WFH: Working From Home. Which I always abbreviate to "WFM" which is actually "works for me" which is more of a 50/50 truth. Anyway… with the current global upheaval of COVID-19 many, many people are moving to a work from home set up. Here's some thoughts off my chest and I promise I'll return to blogging about code again soon!
I've been working from home since around 2006, and love how I work, and it works very well for me… but Jessica Spengler nailed it with this:
I've worked from home for 20(!) years, I love it, I'm made for it, I can't imagine not doing it--and I've gotten absolutely nothing done for the past week.
Newly WFH folks, the situation now is totally unconducive to concentration and productivity. Be gentle with yourselves.
The latest COVID-19 impact is school closures. Julie and I were explaining to the kids yesterday that schools are closed in an unprecedented move, one that we've not seen the likes of in our own lifetime. In fact, I wonder wartime was the last shakeup like this. It's quite amazing whilst being a little frightening at the same time.
We're in a privileged position where we both already work from home and for my part, this period of time hasn't impacted on business income (though Julie working in events has suddenly had her work massively reduced). The most pressing thought is how we, as a family, stay off the inevitable madness/tantrums/frustration/raised voices/etc that will come with weeks and weeks of living on top of each other.
In some ways I know we're lucky. I keep thinking that I've read very little of homelessness and only yesterday I read a tweet from Justin Trudeau address "those who do not feel safe self-isolating at home". It's hard to fathom the truly global impact that this whole thing is having.
The biggest practical/physical disruption for me has been not going to the gym. The effect makes me want to eat chocolate and drink gin all the time which seems fun on paper, but there's a national limited supply of gin in the country (so I'm sold). Plus, I shower at the gym, so now I've got to remember to shower at home, and some times…I forget (gross, I know, I showered today if you must know). I know I can still exercise, but I'm person that needs constant routine and I'm not doing myself any favours.
Just as Jessica said: those of you coming to working from home for a longer period of time, be kind to yourself. Some people will find it easy, many will struggle with daily household distractions and that's then compounded by COVID-19 running in the background of society for the next goodness knows how many months.
Here's some unstructured thoughts on little things that work well for me:
- Get dressed before you start work (this is probably more important for people who work with fire and sharp objects)
- Keep a glass of water on your desk - drink it and refill it regularly
- Finding a routine, even if it's just for a days worth but importantly: write it on paper - that seems to be my silver bullet
- I have alarms on my watch when it's time for break (mid-morning, lunch, etc). And I tend to watch a Netflix episode with lunch
- I worked from my bedroom for several years - super terrible for mental health: get up, over to computer, work, go to bed, repeat
Also, this blog post is dedicated to Patty Poos who probably didn't read this post because he said I shouldn't post it, but his tweet helped me finish and publish the post. He's a sweetheart really.