Lockdown Diaries Ep.1: Tomorrow, I will work in my pyjamas!
Today, we bring you something a little different: a candid account of life in lockdown from our awesome new guest writer, Alexandra Ghiura. Over the next few weeks she will be sharing a bit of her "lockdown journey" with us, warts n'all.
Once upon a time, working from home, or "WFH", was what one did if they were a trendy freelancer or a genius start-up entrepreneur (or perhaps if you had a dentist appointment, plumbing emergency, or you know... a duvet day). And then it happened.
The ‘Rona. The daily-press-conferencing, Tesco-shelf-emptying, social-distancing, Christmas-cancelling Great Big Cough of 2020.
It is hard to describe the feeling that was floating in the air-conditioned atmosphere in the office I used to work in a year ago. It was like the last day of school - except your parents were sending you to an Amish camp, and you did not expect good times to be had. We were all preparing, gathering the supplies for our newly instated dining-room table office, setting up the daily startup meetings, and cleaning out our desks. But everyone knew what everyone else was thinking: ‘Tomorrow, I will work in my pyjamas!’. And that we did.
I suppose there have been stranger things to get used to before in my life, but this one was definitely up there on the oddity scale. I wouldn’t have thought that the thing I would be doing in the apocalyptic atmosphere of a global pandemic was struggling with the overcrowded VPN. Wearing bunny slippers. Outside - ghost town, inside - business as usual. Except you were hunched over your laptop at the kitchen table, fighting against the poor lighting and the constant need to snack (would post-Covid offices be forced to enlarge the doorways?). And so, a new level of admiration for the trendy freelancer was achieved. Because after the novelty wore off (and that did not take long), you realise that this whole thing, well, kinda sucks.
So many times I ended a day frustrated that what I had worked on would have been easier and faster if the person I was collaborating with had been there in person. So many times, on a day off, I thought that I’d rather turn my laptop on than do the laundry. And everyday, getting dressed and made up feels like I am playing dress-up. A lot of behaviours in social settings are performative, and without other people, a lot of it is like talking to oneself. An alienating exercise in futility.
In the future, they say, working from home will be the standard thing to do. Companies will save money on office spaces and employees will save on commuting. Everyone will be happy. Right? Absolutely not. There are many things to be said about the psychology of lockdown and the effects on productivity, life-work balance, and mental health, but the bottom line is, we need people around us. We need to put our game faces on, meet our peers, work together towards a goal, and enjoy the thing being carved into existence by our collective hands. At the end of the day, we walk home, leave all that outside the front door, and walk in with the just the feeling that today something of value has been achieved. Then the well-earned bunny slippers can finally come on.
About the Author:
Alexandra Ghiura is originally from Romania but is a true Brit at heart.
She lives and breathes philosophy, history, politics, economics, all that good stuff.. :)
When she grows up she wants to become the next Leo Tolstoy, and fly to Mars with Elon Musk.
Now she is a software engineer at a luxury car manufacturer by day, amateur blogger by night.
She loves coffee, gaming, devouring a giant Russian novel over a weekend, and hanging out with her cute crested gecko named Pickle.
If you have empty offices as your team works remotely, remember that you can list these on NIMBLD for free, so you can hire them out to local WFH'ers nearby - of course, doing this when lockdown lifts, and with the appropriate precautions! This will help you recoup some of your office costs, and we trust this could very much help small businesses stay afloat during this crisis. Any listings you create can easily be taken offline as restrictions tighten, and reactivated once they ease, making us a key tool in helping you navigate these difficult times as a business owner.
We can do this. <3
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash