Struggling with #RemoteWorkLife? It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Sick of being quarantined? It’s all about perspective. Here’s how we’re finding some gratitude in our common #remoteworklife gripes.

Let’s be honest…who is starting to feel the effects of working full-time from home?

For those of us who still have jobs in the continuously floundering economy—moreover, jobs which we can perform safely from our own home—we certainly have nothing of real gravity to gripe out, as our woes of Zoom calls, cats scrambling over the keyboard, and lack of Vitamin D pale in comparison to the healthcare workers and other essential workers who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.

But as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows us, no matter how good we have it, we’re always sure to find something more we need—or something we need to complain about. Of course, a bit of venting is cathartic: Not only does it release anxiety from building up inside of us, it can actually be a bit of a bonding experience, as nothing bonds you with co-workers more than complaining about a mutually irritating source, like the broken printer or the toaster oven that always burns your breakfast.

Now, as in any other time, we have to find the right balance between letting ourselves blow off a little steam and remembering to practice gratitude.

“My family is loud and distracting.”

For most of us, insight to our spouses’, children’s, and loved ones’ lives is sometimes limited. What do they do at work or school all day? What are they even stressed out about? What is their work personality like?

(Yes, we all naturally behave a little differently around different groups of people. And no, it doesn’t mean you’re insincere and two-faced.)

Being cooped up with family or roommates definitely brings it challenges and moments of tensions, but it can also help us find a new appreciation for everything that our loved ones handle throughout the day and how hard they work.

“Please, no more virtual events.”

It seems that every day there is a new event that makes its (not unexpected) announcement that it has now gone virtual. And what first seemed like a nimble means of innovation now seems…well, like a bit of a drag.

But remember the last time you went to a tradeshow? And you moaned about the travel, the airports, and the Uber rides, and the crowds, the lines, and the hotels? For this year at least, you can still participate in or attend your favorite tradeshows—but with a brief alleviation from the traditional tradeshow woes.

So, no, a virtual tradeshow probably isn’t perfect, but it does cut out a lot of the things we all typically complain about—which will all be right there waiting for us the next time we travel to an event.

“My back hurts.”

I know, mine does too. Somehow, sitting all day working at home is taking more of a toll on the body than sitting all day working at the office does.

For most of us, it’s because we’re actually pulling longer work days now that we’re at home; because our computer is always there, we have (quite literally) brought our work home with us, and it’s all too easy to just send one more email or just finish one more thing.

I’ve seen various solutions being floated around the internet, and I particularly like this one proposed by the president of Waveguide, who’s suggesting all meetings should be scheduled ten minutes short, so we can collectively use that time to get up and stretch our legs.

There’s nothing fun about feeling your shoulders get more and more strained every day, but maybe this marathon of Zoom calls will help remind us all of the importance of getting up and managing a few stretches and exercises every day.

As quarantine drags on and those carefully crafted #quarantinelife tweets seem less and less funny, it can be hard to keep your spirits up. So when you feel like you’re having a hard time balancing all the regular challenges of work life and personal life with the added twist of a global pandemic, remember that it’s okay to complain a little. It’s okay to admit that you’re tired, worn down, or lonely–that you miss your co-workers, your office desk, and even your commute.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll all soon be back to our regular desks (where our backs still hurt!) and where we can find new, trivial things to complain about. C’est la vie.

Reaching your limit on #quarantinelife? It feels good to vent a little, and I’m here to listen! Let me know on Twitter @merryshoebell.

Meredith Shubel

Meredith Shubel

Senior Account Coordinator/Technical Writer

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