It has to be said that there weren’t that many benefits to the lockdown, but one plus that did improve the lives of some, especially women who also happened to be mothers, was the option to work from home. As someone who has worked from home for more than 10 years, I can well understand the benefits of being able to work more flexibly, around your child’s school day, and yet being able to stop to collect them from school, and not needing to pay for additional childcare.
But now, many people are returning to the work place, furlough is coming to an end, and offices are reopening on at least a part time basis. The good news is that some businesses are embracing the flexible working conditions, having found that productivity actually went up during the lockdown. But if you are returning to work, and are feeling some mom guilt about this, here are a few things you can do to alleviate this somehow.
- Plan your journey in advance.
If you are going back into the city centre, you want to be able to do this in the quickest time possible, especially on your return journey. You can do this by planning your travel options in advance, this should also help you to keep the costs down as much as possible. But make sure you remember the train is not just for work only. Many young children love a trip by train, so this can be a great idea for a weekend treat after a hard day at work/school.
- Remember your mental health.
Don’t feel ashamed of actually wanting to return to work. Working from home can have many plus points, but there is a level of isolation and loneliness that you don’t get when you are working in an office or setting as part of a team. Your mental health is important, especially if you do have young children, so don’t beat yourself up about something that will make you happy and healthier.
- It should be easier to switch off
When your work setting is also your home, it can be difficult to ever switch off completely, and your work hours can be longer and more chaotic. When you return back to the office, it should be a lot easier to leave work at work. Once you log off your computer, leave work alone and make sure you then get to enjoy your home life with your children – ask them about their day, check out their homework, maybe even head out for something to eat. This will be better than a frazzled mum talking to them whilst emailing at the same time.
- Remember that going out to work is normal
It was the lockdown situation that was not normal, not going to work. You did it before and you probably will have to do it again. Your routines will settle down pretty quickly, so stop panicking.