The CEO of Weave is ready to go back to the office
Once we shifted to remote work and our team was up and running, I began to wonder: how am I going to manage this change myself?
I’ve always liked going to the office with the energy of our team members to share the culture we built together. It was fun, invigorating, and uplifting. I knew that, for health reasons, my company needed to make the shift to remote work but it certainly wasn’t what I wanted personally.
The big thing for me to remain happy while working from home is to maintain my exercise schedule, which is a key source of energy and wellbeing. It is key to my mental and physical health, as well as my responsibilities as a leader, father, and spouse. You can’t be there for others if you lack your own spirit and vitality.
We already owned a Peloton bike, which was great when the gyms closed, so I have been getting up in the morning to ride. I also bought some dumbbells and we set those up right next to our front door. There used to be physical separation between all the things that I needed to accomplish; when I drove to work, I’d first stop in the gym and then end up in my office; each location was associated with responsibilities present there: kids at home, exercise at the gym, work at work.
But now everything happens at home. My “office” is next to our front door, where the piano once was. Anytime someone knocks on the door, they can look inside and see me. It doesn’t matter whether I’m on a call or not; if they see me, they keep ringing the bell. I try to make the “I’m on the phone” sign with my hand, but they just keep ringing. It’s loud, distracting, and I feel bad to be perceived as rude or nonresponsive. But at the same time, I’m trying to be respectful to my colleagues on the other end of the call!
Over time, I’ve come to accept that there is no perfect solution under these circumstances, and I need to cut myself a break. Sometimes a work call is going to get interrupted by my kids, the doorbell, or both. I won’t be perfectly focused or efficient. That’s not unique to me; it’s just a reality of life right now, and if I push any harder, I’ll make my wife and kids feel bad. They are already doing everything they can to be considerate, but no one is used to being home all the time.
I’ve also noticed that my schedule has shifted a bit. I used to be out of the house by 7:00 AM, would go to the gym, and try to start my meetings at 10 am. I still try to exercise first, but I start and end my day a bit earlier. I still never take calls or meetings on lunch breaks.
This experience has taught me empathy for others. I know my situation is probably easier than what many of our team members are experiencing. My kids might be a bit older, and I at least have a space to work in by my front door. Some people are working out of closets and/or juggling a baby on their lap!
I know firsthand how stressful this can be, but I have learned that self-compassion is always vital. It’s okay to give yourself a break! You won’t be perfect; things will be different. I have also learned the importance of self-care, whether you go exercise or simply just step outside, it’s important to have something that brings you peace and some semblance of balance.
This article is part of a month-long work from home series where executives and entrepreneurs discuss how they’ve adjusted to remote work. Read more here.