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Home Office

Started: 2022-01-17 17:40:47

Submitted: 2022-01-17 18:11:27

Visibility: World-readable

Setting up a new home office

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic exiled me from the office almost two years ago, I have a home office that is not my bedroom.

New home office
New home office

Our last au pair Sharon moved out of our house earlier this month, freeing up the ground-floor bedroom that she had been living in. I moved my desk out of my bedroom into the new room a couple of days later and began setting up my computer in the new space. Right now I've set up the desk so it's floating in the middle of the room, with a screen behind me (hiding the treadmill behind it). The screen dominates my video conference background; I'm no longer probably in a bedroom, which always felt a little weird to me to show my actual bed in the background of all of my video calls.

(At my current employer, whether one chooses to be visible in live video in a meeting depends on the context of the meeting. In smaller meetings with a few other people or my team, most people choose to be visible most of the time. In larger meetings, especially if other people are talking, many people leave their video off. Some people blur the background or set up virtual backgrounds, but I generally find that distracting when I see it. I respect that there are people who don't want to show their backgrounds, or circumstances where it's awkward to show their surroundings, but I would also like to be able to see my colleague's faces at least once in a while, to help to build a good working relationship with the person on the other end of the call rather than a disembodied voice in a generic icon surrounded by other identical generic icons.)

Now my desk overlooks the front garden, which is kind of overgrown and a bit too fussy for my personal preferences. (I have plans to redo the landscaping and plant fruit trees, but my plans are not yet fully formed.) The front of the garden is dominated by a massive hedge that turned out to be too big for me to trim it with my entry-level hedge trimmer; I've ordered a hedge trimmer on a pole so I have enough reach that I ought to be able to trim the hedge and open up the garden a bit; though I think my long-term plan is to remove the hedge entirely.

New home office in the spare room
New home office in the spare room

This room is also destined to become our guest room. The plan is to move the sleeper sofa from the living room into this room, once we locate a suitable replacement couch for the living room. (We are hoping for a miracle on Craigslist, which hasn't happened yet.)

It's not clear when my employer will want me to show up in the office more often than once every couple of weeks (they keep pushing back the date and now we're back to an indefinite delay) but even when that happens they've advised me I can stay home a couple of days a week, so I expect I'll get more use out of my desk even in the After Times.