Lemonade Life

Making Working From Home Work

Day 30. For some, it’s been longer. The Oregon governor issued the “stay home” order on Monday, March 23, 2020 and I was finishing a four-day weekend. I went into work for an hour to grab my desktop computer and set up to work from home.

Many people at Vernier had already started working from home the week prior. I had held out longer because it was less distracting at the office than at home, especially with most teammates working from home. Also, my workstation was a desktop with three monitors and most of my development is on the network.

Still, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work from home. Now I got my chance. And to be honest, it’s been great. Less drop-by meetings, distractions of people walking by the printer near my desk, hallway discussions, and loud noises from the shipping area.

The only main disadvantages are going down to two monitors from three and accessing the network through the VPN is slower than I’d like.

A photo of my desk in our bedroom
An early iteration of my workstation. The action cam is my webcam since they’re all sold out. The exercise ball was for helping me recover from a back injury inflicted during basketball March 2, 2020.

I reconfigured my workstation a few times, especially my webcam hack: using an action camera. I discovered too late that webcams were hot commodities when people started working from home.

Luckily, my cheap action camera can be used as a webcam. I used a microphone arm to adjust the position of the action camera. It has since been moved just slightly above my primary monitor to present a better angle than on the side with the window backlighting me.

A photo of my webcam hack with two lights.
An early experiment to use some LED lights to provide better lighting.

I have accrued gear for my vlogging experiment the last few years that has been very helpful, such as LED lights, rigs, Joby gorillapods, and even selfie sticks. A lot of it had been tucked away on a shelf. But with the kids attending Zoom meetings, Jenni dancing in Zoom ballet classes, and getting caught up on Zoom/Hangouts/Slack/FaceTime/Duo for family gatherings, we’ve been fortunate to have an abundance of technology to stay connected.

I’m grateful that we live in a time where the technology available can help us through a pandemic. It’s been an engrossing challenge finding creative solutions to our life that isn’t remotely normal.