COVID-19 has taken over the world and has forced people to stay at home. I am no exception and have been working from home for the past 3 weeks.

The state of the world is gloomy and I wish it gets better as soon as possible. However, even in these tough times, there are a lot of things I am liking about WFH. I am fortunate enough in life to be able to do work from home in these tough times and this article in no way is meant to disrespect those who can’t.

The Lab

I currently work in a retail giant as a Software Engineer. My company already had all the remote working facilities such as Zoom, Slack, remote conferencing rooms, VPN, etc. I used to do WFH once a week or fortnight and the same is true for my team.

Due to the reasons mentioned above, I already had a minimal WFH setup. It consists of the following:

All of this is set up in a separate room which is well sunlit. I used to work sitting in bed but that more often than not resulted in small unnecessary naps.

The Experiment

My sleep cycle has been completely disrupted these days. I am a latent night owl and the only reason I woke up early was to go to the office on time. Now, I usually sleep at around 2-3 AM and wake up at 10 AM because I make no compromise on 8 hours of sleep (except when deadlines are pretty strict or I am binge-watching a TV series). Strangely on weekend, I get up early around 7 because I need to buy the bread, eggs, and milk before they go out of stock.

After I am completely awake and done with shenanigans, I prepare a cup of coffee. I am a chai addict but I have switched to coffee because cleaning the tea leaves out of pan and sieve is not fun at all. I drink only half of what I have prepared so that I can have something to drink 2 hours later when I will again have the caffeine cravings.

I then have a small breakfast such as omelets or sandwiches. I scroll through Hacker News and Techcrunch for some latest news while sipping on my coffee.
Then, I proceed to clean my utensils which I left uncleaned last night due to lethargy.

By the time I have a bath, its around 11:30AM and time for my daily standup which lasts for about 30 min. Then, I sit, put on my headphones, start my Liked songs playlist on Spotify and proceed to work uninterrupted till 1:30PM.

Liked Songs playlist (as you can see I have an eclectic taste in music)

I then proceed to prepare my lunch. I have only started learning cooking so I cook only basic stuff like Lentils, Rice, Chapati/Paratha, Rajma and 2-3 potato-based curries. The general life hack these days is to prepare enough so that I can eat it in dinner as well (not applicable on weekends though).

I am generally done with the lunch break in 1.5 hours so around 3-3:30 PM, I start working again till 5:30PM. If I have a bazillion JIRA tickets remaining, I prepare a cup of coffee and work till some of them are done. Otherwise, I generally proceed to watch some random videos on YouTube because it thinks I should watch those and shows them in my feed.

Then its time for some light 15-30 min. of exercise. I use one Android app called Fat to Fit (which likely won’t happen :P). It has a fixed routine for a month so I don’t have to decide for myself.

After I am done, with all the exercise, I generally go to my balcony to unwind for 15-20 min. and then switch on my PS4 for a couple of sessions of FIFA 2019 (need to buy 2020) since its fun and not at all exhausting.

At around 7PM, when I have finally rested its time to either do some research for my blog or read a book. These days I am reading Lifespan by David A. Sinclair and Billion Dollar Whale by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright. I exclusively read non-fiction but balance heavy & deep stuff with light & fun frequently as I have done in this case.

I then proceed to eat my dinner while watching news updates or lighthearted comedy TV series. Currently, I am watching Arrested Development on Hotstar. Since there is already so much doom and gloom around, I am avoiding dark movies completely although I certainly enjoy them more.

After dinner, if I am not exhausted and have propensity for pupil-dilating effort, I either do some easy or medium questions on Leetcode or listen to a podcast and continue reading. I then proceed to shape up my drafts, adding one or two patches at a time or start watching some movie or anime depending on my mood . Finally, it’s time to sleep (in case something has not broken down in production).

The Observations

So as with all the activities in my life, there are both sides to the coin to the WFH situation. Let’s begin with what I like:

  • I have become more efficient at getting my work done. This is primarily because I am not being interrupted for casual conversations or chai breaks in between.
  • My time management skills have upgraded a notch due to the fact I have to cook and clean myself along with a plethora of stuff I was already doing. I use Notion to manage my daily life. Here’s what my dashboard looks like

    Personal Notion Workspace
  • Not getting stuck in daily traffic and sucking all the smoke in the air while standing idle is definitely a big win.

Now, what do I dislike and miss? Well,

  • Cleaning floors for sure.
  • Struggle to buy groceries when all the delivery apps are assigning slots of 1 week and later.
  • Connecting with teammates for random chitchat over tea
  • Beer and Pizza

Another unanticipated outcome of the WFH situation is that I have been connecting with my friends a lot more than usual. I have been lucky enough in life to have amazing friends. These days we frequently hold zoom calls now that most of us are trapped within 4 walls for weeks.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them

On that note, I hope the lockdown situation gets over soon and we can catch up over a glass of beer and a night of intensive board games soon. Till then the only objective is to grow my knowledge and to not grow my body.