Tag Archives: career

Work From Home: Vacation An Time Off

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

Oh gods, yes another column on Work From Home. I keep thinking I’m done, but I get a new insight and my Geek Job Guru side arises and here we are. I’m glad I can help you – and glad to my readers who tolerate my recent spate.

So recently I was planning some vacation, and my employer provides a handy dashboard for this. I quickly realized I had a lot more vacation time than I’d expected – 3-5 days more on top of the vacation I was saving and banking. The Pandemic had been so disruptive I had lost track.

Needless to say this was part of some jocular conversation between me and one of my co-workers. We began discussing what even is vacation during the lockdown? What is it from work from home?

. . . and then I told him I have to write this column. So there you go.

As we move more to Work from Home (WFH) we have to ask what any time off means anymore. Think about it.

With less commute time are we saving time? Will we use less time off – or indulge it more?

Is caregiving time off and such more relevant, less, or the same when you’re at home with the person who needs you?

Will WFH be more stressful or less? Will we want more time off or less? Myself I feel overall that a lack of commute and more time control is a little less stressful.

With WFH you could take work with you (but shouldn’t) further timeshifting time off. When do you actually go on vacation or otherwise take time off?

And my answer is I don’t know and wish I did.

This is the last thing we’re thinking about right now because of the Pandemic, but we’re going to have to really think about it in later 2021. First, because once we have the Pandemic under control and will want a damn break. Secondly because a lot of us will stay all or mostly WFH and need to think.

Again I don’t have answers, this is a huge blank starting me in the face. But I hope by bringing it up I get you to think – and share your ideas with me.

Steven Savage

Work From Home: Different Experiences

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I know. I keep thinking “hey, I’m about done with this,” then some new wrinkle shows up and next thing you know, blog post. I also like it as some of my career advice has aged out, but this is relevant and fresh and helpful.

I was chatting with some friends about our different experiences in Work From Home (WFH) and then something struck me. As much as many of us are WFH, as many of us have done WFH . . . we’re often forgetting just how diverse people’s experiences are.

One friend of mine has done it for two decades. Another had remappable experiences. I had done it on and off for two decades and had participated in WFH experiments. It was interesting comparing notes.

It also struck me that as WFH becomes more normalized we’re going to need to keep this in mind to adjust.

As we move to WFH we have to appreciate our experiences are different than other peoples. There are things we know and things we don’t know. Things we can handle and things we can’t. Any move to WFH is going to require people to cultivate some personal awareness so we can develop, learn, and unlearn.

Also we’ll have to be aware that others have different experiences than us when it comes to WFH. We may find someone who know more and we should listen. Others may need psychological tips from us to navigate unknown waters. We’re going to need empathy and humility.

Some of our co-workers won’t have the above knowledges or sensitivities, and we’ll have to educate them. Hopefully we can do so either formally or appropriately, but I’m sure there’s already been plenty of WFH-based temper flareups. These will keep occurring.

Finally, this giant science/business experiment is happening during a pandemic. We’ll have to relearn and reapply our lessons all over again when things calm down (which is probably 9-12 month at my guess).

I’m terribly concerned right now that the continuing WFH that’s going on hasn’t had enough` effort by people to assess different experiences. I mean it’s sort of understandable – we got thrown into this fast – but that still means there’s a problem.

This is something I also need to sit with myself. I don’t think I fully assessed the different experiences and challenges people have faced. I need to understand my friends, family, and co-workers a bit better.

So for now?

  1. Realize your WFH experiences aren’t others.
  2. See who you can learn from regarding WFH.
  3. See what you can teach about WFH.
  4. Have empathy for people who are adjusting to WFH.
  5. Be ready to have to face changes to WFH because of how we did this.

Steven Savage

Career Advice: Your Climate Plan

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

As I’ve noted before, I kind of give less career advice lately. Some of it is that my advice has changed, some of it is that I am evaluating what I can share as a more senior professional, and most of it is the world has changed. However, I can provide some useful insights, repeating and expanding on what I’ve said before.

Work climate change into your career.

Sure I’ve said it before, but I should note that as of this writing in 202 I live in California, which got hot then caught on fire. Then everything caught on fire, and a bunch of states near us had it even worse. The term “climate refugee” got used in the present tense in the news, so I got thoughtful.

Oh and there’s a damn pandemic.

So here’s a few insights I’ve had from being in the middle of this.

Accept this is the reality. Climate change is real. It will probably affect your life and your job. That’s the way it is.

Evaluate possible climate impacts on where you live – and may live. This may not be as clear as it seems, so do your research. For instance there’s several possible scenarios of where I live, meaning I get to contemplate heat, fires, torrential rains, and mudslides (probably not at once). Also keep in mind these are impacts – don’t think in good or bad, because that increased heat to you may mean others wish to move to your area.

Listen to others. Share ideas with friends, follow the news, join a transition community. Connect with others to understand what’s going on – and what may go on. I’ve had more than enough cases of “oh, I didn’t know that” in just the few years to remind me of this.

Have a climate change plan. Evaluate what happens if you have to move due to climate change. Do not assume you won’t – instead evaluate how you might be impacted. Remember impacts could even be “my area is really climate safe and people may want to move here.”

Have a climate change career plan. You’re going to need to ask what you’ll do for a living. Do you have portable skills? Can you work from home and remotely? Where can you move and do what you do?

If you move, remember others my do it as well. If ten years from now you’re leaving a unlivable area, you won’t be alone. Keep track of what happens in your “relocation targets.” Also remember if you arrive late if there’s a rush, there may be challenges.

Team up. Don’t do this planning alone. Even if you’re alone now, when you move you may have a roommate, or an SO, etc.

Those are my thoughts, and I hope they help. Let me know your climate change plans and thoughts.

As for mine? My area has problems, but they’re straightforward, so I have some identified “bug out” areas and a job that can be done remotely. I’ve got it easier compared to some.

But I’m also older. I won’t be around as long as some of you. I hope my advice helps, and that maybe it does some small part to help you adapt to climate change. And perhaps we can work on mitigating it.

Steven Savage