Working from home caught us off guard and I wasn’t surprised that my first week was horrible to say the least. None of my team members were fully abled to work and I happen to be the last person in the chain to release payments, which were due because it was month end of March after all.
Nonetheless I struggled along , managed the A-Z communication with our last batch of suppliers who needed the assurance that we will pull things off and I am glad that we succeeded at that.
Learning to be patient
I quickly learned that in order to succeed through the process I had to be patient , I normally have a gift of seeing things through , connecting the dots and having a clear path on what will be required by when . I also expected that everyone else would have figured this out and I was wrong.
This is where being caught of guard things come in . Nobody expects to one day be doing everything from home and communicating with team members . I had to accept that there is no manual on how to do things and I must be patient and open to learn new things. As a result we started off on some bad communication tip and I had to learn that I need to be very patient with both myself , my leaders and team.
So as soon as the necessary people were set up , I clarified expectations, I communicated what I was going to be able to do and I couldn’t be able to do. Most importantly every single task had a timeline assigned to it. I just believe that communication of expectations is the best way to get the team know what is needed from them. I also let them know that I too have never been in this situation before so if there’s any ideas , I am open to it. If I make mistakes they should let me know , if I am over communicating or under communicating they should let me know too.
Having two kids under age six and knowing that I had a full day teaching schedule plus cleaning and cooking , I did not want to assume that just because the team is at home this means everyone is logged in to their laptops the whole day . As I have come to learn , it has actually been a complete opposite for me.
Week 1 I was getting in about six working hours a day , schools were closed , I was one of two people able to work from home in my team and it worked. But lo and behold , week 2 things changed. At first I thought I would wake up early and do an hours work before starting with the teaching . But nope , that wasn’t to be. I got to bed so exhausted that an idea of a 6am was totally off the table.
So here is what I have managed to do consistently this far
After teaching my kids at 12:00 , I clean the house , prepare lunch , clean up some more . I am usually done by 2pm and this time is dedicated to logging in . I focus on the emails , tackle new tasks on my to do list , usually I am done by 4pm and then I am back to the kitchen to prepare supper. I got back to laptop on a need basis in between the kids eating and bath time.
What worked for me was getting my team fully resourced with data , airtime and laptops. I have no doubt that this will change how we do things going forward. Some of the team members have had to go to the office to process some work because they don’t have laptops. This has to change , technology is now our bread and butter issue.
I have been able to quickly leave the kids in class and attend to a Whatsup message from my boss , log in and send that report .
Knowing what was not a priority also helped . The due dates that could be let go such as the draft annual financial statements etc , accepting that we cannot access our ERP system from home wasn’t easy but getting to that acceptance helped to make my sanity work .
My overall reflection
I came across this post from@thrive “ consider which parts of normal are worth rushing to”. And this has gotten my mind thinking 🤔
You know what , this lockdown reminded of the teaching they gave us in the pregnancy class. They said to mothers, most mommies resign after going back to work after maternity leave. Why?The joy and emotion of raising a child gives them so much purpose and direction and they start to question whether or not their jobs are worth their time.
And guess what , I am at this state of mind. Whilst I am grateful that the amount of pressure I have had is minimal and I was actually able to give time to my kids , especially with my husband working as an essential service , I am not sure if I want to go back to the same job and duties. And so there is a lot of thinking and praying awaiting me for the next 14 days .
For now we can just say – searching for a new place is not off the table . I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband. I want to drive less than 15 minutes to work and not an hour , I want to be home to see my kids by 3 or 4pm and not between 6-7pm as I currently do. I want to serve my family supper at 7 consistently and not 8or9pm. I want my freedom back and I want it now. I want to contribute in making a world a better place. I don’t want to sit and idle by.
I don’t know 🤷🏿♀️ right now, I am open to counseling after all this but I just need to add more quality into my life and right now my family is everything . My current job is more back end , last person , minimal input that gives me less drive and excitement, I am more a decision making person and financial reporting alone can remove that joy away from me at times. I don’t need any more confirmation. I just don’t know how to make the jump !
Anyone else going through what I am feeling out there ?