Tag Archives: work from home

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: The Meaning Of Space

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

I was listening to the book Atomic Habits, when the author spoke about space that one works in. That got me thinking about what the spaces we live and work in mean for us while working from home during the Pandemic.

Sure, we’ve all heard the advice on space usage. Have different spaces for different things like work and gaming. Don’t have work stuff in your bedroom. If you can’t have separate spaces have separate zones, and so on. Have one place one use.

But now we’re stuck indoors. We’re probably Working From Home (WFH)

We’re not able to go out to other spaces.

And there’s a chance you’re working, eating, sleeping, cooking, and binge-watching Netflix under restrained conditions.

So what does space mean to us now? What will it mean to us afterwards? When we WFH more, what will we do to rethink our homes and spaces? Honestly, we’re not ready for it.

But more WFH means we have to be. Because bad use of space is bad productivity and not good for us mentally.

So a few thoughts

  1. Organizations moving to more WFH need to do research and provide advice and equipment so people use space effectively. We can’t count on people to do it effectively because they’re doing it turning a traumatic time. They may need some help.
  2. We ourselves need to figure out how to WFH and make best use of space. This doesn’t mean just reading a book. We need to help each other out, be supportive, share advice.
  3. If you’ve tried shopping for certain office supplies, then you’ll notice some are hard to come by. Will this change? Probably – but we’ll want to plan our purchases ahead, and maybe look at discount and used office supplies (that may pile up with the changes).
  4. Once the Pandemic is under control (I expect it to become like the flu) the meaning of public spaces will change. There may be more people working at the library, a park, a coffee shop, etc. People may want or need different spaces, and there may be more of them (I’ve had many a writing session move due to a crowded coffee shop)
  5. All our other relations will change as we work from home – what we’re experiencing now is the intense, involuntary reminder. We may know our neighbors more, we may want our kids out more, our marriages will change, etc. We need to start learning now – voluntarily, as opposed to the way this was forced on us.

We’re going to have to think aboutspace in the new world of more Work From Home. We may be tired of being in the same space, but that just means we have more to consider . . .

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