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During the current work-from-home arrangement, I often get out of bed at around 730AM after a couple of snoozes. I start my day by boiling an egg in the kitchen while I take a shower. Somehow the timing always works out right and once I’m done, I make myself my breakfast of a perfect boiled egg, aeropress myself a cup of coffee and enjoy a relaxing breakfast while catching up on the news or reading a book. I usually squeeze in a couple mins of meditation before I get to my desk setup, check my calendar and slowly get into the groove of the work day.
Fuelled by my morning coffee, the morning to lunch period is when I feel the most productive, so I tend to try to schedule my meetings during this period of the day. I also get through the backlog of email from colleagues or suppliers and address matters that need to be handled urgently. Presently, our team is in the process of bringing the product we are working on to the verification stage. Thich involves putting the product through its paces by means of various physical testing and analyses. We read through protocols, work with systems and verification engineers to design the necessary tests and build jigs and fixtures that we may require for the tasks.
Working remotely most of the time nowadays, I also find it useful to intentionally allocate some time to ping or call any teammates with whom I need their help or to follow up on project related issues. This, in the place of what used to be our ad hoc hollering or just walking over to each other’s desk while in the office.
The only thing I am confident of cooking is eggs and instant noodles. Hence, I usually leave the house at about noon to head to the nearby “nasi padang” (indonesian mixed rice) stall to pack my lunch. And yes, I do go to the same stall and eat the same meal almost everyday as I dislike having to think about what to eat on a daily basis. Back home, I consume my lunch while catching up with the latest American late night shows like Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah or John Oliver, which brings some levity to the day.
A typical afternoon working from home usually involves me working any reports or hands-on-work, which can involve prototyping concepts, testing out new jigs and assessing parts from suppliers among other tasks.
During this COVID 19 period, it has also been an enlightening experience. To meet local regulations, we have to coordinate within our team as well with others to ensure we only head to the office when necessary, such as for doing physical tests or prototyping. We’ve had to find new solutions to the way we work and also to do the same work without being together or in the office. While the situation definitely has been challenging to work around, I have seen new levels of collaboration and communication within our team and the larger organisation to ensure things still run smoothly and efficiently.
During this period of the day is also when some of my teammates and colleagues might just pop on an impromptu Teams call just to catch up.
As my day starts to wind down, I’ll do one last check of my calendar to pre-empt myself for whatever is planned for the next day. A huge benefit of having this culture of flexible working is that on days I work from home, I save a couple hours that I would spend travelling to/from work which I can now dedicate to things that bring me joy. Most days at home I will spend the early evening with the couple plants I’ve got, checking in to see how they’re doing, if they need watering and to do some trimming or repotting. While the “garden” is still a little small right now, I’m already looking forward to adding more plants to the family!
My post work schedule begins with either my daily static workouts or outdoor jog, depending on the day. My jogs usually take me to a reservoir dam located a couple clicks away where I spend a couple minutes to enjoy the view and sea breeze before turning back. Dinner is then followed by watching some Netflix/YouTube or working on my side projects and interests. These days, I’ve been building my own blog where I’ve been sharing my own commentary on technology and other related topics. I also enjoy prototyping and just playing around with my 3D printer and various electronics just trying to build stuff. These activities are then followed by the best part of the day where I start to wind down and wrap up in bed. If I’m not doom scrolling on Instagram or twitter before going to sleep, I’ll usually read a book before turning in.