the social interaction and camaraderie that comes with working in an office. That's why I've scheduled once-a-month virtual lunch calls with women who work from home so we can have a sense of community. It's like gathering in the breakroom but not. You know what I mean?
I've had to create a routine that works for me. I start my day with prayer and journaling before getting dressed and going for a walk to clear my head. I also make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around. Sitting down for hours straight is a no-no. And I've found that joining online communities (or creating them) and attending virtual events helps me stay connected with other professionals in my field. Now that we are getting back to "normal" in this post-pandemic world, in-personal connections are beautiful too.
Transitioning from working in a cubicle to working from home was a big change for me, but it was a great move for me. While there are certainly challenges to working from home, I've found that the benefits far outweigh them. By creating a routine and finding ways to stay connected with others, I've been able to adapt to this new work environment and thrive in my career.
How are you doing? How is working from home for you?