Annie Lane: Want to keep working from home

Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s and fortunate enough to have a job that I’ve been able to do remotely since the outbreak of the pandemic back in March. Working from home has its drawbacks, but on the whole, I’ve come to really enjoy it.

For one, I used to drive an hour and 15 minutes each way for work. During the time I used to be sitting in traffic in the morning, I am able to wake up, make myself a nice breakfast, call my parents and even meditate. I log on for the day feeling ready to go. After work, I jog or walk two miles, and then make dinner, all before the time I used to get home.

And I’ve actually gotten to know my co-workers better during this pandemic than I did before, as we make more of an effort to catch up with one another and set up “happy hours” via Zoom, when we ever went out to happy hours together in real life.

I know that I am incredibly lucky to have a job at all right now, especially one where I’m able to work from the comfort and safety of my own home. (I want to acknowledge the fact that there are front-line workers who have had to risk their lives every day just to keep an income, and others who have been laid off for months now, with dwindling unemployment funds.) So, I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, but I really don’t want to return to the office and that commute. Moving closer to the office is not an option, as I can’t afford the rent in that part of town.

Am I the only one wishing I could keep working from home? And should I try talking to my boss, when the time comes for us to return to the office, to see if I might be able to continue working from home? I know that, in general, he’s never loved the idea of remote work.

— Working From

Home Works

Dear Working From Home Works: You’re right. You are lucky — and not just because you’ve held onto your job and health during this tumultuous year. You’re lucky because you’ve been given a unique opportunity to evaluate what is important in your life, what helps you to feel healthy and grounded. Don’t squander the lesson. When a return to the office seems imminent, talk to your boss. In the past, he didn’t like the idea of remote work, but that was before the world turned upside-down. He might have gained some insights this year as well, about what’s possible with remote employees. It won’t hurt to ask; it will hurt not to.

If you get shot down, then decide how much of a priority it is to you to be able to work remotely, and plan your next career move accordingly.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.