I learned to enjoy working from home. No traffic jams, which are terrible in Warsaw. I woke up at 8:40 to start work at 9:00. I almost forgot what a compact powder was for, and I could spend coffee breaks playing with my dog. So when I got the job at ShareSpace, knowing I was going to work in the office, I was both excited and a little reluctant. 

Change is always hard. The older you are, the more time it takes to adjust. Switching to remote work when the Covid pandemic broke out wasn’t a breeze either. I remember the early days of the lockdown in Poland when we all started working from home.

It seemed that communication took ages. On the other hand, I had an impression that everyone was constantly texting me and I wished I had an extra hand to answer. It took some time to work out all the online communicators, screen shares, and beautiful video backgrounds. We may have forgotten – as it all seems normal now – but it was pure chaos in the beginning.

Joanna Kocik ShareSpace
I missed people most when working remotely

Work-life balance collapse

In those early days, I didn’t know when my workday started and when it ended; I felt like I never left work because I was constantly fed with news and updates. I wasn’t able to just close my laptop and leave work. I would finish my tasks and just move from a chair to a sofa. Then I would spend some more time in front of the computer screen.

But over time, I worked my way out of that lack of balance. I learned to “ground” myself in the here and now and detach from work. I learned to put my laptop away and go for a walk instead of spending more hours on the web. I realized I had more time and I appreciated my “no makeup” days.

Of course, I would miss working with people, but it was the price I could pay. Sometimes I would even go to the office, but the space was empty and quiet since most people stayed home. Sometimes home office was difficult with two adults working and two kids studying at home online, but still, I found many pros.

I thought: how am I going to commute again?

How to change the routine again?

So when I started working for ShareSpace and I had to change my entire daily routine again, I thought: how am I going to do this? How, for instance, am I going to commute again? 

Now, after nearly two months in the office, I must say that I don’t ever want to work remotely full time. I’ve started getting up early to have a quiet morning: practice yoga, walk the dog, have my coffee. I like the time I spend on the metro, these 20 minutes of reading or my “Instagram press review.” And since we have a great office, I can focus solely? on my work. There are no distractions. No dirty dishes on the kitchen counter. No loud phone calls in the next room. 

Meeting people is another perk. It’s almost like my social life from before the pandemic. Talking to someone face to face isn’t just faster than typing messages online. It’s simply much more enjoyable. And as far as meetings go, I’m so much more focused now! 

I know I don’t want to go back to working fully remotely

Remote vs office work

Of course, I appreciate home office from time to time or a “workation” every now and then. But this daily routine helps me work better and have more quality time for myself. As long as the boundaries are clearly set, I can maintain a better work-life balance. Well, maybe the dog isn’t too happy now. But I am. 

I know remote work is sometimes a must, especially for those with young children or when your health doesn’t allow you to feel safe. But if your employer announces the return to the office once it is safe and ready to receive you, I definitely recommend taking this opportunity. It may seem hard to switch from remote to office work again, and the first few days can be challenging, but after a while, you start to see the difference.

And of course, not all of you need to rush to Warsaw city center right away – I like my empty metro in the morning and no line at the coffee machine. But try to drop by your workspace from time to time once it’s available and safe for you. If you want to read more about a safe return to the office, my colleague has shared some very interesting insights here. You can also contact him directly to learn more about office lease offers and the situation on the market.