For many Americans with jobs that can be done remotely, it has been almost two months since we have been physically present at work. With the utmost respect and admiration for the frontline heroes keeping our country running and deep empathy for anyone who's unable to work remotely, I, like so many others, have been doing my part to stop the spread of coronavirus by staying home.
While not every adjustment was easy, my colleagues, followers on the TMRW Instagram account and I are taking a moment to reflect on the things we've learned to appreciate about working from home.
1. No time-consuming commute
My commute to the office has gone from a 30-minute subway ride to a leisurely stroll from my bedroom to the kitchen table. I am personally very grateful to have this time back, and I am not alone in feeling this way.
TODAY digital editors Emily Sher and Yi-Jin Yu are using their commute time to enjoy an additional hour or two of sleep in the mornings.
"It's something I appreciate the most when I start my workday early on Saturday mornings," said Yu.
There are endless ways to fill the time that would have been spent commuting. No matter what you do with it, we can all agree that it is a gift worth appreciating.
2. Spending more time with pets
I don't know about you, but my dog has been in heaven with the around-the-clock attention he's been getting while I spend my entire day at home.
As much as our pets benefit from us being home, we also stand to gain from spending additional time with them.
TODAY digital page Dani Musacchio said, "My dog provides me with comfort and also reminds me to take some breaks away from my screen."
TODAY social media editor Brooke Sassman joked that her pup has become her "intern," adding that she often catches her furry assistant sleeping on the job.
"As far as colleagues go, they’re always in good moods and they’re always excited to see me," said TODAY writer Laura Coffey.
3. Rocking a comfortable and casual look during the workday
Some people say it feels good to dress up, even when you are at home. But it's my personal philosophy that nothing feels better than putting on sweatpants for the 50th day in a row.
For Sher, sporting "comfy" clothes during the day is one of the things she appreciates most about working from home.
Instagram follower @carlaa3123 agrees, adding that she has also learned to love not putting on makeup everyday.
4. Midday workouts
Not only are we working from home, but we're also working out from home. A few TODAY Digital employees shared that they found ways to combine the two activities giving them a nice midday break.
For TODAY digital producer Sara Snyder, the midday workout has become a welcome refresh for both her mind and body.
"I’m much more focused when I sit back down to finish working," she said.
There are endless workouts that can be done from home, including pilates, HIIT routines or taking a socially-distanced walk around your neighborhood.
5. Creative lunches that don't break the bank
Staying at home for work means access to the kitchen all day long.
Snyder said her at-home lunches are "much more interesting" than the lunches she used to bring to the office.
"Since we’re cooking nearly every night, we usually have leftovers and they often become lunches. It’s so much easier to eat and clean up without having to do dishes at work or carry home dirty Tupperware," said Snyder.
Sher added that by making most of her meals and coffee at home, she is saving a lot of money, too.
6. More time with kids
While some people reported enjoying time with their pets, TODAY digital producer Missy Dunlop said she has been enjoying being with her kids.
Even though balancing it all can be a challenge, lots of working parents are relishing in the extra family time the quarantine has given them.
7. Peace and quiet
For Coffey, working from home is not a new practice.
"I’ve been working remotely for TODAY.com since 2008," Coffey said. "Because I’m free of many distractions at home, I’m able to fall into a hole and CRANK."
While many people are missing the social atmosphere at work, when it's time to buckle down and focus, home might be the best place to do it.
Every work-from-home situation looks a little bit different but when you stop and think about it, you can find a silver lining or two in this new normal.
It's hard to say how long working from home will last but while I continue doing so, I am focusing on the positives, feeling grateful for my ability to work from home and taking a moment to recognize the benefits it has added to my life.