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Honoring My Mother | The perils of work-from-home

The home invasion by work loads originally meant for the office was bound to spell trouble. For both.

One prime source of friction that is the result of this new normal will surely be the physical re-arrangement inside the house, now that one has to purposely accommodate a new work space. It becomes a bigger problem if one’s house is like that of the usual cramped subdivision type common in suburbia. I know that some home owners have their own private study or little offices, and that’s fine, but we cannot say that not everyone enjoys the same luxury.

Consider the needs of both the home and the office for a second. While a home is the solace from where one can let it all hang out (and I mean that colloquially and never literally), an office is the place where one works. Period. Oftentimes, the only things personal there consist of your coffee mug and things like a toothbrush inside your locker or desk.

Surely, these two natural adversaries, the home and the office, are bound to clash, and with added factors, such as the quarantine atmosphere and a gnawing cabin fever that both bring out waves of irritability or restlessness among sufferers like us, psychiatrists are sure to have a field day when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is finally over.

Nowadays, in our house which l share with my two fellow inmates, or rather, workers-from-home (that sounds funny, no?), you try to play your blues albums or playlist loudly, and that will at once be frowned upon, especially if it is heard at their table (now cleverly disguised as the new office space) nearby. Good thing though, I can enjoy my music time four days a week, when I feel the need to. Writing will keep me busy and occupied for the next three days, so at least, at these times, it will feel like I’m in the same office mode with them as well.

In those three days of the week that I “work” with them however, we all will have to share and endure the same common problems of trying to work at home. One such problem is the non-stop bawling of the spoiled kid next door whom I suspect always cries on cue, just when I am near my deadlines or when my housemates are knee-deep in conference calls with other office mateys. Alongside this of course, there is the regular housework that almost always will weave itself into the office work schedule. No mean feat, when one has to take into account, meal preparations, house cleaning, and the usual laundry and garden chores.

In all, I have no love for this new scheme of things, but I have no choice. I empathize with many others who directly private message their woes to friends at the other end of the internet landscape. At the same time, I likewise understand the subliminal cries of tiktokers who are desperately looking for a meaning in this world suddenly turned upside down. As for those who work from home, just remember, home is where the heart is. Let our hearts welcome that part of us that brings home the bacon.

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