Tuesday, March 10, 2020

How to make working remotely work for me

Both M & I are now required to work from home until mid-April. This will be a big shift for both of us. I currently work from home on Fridays, as my schedule allows. But, not being in the office at all with the teams will be quite a change. I'm concerned about logistics & productivity, plus the isolation, but I'm focusing on how to use this to my advantage. Here's what I have in mind so far.

  • I'm going to build a schedule every day, and maximize my time. 
  • I won't have a commute (typically about an hour or so, every day.) I flex my hours currently to avoid commuting, so I can actually work a bit less and still be more productive. 
  • I can go to the gyms most mornings, as I won't have the work commute
  • I can save time on the "getting ready" aspect of the morning. I will still be presentable, as we do video meetings, but it will be less work than fully getting ready for work.
  • I can toss in a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher between meetings
  • I can meditate when I have a break. (Right now, not having a room to meditate in at work blocks me from doing this between meetings.)
  • I'll see if I can meet local friends for lunch or a walk
I also suspect that many meetings will be cancelled (I spend about 30+ hours a week in meetings & would LOVE if this were reduced to give me time to ... actually work!) Fingers crossed. 

The ongoing stress/angst that's been an undercurrent here is real. People are very worried about childcare, schools closing, offices closing, etc. I am doing what I can to control my own stress level, as it really impacts my lupus flares. I'm currently not feeling great, and have an appointment with my rheumatologist next week.

Here are the things I'm doing to manage my stress:
  • Journaling
  • Off my laptop by 7:30. I'm doing much better about this lately, as reading the news ahead of bed is causing stress
  • Meditating
  • Working out
  • Going for walks with Nick
  • Focusing on the positives
Knowing that I'm going to be home for breakfast & lunch (which, I typically eat at work for free), I'll be doing some additional meal prep. I'm hoping to make granola bars & baked oatmeal this week, and also pick up more salad options.

Any other good ideas you'd recommend? 


  1. Life in the work place is taking on a shift while the world manages the health crisis-and it is a crisis. We had soe state teams cancel this meeting, and our own team changed as a couple had to stay back for emergency planning.

  2. We just got the call that our public schools are closed for the rest of the week. The community college already required all professors who were able to convert to an online platform for the rest of the quarter. Several businesses have closed. As I tend to be a homebody, these closings do not bother me. I do have a stressful situation unrelated to anything health related with one kid, but I am trying to minimize my contact with this kid until I feel he is ready to listen to me. To keep myself busy, I am sewing, baking, and continuing to get rid of unwanted items. Decluttering always eases any stress I feel. I think the news is blown way out of proportion. The people at risk are those who are already immunocompromised--the very young, very old, sick. The others who contract it probably would just feel a bit under the weather with a cough, etc. Frankly, I've always been a big believer in staying home if you are sick to keep it from spreading--but so many people don't for many reasons. When I worked, people would think it a badge of honor to come it when sick. ("Oh, it's just a cold.") Also, when my kids were elementary school, parents were always sending their coughing, runny nosed, goopy eyed, sneezing kids to school claiming they didn't have any choice. In middle school, the excuse was that they weren't "sick enough" to get to stay home. Maybe the positive in this situation is that people will start to realize how important it is to stay home when you are sick.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head - staying home when you are sick is very important. It also seems a lot of people don't wash their hands after using the washroom :/ :/ :/ (whether in their own homes or not). I think a lot of parents cannot afford to stay home, even non parents - they have no sick time. I have no one to cover me when I am sick, so I don't miss work :s :s we need a huge overhaul on sick time / paid time off in North America.

  3. I work from home, and the number one thing that keeps me sane is the daily walks with the neighbor(s) at lunch time. It breaks up the day nicely, gets me some socialization, sunshine and exercise. The one neighbor and I are constant: every day walks, and other neighbors join or don't depending on their schedule. It might also be a good "date" time with your husband, since he'll be home too ;) I have to tell you, not having that commute is so wonderful! i'd be really hard to go back!

  4. You know I never thought about childcare, wow that is a true need. Hubs and I might be watching more kids or more often.

  5. We already work from home so thats a bonus - I do find it so much easier to stay on top of laundry/dishes. You might do some slow cooker meals? Or even regular oven meals that take longer that on a regular night you might not make. We've lost 1 potential new client since the stock market slide and pandemic announcement today are putting so many businesses in a tailspin. We have contracts with solid companies that I believe will be fine during this weird time so have paychecks at least to the end of 2020 and we are being super careful with corporate money so we can maintain our current paychecks (lower than last year but higher than last summer when it hit the fan). We are still traveling to Mexico, only have to go through one airport which is Calgary and we will be super careful there). Mexico is much safer than Canada or the USA as they have so few cases and I'm not worried about borders being closed while we are there. I did register with the Canadian government if things change though. Just 2 weeks to go. After we get back from our week away there are zero plans for travel. Hubby may have to go to Toronto in June and there is another possibility of travel to Calgary for a conference but I doubt if that is actually going to be held in a pandemic (think your best and brightest managers and salespeople in one room for the whole province, we don't think it's a very good idea). Maybe a trip to Ottawa in September if things get better but that can be put off until next year if things remain as they are. The only good thing to come of all of this is people are actually mostly staying home when sick and washing their hands. It might prevent other diseases like the flu from being transmitted.

  6. If you have calls that don’t require materials sharing, walk while on them, ( assuming you live where there are relatively quiet sidewalks). Breaks up the isolation a bit. I also don’t try to fit in more than one chore a day...otherwise I’m not focused on work enough.