Working From Home: An Alternative Blog Post
I wouldn’t really consider myself a writer and to my knowledge I’ve only ever written one blog post in my entire lifetime (which was more like a sarcastic Dry January Facebook post). But when Adam said he was writing a blog post about their experience of Working From Home during this Covid-19 pandemic and was asking for input from others – it sort of turned into it’s own blog post anyway, so here goes:
Every day I wake up and I’m full of energy. In fact, I find myself with enough extra energy (and additional time) to prepare myself for the day both physically and mentally and still have plenty of time to do my working hours. If there wasn’t a killer virus on the loose I’d have plenty to go the gym in the morning without having to sacrifice on free time or sleep (some people might just call me lazy but I struggle to wake up at stupid times like ‘7 am’. Ridiculous.)
However there is a danger: with the absence of a commute, I find myself at risk of over-working each day. 08:30-17:30 (maybe even 18:00) since I’m usually back home at 18:30 on most days (exhausted). Respecting the boundaries of the working hours is a must – Dave suggested the idea of taking a quick minute to walk down the road and coming back at the end of the day works very well to reset your brain out of the work mindset. Steve also suggested signing the day off with a tasty beverage. I guess either is a good option depending on the weather.
Additionally, I am making sure that I am only eating during designated meal times, there’s a risk of me just engorging on food constantly, but since there’s a shortage of that stuff available I have to be sensible.
I have also observed that I am able to focus better and consider myself to be more productive getting on with most of my tasks. Since a lot of my work usually has a relatively fast turnaround and can be worked on independently this may be easier for someone like me as opposed to someone who is more client-facing or requires regular updates from the team.
However, I’ve found quick calls on slack to be very quick and useful and do not tend to last for too long. Group calls of more than say 4 people do tend to take much more time, most likely due to the delay in transmission, and the technical gymnastics required to make sure people don’t talk at the same time – adding further delay. Perhaps creating a very quick agenda at/before the start will help.
I suppose there is an additional factor of the lack of human interaction and contact to consider but, frankly, this is what I consider “normal”. However, I must concede that I do miss the alcoholic Friday camaraderie with a bit of beer, some chit-chat and local multiplayer video games which an online video conference can’t reproduce.
Lastly, I thought I’d just put a list of some “WFH Lifehacks” in case you’re the type of person who skim-reads and heads straight to anything with bullet points:
1) Don’t, under ANY circumstances, drop your laptop or your phone down the toilet (especially during a video call) as this may prove to be embarrassing. Oh, and wash your hands. Often. Like, right now.
2) It’s easy to go stir-crazy at home, especially if you are alone, try to have some ambient music or noise on in the background – nothing too distracting.
2a) Alternatively, play “Best of Trance Mix (Old School)” on YouTube at 10am to really get yourself PUMPED for the working day.
3) Make sure your feet touch the ground! – Get up and stretch your legs every hour – it is easy to develop DBT (Deep Bunghole Thrombosis) if you’re glued to your seat – especially if you continue to be stuck at the same workstation in your out-of-work time (like me).
4) Try to find somewhere to have your lunch away from your work – use it as a time to give your brain a rest and take your mind of things, read a book or something.
4a) OR hop on a video conference and have a good old perv at others eating their food [satisfied lip smacks in Spanish].