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Creating Calm Out of Chaos and Other Tales About Working From Home

What hasn’t been said about working from home? It’s great, it’s horrible, I love it, I hate it,

and just about everyone has personal stories about their WFM experiences.

I’d like to share the pros and cons from the perspective of being a single Mom and a business owner.

The pros are grand, really grand, and I’ll start off with perhaps the best of all; I get to spend more time with my girls. Time goes by so quickly and I know that soon enough, our time together will get more and more limited by their social lives, school activities, sports and all of the other things that compete for our kid’s attention. But right now, while I’m working from home, I can drive them to school and that means an extra 50 minutes in the car where we chat, giggle and listen to the radio and everyone has a good time.

After the drive, I’m in my home office Zooming and because I don’t have to waste time in the car, I get to “see” more of my work contacts than ever before.

My Allstate office is pretty casual, and in pre-Covid times, the interruptions that popped up during the day seemed like SOP. Now all of our meetings are scheduled, and no one stops by (aka interrupts!) for an impromptu meeting or conversation. Sure, some of the spontaneity is gone but productivity has definitely increased.

As a single Mom, having flexibility is key, and working from home allows me to accommodate my daughters’ school schedule, a blessing in this day and age of unplanned school closings.

Now, lest you think all is perfect, there are certainly some cons for me as well.

There seems to be no quitting time. Because I don’t have to “get home to the kids” I find that I continue working long after I should have stopped. I have made it a point to stay aware of how many hours I am putting in and know that unless there is an emergency, I must stop working even though my WFH office is ready and waiting for me to always drop in

Onboarding 3 new employees this year has been tough, and the training is taking longer than it would have if we were all in the office together. In our small office, new employees have the advantage of getting to overhear their team members and pick up important information that helps them in their job. Right now, there’s no one to overhear and so their learning curve is not quite as fast.

Indeed, I miss seeing my Allstate team in-person. I enjoy being with them and pre-Covid a quick trip to Starbucks with my 2nd in command always helped to cement our relationship as well as give us an opportunity to catch up on what was happening in the office.

For me, the pros of WFH outweigh the cons and I’m glad that I’ve learned that I CAN work remotely, and business will still thrive. I’m not 100% certain what our new normal will be, but I do know I’ve learned a lot about resilience, stamina, and grit during these 13 months.

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