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The Reality of the New Acronym.

By Deborah RobinsonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Photo by on Unsplash


I'm not swearing, I promise! This is actually the new acronym which emerged, and became a household 'thing' (I can't really say name) with the arrival of Covid 19. Social distancing and lock-down forced many to Work From Home.

When schools were eventually closed after much parental pressure (which they soon regretted), my husband suddenly found himself teaching, not in front of a class, but in some weird, virtual way in front of a laptop for up to 10 hours a day. There would be set times now to upload the work, which is hard to do, since most of the lessons require a teacher's physical presence in the room, to demonstrate, ask questions, and to actually support learning. Everything was slow and frustrating, with no opportunity to be spontaneous or even to react to a hand up. And I do think management took advantage of their hard-working staff, and piled more and more deadlines and demands on them.

I swear his hours were longer than they would have been at school. Without the buzz of performance, time pressures and a tight routine, he became lethargic and de-motivated. Having been a teacher for about ten years, myself, I know how the energy of the students, other colleagues, and the pressure to be engaging, keeps you going in a busy day. You built up stamina, lung power (that first day back my voice really hurt!) and resilience; but during lock-down, we all quickly lost that, since the buzz was removed, and replaced with hours sat down, looking at screens. We didn't know when it would end, with the days and weeks all merging into one big blur.

By Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

Of course, when you have a young child in the house, WFH comes with lots more complications and challenges: from assisting them with their own school work, which involved a whole lot of bribery, several 'breaks' and dramatic falling on the floor claiming to be 'soooo tired', and then to the actual permanent preparing of food and snacks that goes on! When my daughter did, hallelujah, go back to school, I thought, how will she manage without her 12 hour, permanent eating habit? She certainly makes up for it when she gets home, I can tell you!

By Philipp Meeh on Unsplash

So, here we had one person trying to fit a full-time teaching job into a day of shared home-schooling, and me, a part-time artist and tutor, also trying to get work done, but every five minutes being asked by a 7 year old for a 'little snack.' She thinks if she says 'little', that's it's less of an inconvenience. Hm, clever...

At first, I think we were all slightly stunned by lock-down, and we found it hard to adjust to the doing-very-little pace of life, filling our days making banana bread, doing up our gardens, clearing out, and generally trying to keep busy. Then, the loose clothes went on, and so did the weight, and our motivation went out the window.

WFH became quite a chore and a challenge for many of us, especially those with kids and dependents. Bosses expected more and more from staff they couldn't really keep an eye on, and kids were bored. They wanted to see friends, grannies, cousins, but weren't allowed to.

A lot of people do still work from home, and the plus-side is, traffic is a little lighter in the mornings, but I do wonder how those people at home are coping mentally. Work is made bearable by colleagues. Most of us love getting dressed, and looking our best to go to the office or to do a shift at a restaurant. Walking or driving home with a friend from work can be perfect therapy at the end of a stressful day. But, for those who, for the foreseeable future, have to work from home, where do these little moments come from? What's the point of getting dressed, or even going out if there's no reason to?

My house is quieter now, as my husband and daughter have returned to school, and I am able to get tasks done now without being asked for food, a cuddle, or needing to do a worksheet on 'seed germination'. Lots of these things were fun, when I look back, and I do miss those precious family days sometimes, but when the day is constantly interrupted, the working day lasts all day.

My point is, some people work from home successfully, and they can be disciplined enough to set hours; but for a lot of people who had no choice in the matter, it was challenging. I work from home, but I choose to, so that I can be at home for my daughter. However, for those who have, or had, no choice, what impact has it had on their homelife and their health? The blurred lines may have a lasting negative impact.


About the Creator

Deborah Robinson

I'm new to the 'writing for real' scene. Previously, I've kept my poetry and writing under wraps in a fancy notebook, but now I've decided to give it a proper go!

I hope you enjoy my work.

Thanks, Deborah.

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    Deborah RobinsonWritten by Deborah Robinson

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