Working from Home During Coronavirus

My workplace has recommended that I work from home during this time to help prevent the spread of this virus. I’ve always been interested in what it would be like to work from home (WFH) predominantly, so this is a good chance for me to find out what a permanent WFH situation would be like.

Each day, I’ll be updating this post with my thoughts, observations, and tips on working from home during coronavirus. Please let me know what you think!

Day 1: St. Patrick’s Day

So far my anxiety level is pretty low and I’m feeling pretty positive. I slept in until 7:10AM this morning and still had time to meditate for 10 minutes and make tea + oatmeal for breakfast. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as a fresh, hot, home-cooked breakfast!

I was worried about internet connectivity since I have found it to be spotty when I’ve worked from home in the past. For work, we remote connect into our desktops while out of the office. In general it works great, but occasionally it’ll freeze and I have to restart it. I thought since other people using my internet provider are likely working from home, too, there might be added strain on the network. So far so good!

We are working on sending out communications concerning our business during this time to our customers via email and social. It’s an interesting time to be applying my crisis communications training, but I’m grateful I had it. I wish I remembered a little bit more…

What I do remember is to get information out as quickly as possible while making sure that it is factual and level-headed. The worst thing you can do in a crisis is to lie about it, whether you downplay it or try to shift blame. It’s also good to give people an action-oriented breakdown of your plan to show them what you’re doing, and to tell them what they can do. People like action when they’re anxious–it gives them somewhere to direct their energy.

I sat in on a webinar on working from home during coronavirus yesterday, and the major point that I liked was trying not to multitask. Whether you’re switching between tabs and programs constantly or trying to do household tasks in the background, it’s hard on your mental energy. My goal for today is to try to focus on one task at a time and to group like tasks.

As for the social situation, I’m not particularly worried because:

  • I’m an introvert and quite independent.
  • I can contact all my loved ones, friends, and coworkers via a thousand modern methods (email, chat, text, phone, videochat, etc.)

I think now would be a great time to launch my website idea The Never Bored Project. I own the domain but have done nothing with it. The premise is that it has lots of random ideas of things for you to do so you’re “never bored.” I might need to work on the structuring of it a bit…

Stay safe, wash your hands, and I’ll see you soon!

Day 4: Friday

The past few days have been pretty scary. Minnesota is up to almost 100 tested cases and surely there are many more than that. The county next to mine has one confirmed case. Most everything that is nonessential is shut down.

Luckily today is finally sunny, although a bit cold. Working next to a window and feeling the sun on my face is definitely one of the benefits of this whole situation. I can’t wait for it to warm up outside so I can get out there and explore the wilderness again. It’s really the big thing keeping me positive.

I also think that staying home is easier when you know everyone is in the same boat. What normally makes working alone and not going out tough is the FOMO–that feeling that everyone else is having fun and you’re missing out. This time, we’re all in the same boat (if we’re being smart). If anything, I’m more digitally connected to family and friends than before.

I did get tired of sitting yesterday, so I hooked up my 2-in-1 laptop to my bike and made a poor man’s Peloton! It’s good for activities that are predominantly reading or browsing.

WFH Positives

  • Sunny window, fresh air
  • Handy access to tea, coffee, snacks
  • Break times with my pet bunny
  • Blasting tunes on my speakers
  • Temperature control is up to me!
  • Comfy blanket on my lap
  • Cozy clothes, got my slippers on
  • Saving so much time, money on makeup
  • My gas bills will be low this month
  • Honestly I think I’m way more productive without people wanting to chat all the time
  • Putting stuff in the crockpot so it’s ready for lunch, dinner

WFH Negatives

  • I’m not very good at keeping a schedule
  • Bunny now wants attention and treats all day
  • Not getting nearly enough steps
  • It’s cold outside so feeling a little stuck
  • Too many tempting snacks