Work from Home

COVID-19, 4 days of self quarantine due to a fever & cough, lockdown, the extended lockdown and the resulting work from home. Today is the nth day of WFH and I already lost count.

The all-hands start at 10AM and extends all the way upto 1 PM. Yeah, you read it right. I am not absolutely sure at what point in time the meeting lose its productiviry, but for me its somewhere in the 45 - 60 minute interval. Thats twice, probably thrice of the usual average, but thats a skill I have acquired over time. Its a skill acquired over years by attending meetings without fixed start-end time or agenda or schedule or planned sequence. Over my career, I have been party to meetings which starts with “Let us forget the agenda for a minute”, throwing away the agenda which took me 2 days to draft. The sadest part is that the agenda doesnot come back to the table after a minute, not even after three hours of the meeting. There are meetings where I have nothing to contribute but courtsey attendance is expected.

The company recently moved to Microsoft Teams platform in view of the ongoing isolation and work from home. People pick up technology at different pace, some being early adopters and some others taking a while - I am still not sure if thats incompetancy, or fraud. I was happy to help people over phone to get used to the new platform - let it be creating teams or starting a meeting, even though that isnt my business. But the tech support seems to be never-ending. People assume that they are taking only 5 minutes of my time. But when that 5 minutes is multiplied with the number of calls that I get in a day, it eats away into my hours.

We picked up some special projects for the lockdown phase, mine being a webapp on django. A normal woking day at office may require me have to stay extended hours, lets say 7.30 or 8 PM. But the special project coupled with WFH seems like a never ending process. I am reading django docs or writing code even at 10PM ! I know that scope change in IT projects increases the work load, but i never assumed it would load me so much. But, on brighter side it sharpens my python skills. As we speak, I am rewriting function based views into class based views

The lack of a work circle isnt really good for mental health. You need to meet people and chat in person, have a tea, smoke maybe. I assumed WFH would be a better that regular times since people can save commute time and what not. I assumed I would be spendng more time with family. The truth is I am spending close to 12 hours in front of a laptop in a room without adequate natural light and without a fan or AC in Delhi heat. I hope the mysery wont continue beyond the current lockdown extension.