The idea of working from home is very romantic: time to sleep in a little longer, no rush for the bus, access to an endless stream of snacks in the kitchen cupboard.
During a time of incredible social and economic volatility, being able to continue to work comfortably and safely from home is a unique opportunity not to be squandered. But for me, the novelty of working from home wore off very quickly.
Having started at ANZ in February 2020 as part of the Graduate Program, I managed to spend a total of four weeks in the office before we were told to pack up our desks and WFH (work from home – the acronym of 2020?) from mid-March.
I was already on a steep learning curve. I was in a brand new role as a graduate analyst in Research & Analysis, which is a brand new field to me and the learning curve suddenly got even steeper. Connecting with new colleagues got harder and the opportunity to familiarise and settle into a new environment went out the window. It also posed the question: was this what the rest of my professional career was going to look like?
However, the experience of working from home for those long six months also taught me a lot about the way I work, how I am most effective and how I get the most fulfilment out of my role.
It also highlighted what I value, reinforced the importance of connection, and magnified my good and bad habits. With all of those lessons I knew returning to the office was not only the right choice for me but something I wanted to do as soon as I was able to in a safe manner.