working from home

Working From Home: Goal Met Through Preparation, Disruption

If you want to work remotely or from home, then maybe you can, and maybe should—especially now that a global pandemic has settled in to adapt.

This development has surely frustrated business owners and the public at large. The initial Covid response prompted swift corporate solutions to new problems that taxed systems rested in practices that in many cases were essentially were the times. With no apparent goals of workforce circumstance progression in the works, many have failed to adapt to the new environment.

What can we do as individuals to prepare for the unexpected, and to adapt to this unfamiliar environment?

Little Goals

My opportunity to permanently work from home came about as a result of the pandemic. However, I am aware that I most likely would not have been able to take advantage of this moment in time had I not previously invested both spare time and earned income into the personal goal of having the ability to work remotely from wherever my employment happened to be. It was by way of many little goals met in the sight of another, different long-term goal that my aim for the work-at-home goal resulted in an initial success.

Being a writer and not a published author, I’m usually in a regular day job (communications, most recently) and side-writing to (1. meet some foggy-future goal, and 2. pay bills). It was the occasional freelance writing job that prompted the incorporation of the outside world into my home in the form of the work-from-home experience. Although this transition began of my own volition with these writing jobs of various sorts, it eventually morphed into bringing my ‘permanent’ day jobs home full time (it’ll be two in a row, soon.)

Disruption

While working from home had been a goal for some time (more on that later), ultimately it was the surly Covid pandemic that prompted the permanent opportunity to work from home on a day-job that normally was done in-house. It was an incredible stroke of luck to be working for a company that immediately responded to the initial, globally-rampant Covid variant by sending everyone home to do the job.

Nobody knew what to expect. To me, this time during the initial stages of pandemic felt surreal in the way that the initial hours after the 9/11 attacks on the United States had done. A person goes through a lot of mental anguish during times like these, and they don’t realize it because they also experience an adrenaline boost (incredible biology) that works to keep us functional. I suspect I had an easier time than some others, because I was already prepared to work from home, having been previously committed to the shaping of that personal goal.

Companies were blindsided by the pressures of dealing with a sick or at-risk workforce that also had been ordered to stay home. Some were unable to navigate the shifts of the business environment as the pandemic problem affected everyone’s course. Still, my coworkers and I were lucky, for a limited time.

To begin with, we were regarded as essential business and staff, and would be allowed to stay at work while the company was allowed to function as normal with precautions (mask mandates, new sanitation protocols, etc.). In addition to the ability to continue earning income and benefits throughout the initial rise of Covid, we were allowed and encouraged to make the transition to working from home.

In order to make the shift, we were expected to use our personal equipment (no one complained, initially). I supposed at the time that this was necessary because the company wasn’t prepared for such a turn of events, had already invested in its on-site needs, and wasn’t going to extend itself further in light of business circumstances.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Many employees immediately purchased their own equipment. There was frenzied excitement as we all went through the motions to set up our workspaces at home. This experience was one to be thankful for and proud of—a company that would so readily facilitate this kind of move is a company we want to serve when we need to work, right?

We (most of us) made the move and worked this way for almost two years. But, as they say, centers don’t hold forever and things fall apart.

Woe to many remote and some on-site employees—time would later tell us that the company would sell out to robotic solutions and send everyone home for real.

Meanwhile, Covid continues to transition itself into multiple variants that threaten our lives and health.

Big Goal Met

Thankfully, what we did yesterday influences our today. I was able to easily transition to the WFH experience then, and I’ll be starting a new work-from-home position in 2022. This time, the employer is providing the equipment. After years of setbacks and new challenges (such is life), an original goal is being met—albeit in some unexpected ways, and by way of some dreadful circumstances.

Other coworkers were able to successfully transition into new WFH jobs as well. Either they were prepared initially or they had managed to acquire their own equipment during the Covid disruption while our company was able to remain in service, thus gaining some of that kind of experience on the job. I would not doubt that in some cases they, too, are being provided equipment in their new roles.

We were in an incredible situation together, and I think most of us have been exceptionally fortunate during these trying times. I do often wonder how they’re all doing.

Time to Set a New Goal

There are several obstacles to a person’s ability to work from home, the ability to access equipment is but one. While it may not last forever (I do love working on site in the right kind of situation), I can appreciate that what is said about dreams and goal-making is—at least sometimes—true. For instance:

  • nurturing that seemingly unrealistic goal, even indirectly, can lead to its achievement
  • incremental, small goal achievement leads to larger goal achievement
  • naysayers are just that, not indicators (let them be), and
  • a goal without a plan remains a dream, even if it’s ‘realistic’

We prepare for the unknown by preparing for the known, accessible parts of our lives. We make commitments to ourselves to to act on our interests and practice some kind of action toward the fruition of our dreams by setting achievable goals that relate to our long-term desires.

When we don’t have access to tangible goal-achieving tools, like actual assets or simple opportunities, we must use those intangible strengths we do have, i.e. self awareness (interest-recognition), research, record-keeping, goal-setting, talents, education, and so on.

It is time now to remember: change is rolling hard and fast, and the present time is the only time to make plans for the times that follow.


Feature Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash

Further Reading:

Tracking SARS-CoV-2 Variants, via WHO

Quote of the Day:

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. Take chances. Make your own work and take pride in it. Seize the moment . . . the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon.
― Joan Didion

What to Watch 12/23/2021:

The Center Will Not Hold (Netflix)

Afternote: I was 7/8 finished with this memoir post when I learned that Joan Didion had passed. That definitely feels like an end to an era, and I wanted to be sure to post some content credited to her so that readers could recall the personality. The Netflix documentary is a good watch. The quote is a timeless, sage advice.

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