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Working From Home, An Extroverts Survival Guide

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

"You work from home? That's amazing, you must love it!" is the response I typically get when I answer the, “what do you do for work,” question. My captive audience stares at me, like I have announced I just won the lottery. I mean, come on! Who doesn't want to be home in their pajamas? The freedom of being able to arrange your schedule to accommodate appointments and be able to care for sick family members, whether your human or fur babies, is enviable. And who can argue about the lack of commuting? My audience is correct, I am blessed, I did hit the Jackpot. But their expressions change from envy to confusion when I reply that it has been challenging. That at first, I didn't love it and I struggled with it. It took some time to adjust. Why? I have a small confession, I like people, I'm very extroverted. I know, weird, right? I have my moments of needing some space from people, but overall, I enjoy the human race. When I took a fully remote job, like so many I envisioned a quiet working environment, no distractions, no annoying interruptions. Looking back, I now realize I must have been fantasizing about someone else's life because I have kids and pets. There is no privacy or quiet. Ever. As an extroverted person, I rely heavily on nonverbal cues like body language and how the room feels. When you work remotely, those external cues are gone. This certainly shakes up someone like me, who processes what is happening by watching silent communication between people. As in, the eyebrow that is lifted ever so slightly, or shifting their seats, like hey, you are losing us here! That crazy happy feeling that a team gets when they collectively solve some really complex problem. The huge smiles that are on the faces around the table. Emotions we can't always capture on a call. What could I do? Well, the reality was I had to adapt, so I came up with a plan. How can an extroverted girl survive in a remote environment? Thank goodness there are some ideas out there on the World Wide Web! After a little digging, I found some very helpful suggestions. Here are a few that might help some of my extroverted friends! Create a routine. For the first time you are in charge of your routine, which means you can tailor it to what works best. Are you better in the morning or afternoon? Little observations like this can help you determine what activities to complete at certain times of the day. Don't be afraid of the camera. Does your hair look amazing today, let people see! Loving that new top? Turn on that camera! I think I can speak for many, when I put a little time into how I look, my day is more productive, and I feel good! Make sure you have socialization time with friends and family. As I stated above, this change rocked my world, but thank fully, as COVID restrictions eased up, I was able to connect with people in person. This helped with alleviating some of the initial loneliness.

Take a break! 10–15-minute breaks can help you reset and stay on task. Take a walk, have a snack or throw your laundry in the dryer. Move your office around. Can you work from your laptop? Is it gorgeous outside? Pick up that laptop and move your location. It's not every day that we can take advantage of a beautiful day and still be productive. Remember, any changes in life can throw us off but don't be afraid to reach out for help. Those of us lucky enough to work from home have hit the Jackpot! While I still get lonely from time to time and miss the hustle and bustle of a busy office, I am learning to appreciate my situation and all the positives it has brought me.

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