When COVID-19 first crept into China, most people in Canada could not care less. “It is all the way across the world, it is never going to reach us!” “Our healthcare system is too advanced to let something like that affect us!” Little did they know, COVID-19 extended its venomous claws to Canada only a couple months later. We are now living in a real life Plague Inc. simulation.
Let us take a trip down memory lane to before COVID-19 took over our lives. As a student at the University of Waterloo, we are required to have mandatory co-op, which means that I alternate between school and work every four months. Four months ago in January, I was ecstatic about starting my first real job in the heart of Toronto. I was so excited to make connections in the real world and climb up the corporate ladder. Not too long into my work term, I was hit with a bomb. I was instructed to work from home for the rest of the term – before I was able to make meaningful connections with my co-workers and before I could prove myself to my boss. I was devastated.
With a heavy heart, I reluctantly obeyed the orders to continue my work from home. It was challenging, to say the least. As a new hire, questions arose frequently. Conversations that could have solved the problem in minutes took hours of communicating through email. Since the nature of my job required me to work with new teams every couple weeks, I can’t even say for sure that my co-workers remembered that they worked with me.
Despite all the hardships that came with working from home, I slowly began to realize the benefits. I was too absorbed in my distress to take advantage of the comfort that followed working from home. The four-hour round-trip commute from my house in the suburbs now took seconds. All I had to do was wake up five minutes before work and travel from my bed to my desk. Suddenly, I have so much more free time on my hands. I even found that I work for longer hours when I work from home. Slowly, I became accustomed to working from home. I even started to admire the beauty of it. This urges the question of whether or not going to work physically is even required. Many people have pondered the newfound possibilities of working from home even after the pandemic. Sometimes, change just needs a little push. I no longer regret working from home for my first job; instead, I welcome it with open arms. I am proud to be on the frontier of change, and of a new way of life.