Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to working from home. I’ve been working from home for most of my life, so I’m definitely not new to the concept. However, working from home during in the midst of a global pandemic is new to me, and it’s been a little difficult to deal with.
I want to start off by saying that I am extremely grateful to be working for Kinsta. Before COVID-19, the majority of our team was already remote. Now, 100% of the team is working from home, and the business is doing very well. I understand that I am very fortunate to be in this situation, and I’ve been doing as much as I can to help my friends who are in need.
Just in the past two weeks, I’ve helped about a dozen friends get started with coding lessons, blogging, and entrepreneurship. I’ve also donated some money to friends performing music on Facebook Live. If you are fortunate enough to be employed and doing well during these tough times, I encourage you to reach out and help those who are less fortunate.
The most difficult part of working from home these past few weeks has been the lack of daycare services due to the pandemic. Before COVID-19 swept the globe, J would go to daycare a few times a week, which meant we had time to sit down and breathe during the daytime. The combination of no daycare and not really being able to go out has made thigs quite difficult lately.
J is about 16 months old now. He doesn’t nap much anymore, and he’s insanely curious about everything. He’s also not really old enough yet to understand what “no” means. He’s actually very well-behaved, but like a normal toddler, he has his crazy moments – especially after 6:30 p.m. when he starts getting sleepy.
I’ve also gotten extremely busy over the last few week. I recently started a new position in the marketing department at Kinsta, so I’ve been quickly learning the ropes and adjusting to the new role. Previously, I worked in the support department, so moving over to marketing has been a huge change in workflow - I love it though. Work has also ramped up in my various blockchain projects. RHIZOME, my block production team, is generating ~$30,000/month in revenue now, and I’ve been spending evenings and weekends building workflows to offload work to existing and incoming team members. Recently, I was commissioned to co-host a podcast for Tezos, one of the largest projects in the blockchain space – so that takes time too.
Very busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another issue I’ve had is maintaining boundaries between work and being a dad. We’re not at home in Tokyo right now due to the pandemic. We’re in Massachusetts with my parents, where I don’t exactly have an office space, or even a real desk. Right now, I’m working in my grandmother’s room on a fold-up desk. The house also feels a bit crowded because my mom and brother are also working from home. I’m not complaining about this – it’s just an observation of how things that appear to be trivial can mess up my productivity.
Things have been hard on my wife. She’s the one taking care of J all day, and I try to help as much as I can. It gets stressful when she really needs help – especially if I’m legitimately busy, which is usually my default state during the work week. This is why COVID-19 has affected my work/personal boundary. It’s hard to say no to my wife when most of her stress is caused by the effects of a virus that none of us can do anything about.
Thus, I started a new schedule. Instead of waking up at 7:30, I’m now waking up at 5:30 am – this gives me an extra two hours to get high priority tasks done before everyone else wakes up. It’s worked out really well so far, and I’m now able to step away for 30 minutes every few hours to help my wife with J. I’m trying my best to take it day by day. Some days seem impossible, some days are great. My family is safe and healthy, so that is something I am thankful for.
Are you finding “work from home” more difficult than it sounds? If so, please reach out to me, and let’s talk about it.