A quick disclaimer – This post is to share my experiences and my feelings, you may feel the same or you may not even understand how I feel which is fine. We all cope differently and each of us has a preferred way of living and working that suits us and our individual needs. Of course many people may feel the same way as me about the things I will mention below and they may also not be Asperger’s. This is fine, all of us are different and being Asperger’s affects us all differently as we each have different traits, some more predominant than others. Thank you for reading 🙂
Working from home is a very heavily talked about topic especially at the moment. There are three types of people I have met, the ones who love it, the ones who hate it and the ones who wish there was a middle ground. While working from home works for a lot of us, many people have noticed some negatives to this new ‘isolated’ way of working. I personally love working from home as it allows me to concentrate and complete tasks in a more comfortable way. However, I do struggle with being in one room all day everyday especially with my current circumstances.
How working at home has worked for me-
Working from home has provided a good way to balance my life a bit more however, I need to start ensuring I am a bit more organised as this has proven a bit difficult lately. I decided to trial run Evernote to see how this would work and may improve and maintain my serious need to organise…
One of the first points to mention about working from home is that I don’t have to wear a particular outfit, if for example one day I am not feeling my absolute best I am able to pop on some comfy clothes and sunglasses to crack on with work in a more comfortable way. However, if you are in the office these comforts are not as accessible or appropriate for an office environment and even though I am perfectly fine to continue working if I did not have access to these work arounds I may have to go home instead.
I am able to be around my pets while I work, if my rabbit wants to be patted I am now able to just pick him up and have him on my lap as I work. If my parents need to go out I am able to ensure our family dog doesn’t get left alone as often. I am able to give more attention in between tasks to my pets, in my opinion this is replacing the trips to the coffee machine when I was in work. Having animals around me is the best way to reduce stress and brighten up my day so this really helps make the work day a bit more pleasant especially if I am having a bad day in regards to mental health or physical health problems.
I am not buying lunch, coffees or snacks at all while working from home. I was always one of those people who bought a coffee in the morning, giving the excuse that I was using a reusable cup so it was ok…Now I am able to make and prepare my own food and coffee, this has also led me to reduce my caffeine intake significantly and increase my water intake significantly which really helps increase energy levels and reduces the risk of migraines (I tend to get migraines when I am tired, dehydrated, sudden exposure to light or shining light and certain smells and other sensory problems). This also means I have quite a bit more money which is always nice and has enabled me to do other things with it rather than on coffee or lunches.
Going out in the garden for some fresh air and if I am lucky, sunlight! Working from home means that I am only 10 steps away from my garden, even just having a window that I can open next to me has been heaven. Being away from all the AC and florescent lighting can be really freeing especially when you are able to replace that with outside air and some natural sunlight. My sensors go into overdrive while I am in the office which usually means I have regular headaches and anxiety problems. Sitting in long meetings in the office really used to make me uncomfortable, I like to fiddle and move around while I listen to meetings online now which is really nice and reduces my anxiety and helps me focus. I am not someone who can sit still for very long so I struggle sitting at a desk all day with people constantly talking and walking around me.
Exercising is also now easier to do during a lunch break or straight after work as I mainly enjoy walking or at home exercises, it makes things so much easier to include exercise into my day…not that I am maintaining that at the moment of course…haha…I really need to start moving around more but its nice to know that I can if I ever muster the energy to!
Finding the spaces to have meetings or little group meetings is much easier due to not having to find a free meeting room. We can just organise a little meeting online which means we can have them whenever and wherever we like, this also means I can still wear my jogging trousers too and no one will find out! Until now of course…hello boss haha.
How working from home can be difficult-
Meetings are still a problem, of course now they’re not in person which really reduces a lot of anxiety but now I have to try and read the room and figure out peoples intentions without seeing them physically which can be a bit difficult when you rely heavily on visual cues. I sometimes struggle to ‘play the game’ when it comes to natural cues, I am learning as I live which is nice but of course I still find other people rather overly complicated. I struggle trying to figure out when to speak or I begin stressing out thinking I have to speak when I don’t have anything to say and for some reason video/voice calls makes me stumble over my words a lot more compared to physical conversations.
Sleeping can be a bit of an issue, I am fine getting to sleep but I tend to wake up regularly. Working and sleeping in the same room isn’t the best option but there will be an opportunity to make a little space elsewhere for an office space. I can use this when I feel like I need to separate my day a bit more.
Having a clear and creative mind is something I really love and sometimes I struggle with while at home, I wish to have an area of my own to create and work but this cant always be achieved while working at home. While it is quieter and less crowded than an office I do feel as though I bring work into my personal life a lot more due to it existing under the same roof. I am working on new ways to separate the two but as with everything, this takes time.
I don’t tend to have these problems at the moment but at the start I really struggled staying on task as I knew I could be doing other things as I was now at home, but over time I have found ways to stay on task. I know a lot of people are struggling with this aspect of at home working. Another issue that I know a lot of people are having at the moment is the social aspect about working from home. I personally don’t mind as I enjoy my own space and struggle to concentrate around people but a lot of people love the social aspect of going into work which has now been a bit lost.
Overall I feel as though it can really benefit people like me, I get distracted very easily and struggle to stay on task with all the things going on in an office. While being at home also poses its problems too however, it does reduce my anxieties. I don’t have to put on scratchy uncomfortable clothes, I don’t have to act a particular way and I am able to get really engrossed in the task I am doing. People are unable to do drive by questions or interrupt tasks that I am concentrating on, instead they will email or message which gives me time to finish up then move onto helping them. I love this as I am the kind of person who can struggle to get back into the swing of focusing on the main task when people interrupt or if the office is particularly noisy. I am also very introverted and my work place is great at creating meetings and keeping the ability to communicate with others from home.
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