by Brittany McSorley
Hello and welcome! If you’ve recently been given the opportunity (or command) to telecommute until further notice thanks to the risks associated with COVID-19, you may be struggling to adjust to your new lifestyle. Who is in charge of you? Do you need to brush your hair? How many string cheeses is too many for breakfast? And so on.
Fear not, my babies. I’m here to help. Yours truly has been working from home, with limited exceptions, since November of 2013, and I am not exaggerating when I say that every single day of it has been wicked nice. But the beginning was definitely strange, too. I was like, Wait, what? You’re just going to trust me to get things done? I can take a break almost whenever I want? And where are we on the string cheese question? If you were living a more traditional work life before this whole “anxiety-inducing global concern” thing, you might be feeling a little lost right now, so here’s some guidance to help you through the transition:
1. For starters, if the pants you’re wearing have buttons or a zipper, do away with them at once. This it the time for sweats, people. Yoga pants. Pajama bottoms. Roomy basketball shorts left over from that relationship you still can’t talk about. Your bottom half need not suffer any longer! And ladies, are you wearing a bra? WHY? Fling that sucker into the abyss! Goodbye, fabric prison. You will do no more evil here.
2. Hydrate with wild abandon. Who cares how many times you get up to pee during this workday? Not me. I would never judge you. In fact, I applaud the frequency. Go get ’em!
3. Similarly, stock up on snacks. Do you know how often I have a snack while I’m working? Whenever I want one. If you think you probably have enough snacks, you are wrong. Your longing for and dependency on snacks will rapidly increase as you continue to work from home. I have literally never said, “Damn, this is too many snacks.”
4. What does your workspace look like? Is the chair you’re using comfortable? Does your back feel supported? If not, stand on up. Move that laptop to the kitchen counter and go to town. What’s that sensation, you ask? It’s your spine, remembering what joy is.
5. Tired of standing? Time to move to the couch! The couch misses you while you’re at the office. The couch feels you’ve grown apart. Go to her. Let her hold you. Shh. Shhhhhhhh.
6. Is your space feeling a little too quiet? Are you used to the mindless chatter of the other corporate drones who typically surround you while you’re working? Replace that incessant buzz with a podcast! There are hundreds of people out there working tirelessly to tell you about every murder that’s ever been committed, and you’ve been ignoring them. But not anymore. And please feel free to email me with questions or comments about literally any crime.
7. When you’ve reached the time of day when you do the most mindless or boring part of your job — the part that’s become so second nature you could do it with your eyes closed — it may just be time to turn on the TV. Listen, don’t judge me, okay? I’m not saying you should watch an intricate HBO drama that requires your full attention. But a rerun or six of Friends in the background of the least exciting part of your day? Uh, yes please. And please feel free to email me with questions or comments about literally any episode of Friends.
8. Is it time to take a walk to break up the day? You tell me, sport! Walk time is whenever you want it to be! This also goes for lunch time, stretching time, checking again to see if your Amazon package has arrived time, and trying to woo the neighbor’s dog into your home time. You’re the captain now.
9. As your workday winds down, thank the universe for the peaceful experience you’ve had. No one has cornered you for a super-lame conversation in the break room. You’ve endured zero inappropriate jokes from Mark in Sales. Every scathing response to a stupid question that would have gotten you in trouble in person was transformed into a polite-enough email that still provided a withering commentary on the recipient’s ineptitude. All is well. You are free.