Like many people affected by the COVID19 pandemic, we’ve been working from home to help stop the spread of infection. Our new Basics of Hysterectomy video represents many layers of success for us. This was not only our first fully-animated surgical case release as a team, but also the first video we released from our work-at-home structure.
Ensuring a healthy balance between work and home life is always a challenge, and even more so when you love what you do and you’re working at home. We’d like to share a bit of our own experiences and discoveries.
I am lucky enough to already have a home office setup prior to the pandemic. However, my old mac at home couldn’t handle the production work we do, so I transported the work computer home, which made the technical switch super easy. Using bullet journaling to plan projects and daily to-dos has been very helpful for me in keeping work in check. I have also started trying the Pomodoro technique to block out distractions and remind myself to stretch every half an hour.
I try to maintain a daily routine relatively similar to what I had before. In replacement of the group exercise program at work, I have been doing yoga and cardio workout at home following online videos. I use the extra time from not having to commute to pick up my other interests such as drawing, photography, learning new languages, and cooking!
Jean's home office setup
Establishing a distinct space in your home that is devoted to work helps to mentally separate work and home, even if that space is transient. For my home office setup, I have my work laptop hooked up to a second monitor to provide extra screen real estate and a dedicated open space in front of it for my Wacom tablet.
Paul's home office setup
The biggest change to the daily routine is a lack of commute–no complaints there! The key to managing my time and distractions has been the new staple of my work life–the bullet journal. We’ve had great success with this strategic method of using a journal, all based around a simple design shift from lined pages to dotted grids, to track our work, take meeting minutes and notes on production, jot down feedback and schedule our time.
Similar to Paul, I took advantage of taking home one of our work laptops to continue production work, which is conveniently plugged into my monitor as a second unit. The bigger challenge was to keep everyone connected to our render network. Luckily with the combination of several remote desktop solutions, we’re able to access the full render power of our usual production capabilities.
Albert's home office setup
Working from home definitely takes away the spontaneous ‘hallway meetings’ that take place so very often in the hospital setting, especially with surgeons and fellows. This has, however, been easily replaced by texting and teleconference meetings, allowing for more flexibility in structuring these conversations. As a nice bonus, time spent on commuting is now reallocated to daily stretching/workout routines, which my aging back is very grateful for.
For me, not much of my routine has changed since the pandemic started. I’m lucky enough to live just walking distance from the hospital so my 5 minute commute to the office has turned to 5 seconds from my bedroom to my desk.
Joy's home office setup
Just like Jean I already had an home office desk and fortunately I made some timely hardware upgrades to my PC just before the pandemic so it can manage all of the heavy-lifting production work that I’d normally do on the office machine. For efficient project management, I’ve been using Notion – an all-in-one digital workspace App which organizes all of my project notes on the cloud.
Probably the biggest update to my routine are lunch-time workouts. While working from home I’m able to take advantage of Zoom classes for a little mid-day sweat session, which really helps to break up the day and keeps me focused working through the afternoon. Working out at lunch also frees up my evenings for my hobby – cake decorating.
We hope everyone is faring well during these trying times. Stay safe, stay strong, and see you at our next update.
The TVASurg team