Work from Home 3

India is under Lockdown 4.0. There are more than one lakh COVID-19 positive patients in India. There are about 400 in the ward of the city where I live. The Lockdown has been extended up to May 31 in the state.

After struggling with the Lockdown through March and April, I feel that I have some more control and the processes that I laid out for work and home have started showing some benefits. That many of the Lockdown requirements were eased added to the sense of control I felt.

I got myself a desk and two chairs. We had not purchased these since I did not feel the need for a table when I was working from office. I spent most of my time at home using my mobile phone. With working from home, I was spending 8 to 10 hours on the laptop. Other than a place to keep it also helped in ergonomics and lends itself to multiple other uses.

I continued consuming news only through 3 Things and The Moving Curve. I have started adding other news through newsletter, blogs and tweets but reduced it’s consumption through May. But, I try to keep away from news of the pandemic but that has been difficult.

I started packing my work laptop after completing a day at work. I also practiced locking up the room I used for work. This gave me a sense of separation between work and home. I also tried to limit working hour whenever possible. This also helped family understand when I could be disturbed.

We upgraded the internet connection at home which has helped with multiple people using the wifi at home.

Changes outside also helped. Before May 17, government announcements frequently changed when shops would be open and when not. These notifications changed in 2-3 days. This had led to a lot of anxiety. Shops staying open for longer hours and more shops opening up since May 17 has returned a sense of certainty. Power and Internet connections have also become more reliable in May.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Work from Home 1
  2. Work from Home 2

Work from Home 2

It’s been more than a month since my last post about Working from Home. I thought this was a nice time to look back at how things went.

Information Overload

News about COVID-19 was everywhere. Television news, newspapers, podcast episodes, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp group and email newsletters. It was information overload. Eventually, I limited the sources of information that I relied upon.

These are the resources that I turned to over the last one month while I tuned out all the rest to maintain my sanity.

Ward-wise COVID-19 active case numbers shared by Smart Pune tweet, embedded below. Image Credit: Smart Pune.

For local information related to Pune, I followed the Smart Pune Twitter handle. This provided ward-level data about the spread of the disease – number of positive cases and death – in my ward.

There were two podcasts that I followed for COVID-19. The 3 Things podcast from the Indian Express provided news stories from across the country. It covers only a single or 3 topics at the maximum. These deep dives gave enough back ground and insight about the news stories that I slowly ended consumption of other news sources which were covering very little other than COVID-19.

A data based podcast comes from a data journalist, Rukmini S called The Moving Curve (also available on Spotify now).

I also have access to some office-related resources which are not accessible publically.

Working from Home setup

Since the last update, I have become better at separating time between home and work. I tried to setup my working time according to better internet speeds. However, I found that this affected my output and left me feeling groggy most of the time.

As time passed, the internet and power supply stabilized. This allowed me to go back to my office timings for work. When I reset this, it improved my productivity at work and happiness at home.

But, perhaps, by the time people get used to working from home it may well be time to return back to a workplace. Personally, I would welcome it even if we maintain social distancing.