Back to Work – 30 Days In
It’s five weeks since I was preparing to go back to work. Now with some time under my belt, how is it going so far? The 30-60-90-day plan is a common approach to a new job so let’s look at my first 30 days.
I’ve never started a new job in a pandemic lockdown before. Then again, how many of us have done? I have been working from home for these first weeks, apart from a quick site visit to collect my laptop. Fortunately, the emergence of video call technology, in this case Microsoft Teams, this has been easier than it would have been say five or 10 years ago.
Nice to (Teams) Meet You
This has allowed me to “meet” people over my first few weeks and to both host and attend project and team meetings. The introduction meetings do feel a bit strange. In the “before times”, you would walk round the office and say hello to people (and, imagine this, shake their hand) and that would be your introduction. Short and to the point.
In lockdown, these first meetings become scheduled events with an accompanying Teams meeting link. Just that little bit more formal. However so far so good. After a few weeks, full days of Teams meetings can be a bit draining, leading to what I imaginatively call Teams fatigue.
Any MS Changes?
That segues nicely into my MS. I wondered if starting the new role would see an increase in any of my symptoms. Thus far, I’m relieved to say I have not noticed any changes.
I’m not sensing any onset of fatigue from sitting at my desk and having to concentrate. Yes, I’m tired at the end of the day but not more than I ever was in previous roles. Obviously being an IT project manager isn’t a physical job but it can be mentally tiring. It certainly helps that I don’t have a commute. That grants me an extra hour in bed each morning, but the lack of fatigue, other than with the aforementioned Teams, is encouraging.
I do find my focus and attention span are not always great. Is this MS or just a consequence of being out of work for a year? I’m not sure yet and I do have bursts of focussed activity. Conversely, I have had some days where I am far too easily distracted. Hopefully as I get more into the swing of things, these periods of focus will increase.
Physically, I’m not seeing any differences to my symptoms. The tingly back and left arm are ever present but don’t seem any worse. I do get a bad case of chair hips from sitting at my desk all day but again, that would happen regardless of MS. I get up and move around to alleviate this. The weather has been sufficiently cooperative to allow for a brief lunchtime walk to help loosen off.
30 Days In
So after my first 30 days of going back to work, it feels positive. Hopefully, the focus will continue to improve and as I get to know the people and the processes, things will continue moving in the right direction. I’ll update my progress after I hit the 60-day mark.