Report From a Worker at Home
This pandemic has brought uncertainty for many people. Many jobs are vanishing out of thin air, and the jobs that do stay, have become an everyday physical threat of contamination. But there is a certain layer of workers that have been able to keep their jobs and work from home. For people like me, an interface designer working for a big company, to be in this situation felt like a great paradise and privilege. Although, as the weeks go by I am finding more and more that in some ways, mixing work and home together is not as much of a paradise as I first thought.
During my normal work day, I’d stay eight hours working plus two hours commuting back and forth from work. Fortunately, staying at home has meant that I am free from having to commute. But the two extra hours did not become free time, only more work hours. I feel the work responsibilities, and bosses and coworkers’ demands merging when emails reach me at any time in the day. Everyday I am caught thinking about something I have to submit or a project that I should turn in during my supposed “free time,” in the middle of dinner or when I should be in bed. My body can be at home, but my mind is still at work. Nowadays, it is very common for me to work past 8 hours, sometimes well into 13 hours of work, which means I am only left with 11 hours to sleep and do everything else.
Working from home in a time like this is a great relief, but it has also been a double edged sword. Although comfort and economic security are great things, they shouldn’t cost one of the most precious things we all have – time to live. Every worker has the right to some downtime, but working during these times has been anything but a break!
Featured image credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash