Hello everyone,

I am here to talk about the "new invention" (especially here on Greece) of Working from Home (WFH) or Home Office.

PS. Since the article is quite long and a personal experience (consider it a blog post) feel free to share your experiences from the past days in the comments below. Also, any tips or hints on how you cope with the daily work stress could be really useful.

So, let's begin.

You see, apart from the professional home officers - people who have chosen to use their residence as their office - the rest of us used to treat a Work from Home day as a break from our regular office routine. WFH is a great option for the employees who have a personal commitment for a few hours, but they are still available to work the rest of their working day, so they choose this over a day off.

To be honest, as some companies made WFH compulsory for all their employees, we tend to get a WFH day just to step back a little bit, take a break from the stressful work environment, benefit from a quiet place to get the job done and spend a day home wearing casual clothes, attending meetings between doing chores and it usually involves some extra slacking between these meetings. As a result our productivity is usually reduced and although we try to be active and to participate in all the meetings/calls, at the same time we have to cook, get the dog out, make the bed, tide up a little bit our the house or even ironing the whole laundry (that's me).

Since last week the tables have turned and our break from the office reality, has become our new norm. Unfortunately, as some of you might have noticed our mood is not as great as it should be during these working hours at home. You see, although most people might think that working in you pjs and spend about 5 minutes to get to work would be AMAZING, surprisingly this is what affects our mood negatively in a great extent. 


Morning Routine

To explain it better, each person has set a morning routine which gives them time to get out of the sleepy mood to their "i am ready to work for the next 8 hours" mode. This routine includes

  • getting up,
  • getting dressed,
  • wearing work clothes (business / smart / casual) and
  • COMMUTE to work.

The extra time we spend between waking up and arriving to work allows us to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for the day ahead of us. It triggers our brain to get into work mode and start processing tasks, activities and information.

Imagine now that the 1-1.5 hours we spend on this daily routine has now been resumed to 15 minutes!!!

The brain not only isn't given the time to process the change of mode but also the scenery (clothes, room setting, distance from coworkers) is causing mixed signals. "Am I working now in my pjs or can I slack a little bit to watch TikTok?"


8 Hours on Calls - Every Single Day!

In comparison to other countries we base a lot of our collaboration to verbal communication instead of written emails. So, although we don't have many scheduled meetings, we tend to chat a lot around in the office about all the important points during the day. Therefore, the meme "now we'll see how many of these meetings could be emails" is not applicable to us.

On this new setting, instead of getting the opportunity to get up, walk around the office and have a chat with our colleagues while getting a cup of coffee, we are stuck on a chair in front of a screen for 8 hours getting simultaneous calls for our peers to discuss several subjects. The result is that we have ended up like phone operators, picking up lines, getting the essential information, hanging up, picking up the next line that is already ringing, muting the third one and so on so forth.

And of course, lets don't forget the chats. Especially since vendor/company we are working with is using a different platform for communication. For the past few days my Skype, Skype for business, Teams and Slack keep blinking so ruthlessly that my toolbar is about to explode.


intrablog home office


Heading Back Home

And what about the end of the day? How do you feel?

I believe that although the wrap up process is about the same as the morning one (closing the laptop, moving to the couch, still in the pjs - all in 15mis max) the feeling is way worse. You see, at the end of the day we need to decompress from the stress, the tension or just from 8 hours at work.

The problem is, that the activities we used to do to decompress - like driving back home while chatting to our BFF or to our SO, going to the gym, getting groceries - have stopped without giving us the chance to find alternatives and adjust.

So, these days most of us apart from being worried for the situation feel a continuous anxiety and pressure without having effective ways of relieving it.


Are we productive though?

Oh YES! We are more productive than ever for 2 main reasons.

  • First of all, we don't want our managers to feel that we are slacking. Therefore, we skip lunch breaks, we swift our schedule to attend meetings and we try to show that we are always available. When we eat we take the laptop with us in the kitchen just in case someone gives us a call and we tend to forget to take a break even for a coffee (well since the coffee delivery is very famous here we all prefer to order than to make one). So, we tend to be available and on our laptops about 8 full hours per day.

Unfortunately, we create similar workload to the rest of the people we are working with as we keep calling them at any time and keep adding tasks to their schedule

Is it only 8 though? This is the second reason of our super productivity.

  • Most people tend to work longer hours when they are from home. They think that since they are home in their pjs and with no plans for the evening, its ok for them to reply to some extra emails, to set up meetings for the next days and review tasks and documentation. In addition, the junior employees feel the obligation to support their supervisors or senior colleagues regardless of the time or the hours spent.

A good justification for this is that since we are already in the house, we don't realize that if we were at the office, we would be long gone by 7pm to get back home, so we continue working.


In my next article (blogging it is TBH) i will summarize which ones from the above are actually working and what we can do to improve our current boring situation locked down in our houses. 


Author: May Lykourentzou.