Adjusting to Working from Home

by | Mar 24, 2020

As a DBA, working from home (WFH) is not a new concept or new experience, I do it a lot. However, this shift to working from home due to the office being closed for Covid-19 is a little different. First off, I’m enjoying getting my commute time and saving money on fuel. The downside is, since moving in 2017, I haven’t put a lot of effort into getting my work area properly set up for me. So that’s a bit distracting.

Other things I have learned Working from home

  • I need to keep my schedule as similar to the office as possible
  • I need to structure my day as I normally would – times for learning and deep dives, etc.
  • I need to remember to get up and move
  • I need to remember to take breaks

Work from homeI’m naturally an introvert and don’t mind being without a lot of people, so I imagine that’s been a little easier on me than most. Although there are times when I need to communicate or just banter with people: I can use Teams for that at work and Twitter for the SQL community, not that I’m on Twitter a lot.

With everyone else working from home, I have noticed a few things that I do differently that has made my life easier. I leave my work laptop at the office, mostly because it’s 10lb brick and I prefer carrying my MacBook instead. So instead of VPN’ing into the Office, I have a LogMeIn account, so I was spared all the issues with the VPN being maxed out. I also prefer LogMeIn because if my connection gets dropped to the laptop, and I’m running a script than the script doesn’t get ghosted on the SQL side.

Please don’t

Somethings I have seen people do that they probably shouldn’t over VPN:

  • Don’t do virtual meetings over the VPN, you’re chewing up bandwidth. Instead, drop the VPN connection to have the meeting.
  • Have a backup plan in case the VPN has an outage
  • Please, please for the sake of those you work with – pay attention to the ambient noises. We know your kids and pets are cute, but listening to them in the background makes it harder to hear.
  • Use Mute. Really….if you’re not talking, put yourself on mute.
  • Don’t drink or chew on calls unless you are muted.
  • If you have a webcam set up, be careful what you broadcast, and don’t forget it’s there.

It’s going to be awhile

Just because you are not in the office, that is no reason to act unprofessional or forget to take care of yourself. Working from home can provide a golden opportunity to get your diet under control, get some training in, as well as spending time with your family and doggos. You can feel good about reducing your carbon footprint (if that’s important to you), you can use the savings from commuting and eating out to fund a vacation when practical, or you can just enjoy the slowdown and quiet in your daily life. We’re going to be at this a while, so we may as get good at it.

Garland MacNeill

Garland MacNeill

Position

I'm a SQL DBA by day, currently working in the Duluth, MN area. My technical interests include SQL Server and SQL development. As I continue to expand my career, my focus is more on development on the SQL platform.
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