Long Distance Work

It’s the 7th week that our staff are working remotely! It’s hard to believe, but we have all adjusted to a new normal. Only our Artistic Director is working out of the empty and much too quiet office. This week’s blog is dedicated to the thoughts, discoveries, and advice from our amazing staff.

1. What things do you never want to have to do again post-isolation?

Wren

Wren’s home office

Wren Brian, Administrator

  • Stress about keeping 2 meters away from people (hard on sidewalks & in apartment buildings).
  • Resist the urge to pet cute dogs out with their humans.
  • Limit grocery shopping to once every three weeks – it’s a lot to carry (my shoulders are definitely getting stronger though).

Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director

  • Zoom multiple times a day – so many tiny faces on the screen
  • Avoid people, which has led to the most bizarre game of ‘stay away’ in grocery stores
  • Postpone work we love to do!

Fawnda Neckoway, Administrator

Fawnda

Fawnda’s home office

  • Feel like it’s wrong to visit my family, worry about hugging my nieces.
  • Deem taking my son grocery shopping unsafe.
  • Be restricted from places I enjoy going (lockdowns/checkpoints aren’t fun).

Liz Whitbread, Assistant Artistic Director

  • Stand six feet away from my loved ones
  • Clean my oven ‘as a fun treat’ on a Friday night

2. What things do you want to keep doing that you started due to the isolation?

Wren

  • Keep more of a routine, particularly some of the treat days I set up to help me keep track of the days of the week (Whiskey Wednesday, Take-Out Friday, Strolling Saturday, etc.)
  • Watch more recordings of theatre productions in other parts of the world (if they are made available still…I hope they are!)
  • Connect with friends in other cities more regularly.

Hope

  • Going for long walks – it’s become an end of work day ritual with my partner and we’ve discovered new parts of our neighbourhood
  • Evenings at home – my cats have never been so happy
  • Buying local – we’ve made an effort to order from local restaurants

Fawnda

  • Beading, I put them down for some time but it’s nice to start again.
  • Long drives just because. We explore when we can.
Liz's WFH

Liz’s home office

Liz

  • Talking to my friends on the phone! I’ve rediscovered my junior high love of long telephone conversations with loved ones.
  • Journaling every day

3. What are three things you can’t wait to do again post-isolation?

Wren

  • Go visit Whitehorse, Yukon, my hometown.
  • Going for a drink and some food with a group of people (particularly the theatre units!).
  • Plan my life. Well, more just plan more than a month into the future with a bit more certainty.

Hope

  • Teach in person
  • Meet in person
  • Go to live theatre

Fawnda

  • Go to the gym!
  • Have a big BBQ somewhere.
  • Let my son play freely with his friends in our backyard

Liz

  • Hug my friends!
  • Go dancing!
  • Hold hands!

4. Anything you want to share in terms of tips or lessons learned from working at home.

Wren
If you can, have a work station, one area of your home where you only do work. And when you’re done for the day, try to create a separation (personally I put a light blanket over the turned off computer & hide my lists & notebooks under there too).
If you’re feeling stressed by the situation, find a comforting quote or two that keeps you grounded in the moment and have them near your workspace to refer to (taped to your desk or computer, even the wall). I used to work contracts and often found myself unemployed for a few weeks or months with nothing lined up, so once I made a collage featuring a quote I really like, it’s in a frame on my desk now.

As mentioned above, I’ve enjoyed and found it helpful to label days with treats (food, drink, fun activity, etc.) for yourself to keep track of days of the week.

Sarasvati office

Empty Sarasvati office

Hope
Routine, boundaries, get away from the computer at the end of the work day! I’m lucky as I was able to keep working in the office, but the pitfall was the temptation to work much longer hours and sit at the computer for way too long. I felt it in my back and eyes!

Fawnda
Music helps 🙂

Liz
For me, creating a morning routine has been essential:
Changing out of pyjamas (even if it’s just into a slightly more structured pair of pyjamas); getting outdoors first thing in the morning – usually just for a stroll around the block while my coffee is brewing; trying not to look at my phone for a good half hour after waking up to ease myself into the day; starting work around the same time each day. It’s helped me retain a sense of structure and given me something to focus on.

We hope you are all managing and staying healthy. We look forward to all being together again when it is safe. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at info@sarasvati.ca.

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