23 March 2020

Working at home

If you can work at home: work at home. That is the advice of both the government and the University. And I can! I don't prefer it; I have a lovely office at home, but at work my computer is better, and my monitors, and the internet connection, and my office chair... so I tend to only work at home for fairly brief periods. If I have a lecture in Bangor at, say, 11 AM and I don't want to first bike to the office and then to Bangor. And then back to the office. In stead I'll just work at home until it's time to bike to Bangor. But if I intend to make a full workday I go to the office!

Quite a lot of people were perfectly set up for working at home. They were nowhere to be seen from the first message encouraging them to stay home. I needed a bit of preparation; I am not a friend of OneDrive so I wanted to copy loads of files over to my external hard drive first. And my biggest immediate job was sorting out the alternative arrangements for the dissertation talks; I wanted to do that with full facilities available. So were were given a week to get out. I took four days of it. I sorted the dissertation talks (will talk about that in a separate post), did all sorts of other things that appeared, and loaded up my data. Then I loaded up all the plants that live in my office. And I left! As one of the last.

If things go pear-shaped I can still call on my work facilities; we're not fully banned from the building. So if there is a need I can pop back in! If one day I need a stronger internet connection. Or if I for some reason really need to use software I don't have here. I'm glad the option is there!

My plant found new homes. Some in my home office! For continuity. And I set to work. And it was different. Now everyone was at home! So now all meetings have to be done from work too. So everyone is now on Teams. And I hadn't really used it before. And it is a distraction! Your computer pings the entire time. It's worse than email! Or would I just have practiced ignoring emails? And people quickly invented the virtual coffee break. Just have a team for that. And then make sure you have a coffee at 11, and join a meeting! Not quite the real thing but it was good to see some familiar faces. I got in late; I had been using Teams on Office365, but you can't do meetings that way. So I had to first download the desktop app. And then try to join in. It worked!

I can't say I was as productive as usual that first day. But I'm sure I'll get into it. This is the new normal! I'm sure quite soon working in the office will seem a distant dream. Although I hope we can go back to how things used to be before too long...

My office plants will work at home too

The home office; I will spend a lot of time here!

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