Let’s just call it like it is; this pandemic has been tough. COVID-19 has made life difficult for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Putting aside the obvious physical health concerns created by the virus, there are some real obvious mental health concerns as well.

As states slowly open back up, there is one thing that I keep hearing over and over, “I cannot work from home anymore.” In fact, throughout the entire pandemic, I’ve listened to just as many complaints about the virus as I’ve heard about working from home.

I’ve been working from home for years, and knowing that my friends keep saying, “I don’t know how you’ve been doing it for so long. I hate this and will never do this again.” I’m sure you have thought about saying the same thing to someone you know who is a lifetime home office worker. Truthfully, you need to stop saying that because I’ve got news for you, you do not do what I do. What you’ve been doing is so much harder.

I’m sorry if you thought I would lecture you about how you have it easy and shouldn’t be complaining, but I rather pat you on the back. As someone who worked from home pre-pandemic and has worked from home during the pandemic, I can tell you for sure that this is different, and it sucks.

We See How Hard You’ve Been Working

You’ve been working so hard, and you are not doing it in an environment built for that work. Consider this: Before the pandemic, I happily worked from home in my home office, which gave me a comfortable, quiet space with everything I needed to do my job. When I need to leave a pile of papers on my desk for the night, I can do so because my desk is not my kitchen table. Does that sound like your setup? Probably not. Many of my friends have been working in hectic environments that aren’t made to support them properly.

Now add kids to the mix. If you already worked from home, you had a system that involved your kids going to school or daycare but with all that closed, what have you been doing? You’ve probably been trying to play babysitter and office professional at the same time. That’s not going to be easy for anyone, and you need to know that you are a superstar in my book.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

I keep hearing that working from home has been awful for those who need human interaction. Well, of course! Before the outbreak of COVID-19 shut everything down, I balanced my quiet workday with post-work activities. My typical week involved five days at the gym, 1-2 happy hours, and a weekend of watching sports with my buddies. Now all I do is work alone at my desk and then watch TV or go for a walk with my wife. This is no way for a social person to live.

So, if you find yourself working in an environment not built for you to succeed and with little to no human interaction, you deserve a medal. It’s not easy, but don’t tell me you could never work from home again because you are selling yourself short when you say that. When done right during regular times, working from home is way easier than what you are doing now.

I hope this blog brings comfort to those who have struggled. You’re working hard, and you deserve the recognition. If you do decide to continue to work from home, check out this other article of mine that contains helpful tips and tricks to make it work.