Before ’rona came to visit, and stayed on like an unwelcome aunt, work from home (WFH) was an ideal most of us would dream about. We thought that if we ever got lucky enough to have bosses like genies granting us our WFH wish, we’d be blissfully going about our day wearing a shirt over shorts, sneaking in a short nap post lunch in front of the TV, taking our laptops to beachside holidays and working with a beer in one hand. We assumed that our not having to commute or share open offices with smelly colleagues would take our mental health to an all-time high.
But ’rona did come around, and with it came our unexpectedly sudden WFH realities. Only in this parallel universe, we’re exhausted from managing housework, restless kids and loud families with endless Zoom calls. We have lost semblance of time as an entity, often working more than we ever did, figuring how to keep our morales from flagging, and buffering our existential thoughts of what-even-is-the-point with just gratitude for having a pay cheque at the end of the month.
There are several things that might be making it worse for those WFHing—from bosses who might be tracking all the websites you visit to those who don’t understand how you can burn out while sitting at home. And then there are these new lines we’re all hearing that might’ve made us laugh at our new realities once, but now just make us sigh. Here’s a short list of stuff you should try to avoid saying or encourage colleagues on the other end of your laptop screen to avoid saying, because life is tough as it is:
“Can you please turn on your camera?”
“I’m now going to share my screen… can everybody see it?”
“Sorry, I was on mute and didn’t realise I was just talking to myself.”
“Can everyone make sure they’re on mute?”
“You’re on mute, we can’t hear you.”
“I'm sending you an invite for Zoom, just come on it.”
“Just confirming that everyone can still see my screen.”
“Sorry, can you please repeat that?”
“We can’t hear you.”
“We lost you there for a moment.”
“These are unprecedented times.”
“We’re all in this together.”
“This is the new normal.”
And if nothing, just for god’s sake, share that damn screen without waiting for people to unmute and respond to your question of whether they can see your damn screen.
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