How I Handle Quarantine: is this even real life?

Okay, all jokes aside, here goes nothing. 😁

Working from home, what is that?

Actually, working from home is nothing new to me. That was the only way how I did my job for one and a half years, when I worked at Apple (cough..Transcom..cough) in 2013. Later in the job, most of my colleagues were far away abroad in Sweden.

By the way, I’m an Estonian living in Estonia, just to get it out of the way. Plot twist: I was actually born in Finland.

Anyway, this meant that there were no team events, no after-work bar adventures, no boardgame nights etc, because my colleagues were in another country and we only socialized over Skype during work hours, talking about work.. and sometimes other stuff.

In the beginning of the job, it was fun and all. I got an iMac to use, a VoIP phone and some headphones. Working from home back then seemed like it had many benefits. I had never done it before and it felt so exciting. It was like a new beginning. The mere fact that you CAN wake up literally 5-10 minutes before the start of your workday and NOT be late is very.. magical to say the least. Though, after a while it isn’t so special anymore, as happens with many things.

And as the time went on, I felt stressed and tired and the only wish I had was to find a job where I could go to a physical office and see physical colleagues.. you know, humans ‘n stuff. I wasn’t home alone, but I did feel like I wanted to socialize with my colleagues.

One thing I have to say is that I only felt like this after many many months. Right now, I have worked from home just over one and a half months, which is nothing. At the moment, I am kind of enjoying this situation and I have no complaints whatsoever.

I won’t copy paste the same tips and tricks about how to effectively work from home, as many have already explained this in their previous posts. I will just talk about my own current experience.

My routine

My usual routine is that I wake up, take a nice shower. Then I go to the kitchen, make some coffee and open my lappy to read the morning emails. Then after that, my first morning meetings will start. I try to keep some kind of routine, otherwise, it would feel like chaos. I try to have a decent amount of breaks during my workday, but I have noticed that I take much less breaks when I work from home. I try to eat lunch around 2 o’clock. I usually skip breakfast, as I’m not that hungry in the mornings and drinking coffee is enough for me. Occasionally I eat a quick sandwich. I know I know, that is not healthy, but this is the situation I am in right now.

I know that many have recommended to keep the work area separated from your personal area. This is actually quite true - having slightly separate-ish environments. However, in my situation, I am using the same monitors for work and my personal PC.

Here's a quick picture of my new PC case I got about week ago. It's a Cooler Master MasterCase H500M.

I don’t feel like it is affecting me at the moment, however I know that working and living in the same environment can be bad in the long run. When you end your workday, you don’t feel like it has ended, while when you leave the office and go home, that is a completely different feeling.

Thankfully, I have a quiet workspace right now. I know that many are working besides their husbands/wives, kids and maybe even relatives. In those cases, getting some alone time is vital. Even going outside for a walk or driving around for a few hours is imporant. Enjoying some coffee (or tea) or an ice-cream and only having your own thoughts and peace. Otherwise, most of us would probably go a little crazy.

What about my free time?

Right now, it is important to get some fresh air and sunlight. We’ve been having a lot of sunlight recently here in Estonia. That is why I go for walks outside in the forest near me. Sometimes I even take my eletric scooter (Xiaomi M365 Pro), which I bought last year and ride around with that badboy.

I also try to be active, although I do have to confess that I’ve been really lazy lately. Pre-epidemic, I regularly went to the gym like 4-5 times a week. Now.. well, I haven’t been doing any of that, obviously. I haven’t even worked out at home. I am starting to feel much weaker than I was before all of this, which makes me a little sad. Though, I feel like I still have that motivation to work out, so as soon as the gyms open, I’ll be hitting them! Yeaahh boiii! 😎

I have started to play much more computer games then I did pre-epidemic. I have finished Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 and right now I’m playing Mafia III and Far Cry Primal. I also enjoy watching some Netflix and being with my girlfriend.

Besides my main job in TietoEVRY, I have some side projects I work on with some clients of mine during my free time. Even during these difficult times, people still need their web devs and support. What a wonderful thing IT is! I am mostly doing web development and design and maintaining websites. This is more like a hobby to me, than work.

I have many more things that I do during my free time, but then this post would become way too long. Let’s keep it like it is right now.

Some final words

All in all, I’m okay with the current situation, but of course I’m hoping that it would all end. Then I can visit the office more often, go to the gym, enjoy some drinks at a bar or a club, meeting friends physically, having a BBQ at my house, but most importantly - travel, which is my favourite thing. I miss travelling SO MUCH. In fact, I have airplane tickets booked (bought them like last year) to Malaga, Spain in the middle of August. The tickets have not been cancelled yet, so here’s hoping!

To the ones that managed to read my entire wall of text until the end - congratulations! Stay safe and #stayhome, but also try to go out once in a while to get some fresh air and try to follow the 2+2 rule as much as you can while washing your hands. Stay healthy and see you after all of this is over. Enjoy the longer weekend.