Today is my last post on how I work as a function from where I work. I’ve looked at working from home during an emergency (such as a sick child), as well as working from my campus office.
In this post, I’m reflecting on how I work when I work from home and my daughter goes to school during the day.
Here are a few characteristics of how I work when I work from home:
- I have to do a conscious effort to get and walk. I spend a lot of my time seated. I need to carve out time to go for a walk outside, which does not always happen.
- Even though I “save” my commute time, somehow I often don’t manage to squeeze in an at-home workout or yoga session. I haven’t been able to really identify why, but it seems this comes from moving to our new house and not (yet) having a designated space for working out when I am at home.
- My daughter will come home shortly after 1pm and we have lunch together. That often means that I will need to cook something for lunch as well. In my office, I often eat lunch behind my computer while replying emails (not a good habit, I know…).
- I work on my laptop which has only the laptop monitor. Sometimes I will combine my laptop with my tablet to mimic having two screens.
- I work on a very small space, so I keep my bullet journal and planning on a pile of notebooks to refer to when needed, and only keep an A5-sized piece of paper to jot down notes and checkboxes.
- I get disturbed much more often by noise from outside, phone calls to our landline, and, in the afternoon, my daughter.
- Sometimes I manage to apply my planning strategies, but sometimes I get disturbed too much to be able to adhere to my schedule.
- I rely more heavily on ad-hoc planning with a checklist, and then keep working until I am done – which means I typically put in more hours during a work-from-home day than during a work-from-the-office day.
I’m not sure yet where I work best. Certainly, the pandemic has changed how I think about which types of work can be done where.
I have the impression that I can write well anywhere, and that at home I can just put in more hours to knock off a lot of small tasks, as well as plow through my inbox. At the same time, I think that analysis (data analysis or modeling) works better in my office, where I have more space and two monitors.
Have you thought of which space works best for which research activity?