What has been the biggest challenge about this new work situation the past couple of weeks?
The biggest challenges have actually been relatively small. Obviously, with the kids all in the house at the same time, they’ve been good about leaving me alone when I work, but when they start yelling at each other it can get distracting. But then at work you’ll have colleagues periodically popping up by the office, so it’s not that much different. We have a 16-year-old, a 14-year-old and an eight-year-old. The teenagers are relatively self-sufficient, the eight-year-old obviously takes a little more attention because he’s doing distance learning for second grade right now. I am lucky that my wife does a lot of that work, so I can get my work done.
The other challenges are small things—I am used to having two big screen monitors at the office, and a printer [nearby] and now I work on a little tiny laptop with a small screen. It’s okay for a day, after three weeks, it gets tougher. Especially when you have to proof things—I used to print things out and sit down and look at them. Now, I have to do it on the small screen.
What are you doing/watching/reading to entertain yourself and stay sane?
I think the thing to do, you’ve got to look for the silver linings in the this. Obviously, the medical situation is a tragedy throughout the world and the economic situation is a tragedy for many people. But just in terms of working from home, there are some silver linings. Normally at work, at lunchtime, I sit in front of my computer eating leftovers. Now, I go out with my eight-year-old and play street hockey with him in front of the house during lunch.
The Spotify subscription is your best friend at a time like this—you don’t have people stopping by your office, you can play a lot of new music.
[After hours] your other best friend is Netflix of course. The new “Ozark” season is out, we are watching that. “I Am Not Okay with This” just came out. We’ve got Netflix and On Demand, so there’s no shortage of things to entertain yourself with, once the kids are in bed.
This is also throwing a kink into things like going to the gym. Normally, I would get up in the morning and go to the gym before work. Now I can’t do that, but I still get up in the morning and I am not a runner, but I’ve dusted off a spin bike we have in the basement. And if you google “bodyweight exercises,” you can do a lot of that at home with no equipment.