Missing That Buffer

10 April, 2020

Aside from a short period at the start of 2017, it’s been years, a lot of years, since I’ve worked from home. At the current Day JobTM, I’m the only member of my team who never worked from home.

That all changed at the end of March when my employer told everyone to work from home. Then, a couple of days later, New Zealand went into a four-week lockdown.

While I have what I need to work from home, I recently realized how important my commute home each day was. That 20-odd minutes from door to door was my buffer. It was time that allowed me to shift modes. It allowed me to forget about the travails of the day and ease back into my personal life.

Now, with home and office being one in the same, making that shift isn’t easy. When I call it quits each afternoon, I put my work laptop and charger in my knapsack. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

Without the buffer of the daily commute, it’s harder to make that shift. In the evenings, I’ve been finding it hard to read and to write. My progress in those areas has dropped. Noticeably. It’s causing me no small amount of stress.

Lately, though, my wife has been kicking me out of the apartment after I put away the work tools. To go out for a walk, to read in a nearby park, to create that missing buffer. That’s slowly working, but I also wonder how messed up I’ll be when things go back to a semblance of normal and the old daily routine starts again.

Scott Nesbitt