Learning To Work From Home Full-Time Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

I never really thought I was a strict enough person to work from home.  Anyone who knows me knows that I can be easily distracted!

When March 2020 rolled around, bringing the pandemic with it, we were told that we would be working from home full-time. At first I questioned if I would be successful at something I was so unfamiliar with but six months into working from home I’ve learned that I can be successful at it – maybe even more successful than when I was in the office! I now feel much more productive in my new makeshift home office. I set up a plastic pop-up table (that my mother lent me) in the corner of one of our smallest rooms, already home to a bed, dresser, TV and whatever else went there when I changed things up in my home… you know the “random room”?  I unpacked my cardboard box with my office belongings and got to work!

For five months, I worked at that pop-up Costco table alongside my two little dogs (that slept on the spare bed) and my cat that roamed in and out during the day. I really could not believe how happy, and extremely productive I was working from home. I adjusted to conducting our 3-step hiring process virtually. Not going to lie, it was challenging at first since I am not “techy” by any means but with patience, I learned a lot on my own and had to depend on myself to figure things out rather than just yelling for a coworker to come and help (or you know, do it for me!)

I love interviews. I have to say it is my absolute favorite part of my job.  I like to get to know our applicants, their stories and their love for their jobs. And if you don’t know me, well – I am a hugger.  And at the end of most of my interviews I would hug my applicants if they truly made my heart sing.  Oh, that is another story for another time (me, hugging, and dealing with COVID)! 

Where was I? That’s right, interviews! It was tough adjusting to the “virtual world”.  It took a little bit of time to adjust to something absolutely new to me and to Plan A Sudbury, but believe it or not, these were some of the best interviews that I have conducted since starting at Plan A three years ago. It was like everyone was so comfortable in their own surroundings that it opened up a whole new experience with getting to know some of the most caring, resident-focused, “I love what I do” PSWs, RNs, and RPNs. People were much more comfortable in their homes, their kitchens, living rooms, heck, even in their bedrooms! This allowed people to really open, share their stories, and their “why”.

August came and we were told we would be returning to the office on the 10th. “Okay, I can do this” I thought. “But I really love being home, working, surrounded by fur babies.” But back I went and it was time to get used to working around others, while other things were going on, people passing our office windows, phones ringing, impromptu meetings, you know, all of those easily distracting things? It was an adjustment all over again.

Then the day came! Wait for it. You guessed it.  “Crystal, how would you feel about working from home permanently?” WOW! I was over the moon! Back with my babies AND working in my own space? Yes, please!

I am now working from home again without that pop-up table from Costco. I have gotten rid of the spare bed and made a little more room for my “permanent work space”. And you guessed it, I’m absolutely loving it once again. I put the heat at what I want, I listen to the music I want on my Google Home speaker. The best part? I am now interviewing candidates full-time! I get to chat all day to the most big-hearted individuals I have ever met. As for the hugs? I give them virtually and they are just as meaningful!

~ Crystal Leopold-Chartrand, Recruiter, Plan A Sudbury

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