This blog was written by Esther Mitchell, Office Manager at Employment Hero.
Amongst all of the uncertainty in the world today, I am sure of one thing; it’s Bring your Dog to Work Day every day now that we are all working from home.
Working from home was always a privilege. I enjoyed removing myself from the busy-ness of the office to ‘get through’ stuff “un-interrupted”, I’d tell my boss. He was always very supportive of my decision to work from home.
Well, now, when I am not in control of when I WFH, but—I kind of like it! Like all things in life there are two sides to every story; here are my collective thoughts about working remotely and yes, I’m loving that it’s bring your dog to work day – everyday.
The Bright Side
- It’s cheaper. I’m saving +$100 in parking per week plus petrol and wear and tear on my car. I’m saving as much on lunches and snacks too; the lure of shopping in the city (especially Haigh’s for their incredible chocolate freckles) doesn’t exist anymore. I’m also saving time and money on the commute. As a working mum with three kids, I can’t tell you how valuable this is!
- It’s easier. The decisions of what to wear each day, plus the time and organisation to have it all packed the night before can be really difficult; I often forget essential components like a bra or belt—both do amazing jobs at keeping things on the up. It’s all right here. As for the different makeup products I use, I’m not churning through all of that stuff either; I’m looking after myself but I’m not slapping on the mascara daily. My wallet and my lashes are loving it!
- Better work-life balance. I’m saving water, time and money on washing clothes and my work outfits. Working from home, I can stretch the use out a bit more and not in a gross way either—a practical way. I’m finally getting to some of the housework too; in fact, I’m actually on top of it. The kitchen has never looked so good! And my hands have never been cleaner…
With us all being under one roof, I’m not dealing with the daily barrage of ‘where are you?’, ‘how long will you be?’ or worse, ‘what’s for dinner?’. Plus, I’m home for all the deliveries that would ordinarily end up at the Post Office
The Not-So-Bright Side
- I’ve fallen out of my daily routine: walking to the car, to the office, listening to the radio in the car. They were each a different milestone in my morning commute. It also means I’m sitting a lot more – my role in the office involved a hell of a lot of walking around. I now find myself sitting down most of the day.
- It’s hard to switch off. I’m watching my phone and laptop for any alerts all the time, just in case someone needs something. Editor’s note: That’s because Esther treats us so well. Her official title is office manager, however we all feel office mum might be more appropriate. We couldn’t function without her!
- I miss my colleagues—a lot! The office banter and the mateship. The team is really well connected, so it’s hard not to be seeing everyone every day.
- My pantry and fridge are way too close for snacking on and with three teenagers in the house, they need to be completely stocked at the best of times!
I’m not one to focus on the negatives though, and as we might all be here for a while, I’ve decided I need to think about it all differently. Here are my commits for making the Not-So-Bright list not so frustrating:
- Create a new routine; it won’t take long! In fact, I think I’m already doing it without realising it.
- Move around the house. Switch up the furniture, change up the aspects and you know why? Because I can! Unlike the office, it’s all my space and I can make it work for me. Editor’s note: Seriously, we’d help her move the furniture anywhere she wanted. We’d affix desks and chairs to the roof if that was her will.
- Take some walks during the day, even if it’s to hang out some washing.
- Take some BIG breaths and count to ten if things are getting overwhelming.
- Refer back to my ‘mother of all lists’ (you know, the running list of everything that needs to be done that no matter how productive you are, somehow keeps growing?). Keep chipping away at it!
- Keep up my exercise routine; the pain occupies my brain!
- Repeat my new mantra—this is temporary.
We’re all adjusting to the new world at work and if you’re a working parent like me, then you know full well that WFH is a little more challenging for us than for others. That being said, I’m grateful that my work can be done from home. My husband’s business in food services has had to pivot dramatically and I’ve seen first-hand the impact it’s had on his staff, some of whom have been with us for over 20 years.
No matter how hard it can get – and I’m sure it’ll get harder – it’s important to focus on what’s positive. My family is safe and well, I’m able to work remotely and every day is Bring your Dog to Work Day. Not everyone’s so lucky.
Digby is loving WFH too!
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