Remote Control: The New Normal

4 minutes
Remote Control is the weekly blog for Oklahoma Today fall intern Abigail Hall. Check back each week as she discusses her work-from-home experience.
Week 1 Remote Control: Adapting

My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. and I make my way to the kitchen to wake up with a cup of black coffee. I sit on my couch with my cat Bagheera as we watch the sun shine in through the living room window in my upstairs apartment.

After finishing my cup of coffee, it would normally be time to get ready for work—but we’re nine months into a pandemic, where work from home has become a mantra and new reality for many of us. So, instead, I take notes and prepare mentally for the day until the morning video conference meeting with the Oklahoma Today team, signaling the start of the work day.

Unlike in previous jobs, Abigail has to find ways to separate home from work when both happen in the same place. Photo by Junjira Konsang/Pixabay

Unlike in previous jobs, Abigail has to find ways to separate home from work when both happen in the same place. Photo by Junjira Konsang/Pixabay

For now, this is normal.

There’s no commute or rush out the door, no greetings as I walk through the office halls or take a seat at my desk. Instead, I find my comfy spot on my couch, grab my laptop, highlighters, a story ready to be fact-checked, and get to work.

But then Bagheera meows for attention. And my eyes start to water after staring at the screen for a little too long. And my foot falls asleep after sitting in criss-cross style for too long. And then the neighbor mowing his lawn is so loud it reverberates through my apartment.

I get up to make lunch, pour myself some hot tea, and try to refocus. That’s my mantra for working from home: refocus. Get back on track, respond to that email, posting sticky notes everywhere to remind me that while I’m at home, it’s still a work day, I’m still on the clock, and it’s time to refocus and get the job done.

By the end of the day I’m exhausted, but in a new way than before. In my previous, more traditional jobs, I was tired at the end of the day from engaging with people all day and the process of going out and coming home. But now I’m tired in a different way—my eyes are tired, I feel the need to turn my laptop off during non-work hours to allow myself some peace of not being constantly on or connected to coworkers, but also to the news, social media, the constant requirement to be on and take in new information as it changes around us.

In a time where I have more time than ever to be at home, binge shows, or browse social media, I’ve found the most peace and relaxation from setting them all aside to allow myself to be disconnected when I can be. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this, I think. When there’s no physical separation from home and work, as individuals, we have to be the ones to set those boundaries for ourselves.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from your time working from home, or adapting to the pandemic in your own lives? Send me your thoughts at abigail.hall@TravelOK.com.

Written By
Abigail Hall

Abigail Hall is Oklahoma Today's fall editorial intern.

Abigail Hall
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