(Written 13th March 2020)
It is the biggest experiment, in the midst of being conducted all across the globe.
It’s scary that we have to do this, but at the same time…Yippee!
No early mornings, no morning rush hour, no time lost wondering what to wear or whether or not to have breakfast.
A colleague and I were super excited about it.
It is after all, a new experience.
Monday came and my team was first to experience Work From Home.
I got up naturally at 8.20-ish am, with the Sun glaring at me.
‘IT’S MONDAY GEDOFFYOARSE.’
Feeling groggy after washing up, I made diluted kopi C, heated up a frozen scone (such briteesh) and plopped myself down in front of my computer.
‘I’m so sleepy,’ I remember thinking, ‘but this is exciting.’
Is this a freelancer’s life?
Time check: 9.43am.
Pro #1: You get (an) extra hour(s) of sleep*
*highly dependent on many factors
I was fresh and awake.
Very soon, I was bogged down by the very technology that was supposed to make WFH possible. The VPN grinded my work laptop to a snail’s pace, essentially rendering it as useful as a Metapod, where my resolve was hardened to make up for lost time.
I took a whopping 10 minutes to transfer picture files from the VPN to my thumbdrive.
Half an hour later, I’d finally set up my own computer. Mouse and pen on opposite ends of my desk, keyboard facing my notepad where the day’s to-do list was scribbled on.
Con #1: Technology
I logged in to my email, chat apps, etc. Basically setting myself up for some major multitasking. Like those IT agents who control the entire sting operation. I felt cool.
I put on a classical playlist.
Pro #2: Technology
To-do list number 1 got loaded and work was under way.
Then my back started to ache a little. And my shoulders. Oof. What the heck?
I stood up and did a stretch, joints popped and wowowow.
It’s nearly 1pm.
But I ain’t hungry though. I can do a bit more perhaps.
Wah 2 plus already. I should eat leh. But I not hungry.
Eat la, eat la.
Con #2: The urge to continue working when you’re already in the zone is sometimes stronger than your hunger pangs
I plucked myself off the computer and whipped up a quick meal. It felt great (and tasted good too).
Pro #3: Eat whatever you want, whenever you want. And cooking time = me time.
Back to work.
And then at every 30 to 40 minutes or so, I’d get up, stretch, grab a snack.
Climb onto the bed for 2 minutes and imagine a nap before kicking myself back onto the chair.
Con #3: SNAAAAAAAAAAAACKS
Pro #4: SNAAAAAAAAAAAACKS (Context: We aren’t allowed to eat and drink in the lab, a huge no-no)
Con #4: Major distraction exists in the form of soft sheets and a place to rest your head.
Pro #5: I think I’m a workaholic. Such self-control has never been seen.
It’s 6.40pm and I was done with my work.
I guess I can still work on this. Okay, maybe till 8.
It’s 7pm and I’m done.
I can technically finish this set of data, 6.30 then I’ll stop.
10.20pm. Why the heck am I still thinking about work.
Maybe I can find a way to analyse data in a simpler way. There must be an excel formula for that!
3am: *dreams of excel sheets and the endless, hellish loop of copy & paste*
Con #5: I am a workaholic.
Monday arrived today and I was so excited to see my colleagues.
Pro #6: Distance makes the heart fonder
Con #6: Social isolation can really drive you insane at one point
All in all, working from home would be great for some of us, not so great for others. I really do feel productive (at most times) and I do enjoy a fair bit of admin work. But my body craves the ups and squats of lab life. My posture was horrendous and even though my room has windows with plenty of sunlight, I do feel a little trapped at times. As if time itself condensed. There was an anxiety of running out of time, especially for Friday.
The lines between work and personal life blurs to almost nothing and I can see how that would be a danger for people who would readily give in to the call from work.
Cool experience, nonetheless. I learnt loads about myself too so hey, guess my solo trip wasn’t that needed at all! Hahahahahahaha *sobs*
Stay safe everyone, don’t travel unless absolutely necessary.
Update (29/3): Don’t travel, period. If it ain’t for work or groceries, stay home.