Remote Working Recap – First Week

Remote working will eventually be mainstream since talents and living costs have become too expensive in the tech hubs. Thus, even though I never worked remotely and I probably suck at it, I have wanted to try working remotely. Due to COVID-19, Netflix strongly recommended that all Los Gatos employees (that include me) work from home starting last Tuesday. So this week gave me the first taste of working remotely, for a prolonged time. I might as well learn from this experience. I am gathering my initial thoughts here so that I can improve my productivity and satisfaction.

Good

  1. I love that I get to spend more time with my wife. We do a quick grocery run, enjoy lunch, and stretch our legs together throughout the day. My usual commute is pretty short, about 40 minutes. So I should be saving about an hour and a half every day, but I feel that I get far more quality time with my wife. Everyday somehow feels like Friday.
  2. Since remote working introduces additional frictions to meetings, a lot of non-essential meetings, such as a presentation about the latest market research, got postponed or canceled. I will eventually miss those meetings. But, for now, I find more time to code and feel more productive.

Bad

  1. My weekday routine got disrupted. I miss my morning workout, brisk walks to/from my shuttle stop, and a quick meditation session on the way to the office. Instead, I now wake up past 9 am, don’t take a shower until the evening, and walk less than 2000 steps, which upsets me since I feel like I wasted the day. This disruption hurts more because I was making consistent progress towards my health goal. Now I need to build a new routine that will get me through the next coming months.
  2. I can’t seem to focus during remote meetings. I daydream a lot and get distracted easily, so I usually make a point of not bringing my laptop into the meetings. I instead take a pen and a note with me. But now that I need my laptop to call into the meetings, I get distracted by notifications and new emails during the meetings. With the camera on, I behave better. But it is a struggle.
  3. Now that my work laptop is on my home desk, I keep getting sucked back into work after dinner. I tell myself, “I just need to push one more small code change.” It’s so alluring. But I should recognize that work literally has no end and protect my personal time.

Overall, I still feel productive. Possibly more than before. But in the long run, I worry about my psychological health. I also am concerned that our team could suffer organizational problems like lack of alignment and relationship since Netflix has been an office-first company. I will keep logging my thoughts to keep me honest and improve myself in the coming months.

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