The view from my “new office”
Having been given the go-ahead to work from home, I am now living the wfh lifestyle. It’s not entirely new to me — I work from home every now and then. So I don’t need resources like Glenn Fleishman’s Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily, which is currently free! Hop on that if you’re joining me in wfh-land and need some help.
While this isn’t new to me, working from home more than a day or three is. So I’ve been doing some things the same as usual for an office workday, some differently, and some are a modified version of what I usually do. I thought I’d take note of these things as I go — as much for my edification as for anyone else’s!
The dress code at work is business-casual. The dress code at home is pjs all day. I split the difference. I have a few pairs of what I call “weekend work pants”, which I wear when I have lots of podcast work to do and want to feel slightly business-ey. That’s what I wore today.
I have a breakfast shake every morning before walking to work, so today I made the same shake even though my walk was only from the kitchen to the computer desk.
I’m getting much less cardio now that I’m not walking to work and back every day. This is something I’m gonna work on. But not right away. Just getting my work setup set up is enough for me for this week. (And I did get some extra walking today because I had an appointment downtown.)
I do still work at a desk, but this one is much less ergonomically set up for me. I’ll be working on this over the coming days. I did pop by the office to grab a foot rest, which has helped, but I may need an external keyboard with a keyboard tray because this chair doesn’t go as high as I need for this non-adjustable IKEA table.
I have a lil dongle that allows me to plug my work laptop into the external monitor I already have at home. I had to fight with it a bit to get MS Office apps to look clear, but I prevailed! At the office I have two largeish monitors that are oriented in portrait mode (vertically) right next to each other. Here at home, I have the external monitor in landscape mode (horizontal) hanging over my laptop screen. I’ve had to re-arrange where I put each of the programs I use regularly. I need to train new muscle memory, so I was a little slower than usual today — always reaching for the wrong part of the screen. I expect with time, I’ll get used to this setup and be back to my usual speedy self!
MODIFICATION: Hourly Steps
At work, I try to hit the 250 steps-per-hour goal my FitBit tells me to get. It’s usually pretty easy to do this because the trip to the bathroom or around the floor is much farther than the same journey here in our apartment. So every time I get up for any reason, I do a circuit of our living room and kitchen. (You can walk all the way around one wall so I do at least one circuit every time.) I’ve mostly met my 250 steps each hour.
At the office, I had a pretty steady routine of eating 2 tablespoons of deluxe mixed nuts at 11am and 3pm. Now that I’m home, those nuts seem much less tempting. Today I ate leftovers at my 11am snack break, and then had some caramel corn at my 3pm snack break. I didn’t have anything at lunchtime though (in part, because I was at an appointment). I will definitely be policing myself when it comes to food. It’s too easy to just binge whatever I want, whenever I want. (I did refrain from eating an ice cream bar after my Thai food — even though it was quite spicy, and my mouth would have appreciated it! So I’m feeling pretty virtuous.)
I took a shower at lunch time. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to make myself get up any earlier than I absolutely have to — especially not to take a shower if I don’t need to go out and see people. I am not a morning person. So a lunchtime or even evening shower may become the way of things.
I usually drink another shake at lunch (protein+greens with coconut milk and coconut yogurt, same as for breakfast), but that’s honestly just ’cause I’m too lazy to get anything else ready to take to work. Now I have the whole of my fridge’s contents to work with, every day. So I had some leftover Thai food I ordered from a place in Chinatown (and tipped handsomely for). Will I default back to a shake when I have no delicious leftovers to divvy out and heat up? Quite possibly. Or I might start in on microwave meals.
At the office, my distractions mostly come from my coworkers. Usually they’re asking a work-related question, but not always. There’s some fun random water-cooler talk too. Now that I’m at home, I’m finding I have far fewer interruptions to my work. Steven did have stuff on the TVs behind me, but I’m really good at tuning things out. The only thing that caught my ear today was when CBC switched over to their COVID-19 coverage. Dr. Deena Hinshaw is a rockstar, and I definitely took a short break to watch her statement.
Today may not have been a great example for my daily schedule because I had an appointment downtown and also had to pick up some stuff (including the foot rest) from the office, so I wasn’t at my desk constantly. I say all of this to excuse the fact that I kept working a half an hour after my shift is actually over. It’s really easy to just keep working when you’re already at home. I’m gonna have to keep an eye on this on days when I don’t have an extended lunch period.
I know that all of this will evolve over the coming days/weeks/months(?), and I’m kinda interested to see how I tweak things as I go. Thus the blog post(s?) to help keep track of where I started and maybe where I’m going.