What It’s Like Working Remotely

Growing up in a small-business owning family, the concept of “working from home” is nothing new to me.  When they opened their business 15 years ago, they converted our front sitting room into a home office, replacing sofas with filing cabinets and coffee tables with desks, and they continue to do much of their work there.  It’s just not something that never thought I’d do.

 

My current job as an RBT is usually pretty hands-on.  I work with school-aged kids on the autism spectrum, helping them develop critical skills and constructive coping strategies.  I also normally go into my clients’ homes, which obviously isn’t ideal during a pandemic.  As such, I’ve mostly been working from home since March.

 

The first thing I really came to understand about working remotely is that expectations have to be altered.  Not lowered, necessarily, but modified so that they’re feasible given the circumstances.  In my particular case, I had to put working on specific skills for my clients on hold because it simply wasn’t realistic to expect them to learn that skill over Zoom.  I’ve also had to employ various strategies to prevent burnout and regain my clients’ attention.  Music, stretch breaks, and the Pomodoro technique (read about it here) have become vital over the past few months.

 

There have been lots of memes and jokes circulating the internet about working from home since the pandemic began, one of the most popular being about wearing nice tops with pajama bottoms. I am here to tell you that I have totally done that multiple times since March.  On Zoom, as long as you’re presentable from the waist up, nobody will know that you’re wearing bike shorts.  Not having to sit through traffic has been rather nice too.

 

All this being said, though, technology is really, really annoying sometimes, and working remotely has made me hyper-aware of that.  Between screen-sharing (which I rely heavily on) deciding not to work to my computer freezing up and kicking me out of a meeting, I’ve had some unique grievances against Zoom, Microsoft, and Google these past few months.  I think I’ve just gotten used to it at this point though, even if I’m not-so-patiently awaiting the day that I can go back to work in person.