Article written by:
Sarah Evans, CPA
Like many, I have been working from home by the instruction of my company to slow the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak. Initially, I was excited to sleep in, stay in comfortable clothes, and avoid the daily monotonous commute. However, as the new reality set in I quickly learned working from home isn’t quite that easy.
One of the benefits I identified is that working from home has given me a more flexible schedule. I no longer need to find time to run errands, workout, do laundry, and make food before or after work. I can fit these items in while I work or even as a break in the day. I can multitask and use my personal to-do’s as breaks from my work to-do’s, but quickly learned this resulted in little separation between work and life. I went from working where I live to now living where I work. Although it may have taken stay at home orders to do so, I have also been given the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones. Unfortunately, the lack of separation has also led to many distractions – not only from lingering life needs but also from those I live with.
I did not realize how small our townhouse was until both my fiancé and I started to work remotely. No matter how many rooms and doors I put between us, I feel as though I can still hear the constant stream of zoom meetings and phone calls. However, this experience has given my fiancé and I the opportunity to actually witness just how much (or little) we work and what we do on a daily basis. It has provided both of us a little peek into the differences between public accounting vs. corporate finance. Even with numerous phone calls, emails, and video meetings taking place on a daily basis, in-person interaction is proving to be the best form of communication.
Ever experience a meeting and think the discussion could have been addressed in an email? This remote working experience has provided a new appreciation for direct communication. I miss being able to sit across the table from co-workers and clients and have a constant conversation. The ability to ask questions and give immediate answers is one I feel was taken for granted. I find myself scheduling more phone calls than sending emails to assist in seamless communication and ease of conversation. Unfortunately, the days filled with back-to-back phone calls and meetings have made crossing items off my to-do list a little difficult. This has led to longer nights or even work flowing into the weekend resulting in (as mentioned) blurred lines of work and life.
Although working from home was a nice vacation for my busy work week schedule, I learned a lot about myself during this period of time. Not only how I work under pressure and the best communication methods for myself, but I enjoy working directly with people. Even with the positives of working from home, I am eager to work beside my peers and clients, and even happily sit through meetings that could have been emailed.