I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this statement in the past nine months. Being a self-proclaimed introvert (and proud of it!), the implication is that I love being able to work from home, away from all the people and all the small talk. To be fair, getting away from small talk might have been one of my greatest dreams (pre-WFH). In the end though, joke’s on me.
My family consists of me, my husband, two kids, three dogs, and a cat (and a partridge in a pear tree). This means my WFH conversations consist mostly of:
“Do you want to go outside?”
“Are you hungry?”
“Turn that tablet down!”
And some version of attempting to explain 5th grade math to my 10-year-old daughter.
Let me tell you—not the most stimulating conversations I’ve ever had!
I often find myself missing the buzz of the office. The underlying sound of chatter, keyboards, and the coffee machine. The ease of just popping my head over to my cube neighbor to see how the weekend was or really any other conversation to be had with an adult. I find popping into someone’s computer on Teams or Zoom or any other platform doesn’t have the same effect. And meetings a few times a week with folks online just doesn’t fill the communication need in the same way!
Do I miss the hour commute each way? NOPE. Do I miss cramming 20 people into a conference room made for 10? NOPE. But, do I truly miss the relationships that can only be built when you spend eight (or 10, or 12) hours with people five days a week? You bet I do.
So yes—joke’s on me. I’ll be counting down the days until I can see people for real again. People who know that just because I’m an introvert, doesn’t mean I’m loving this any more than my friends who are extroverts. I can’t wait for run-of-the-mill conversations at the snack cart or intense whiteboarding sessions in a conference room. But, don’t be surprised if I still try to explain 5th grade math to you when I’m back in the office!
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