The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
Get our free newsletter
Sign Up
Culture
  |  
Health
  |  
Labour + Industry

Working from Home, from a Writer Who’s Been There

At least find decent sweatpants.

Dorothy Woodend 12 Mar 2020 | TheTyee.ca

Dorothy Woodend is culture editor of The Tyee. Reach her here.

As the world prepares to do battle with a pandemic and working from home becomes the reality for lots of folk, we writers can lead the way in helping you make the best of it — offering tips on avoiding cabin fever, actually getting work done and even enjoying the experience.

First, the obvious stuff.

Wash your hair

This is the most basic and simplest solution for feeling like you’re in control of yourself. Although escaping the tyranny of hair washing may seem like a bit of fun insurrection, the greasy good times don’t last. Before the end of day, you’ll begin to feel like you’re channelling Clan of the Cave Bear. That isn’t a good feeling or a good look for anyone. So get sudsy with it and feel in control!

Put on pants

Lounging about in your bathrobe all day is very Big Lebowski, but it gets tired mighty fast. Before the dude abides, he should put on some pants. It’s all about feeling like you’re a fully functioning adult person — able to balance a chequebook, make appointments, clothe yourself and meet your deadlines.

960px version of HomeEssentialsDW.jpg

Set a schedule

Start work at a regular time. It doesn’t have to be 9 to 5. Like a lot of writers, I like to work first thing in the morning, keeping farmers’ hours, from 5 a.m. to midafternoon. Set times to get up and look out the window occasionally, as well as taking a break for lunch and snacks. Being the master of your own schedule can actually be a great thing. You are both ship and ship’s captain and you set a course, however you see fit. Just avoid the rocky shores of Time Waste Island and the great sucking gyre of social media.

More on that sucking gyre

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can suck time like there’s no tomorrow, and if in fact it turns out there’s no tomorrow and we really are in the end times, who wants to spend their remaining days liking dumb stuff on Facebook? Do something that matters, or at least makes you feel like your contributing to betterment of humankind, even if it’s only writing a mean review of that film you just saw starring Robert Pattinson’s phallis.

Go outside

It’s OK to take a walk in the afternoon, especially if you’ve been up for a while. Go for a quick stroll around the block, talk to a squirrel and greet your neighbours. Sit under a tree for a bit and remember that the world is still a beautiful place, in spite of all we’ve done to muck it up.

960px version of SquirrelNutDW.jpg

Now the good stuff!

There are plenty of benefits and positive aspects to working at home, not the least of which is that you might actually get more work done without the to-ing and fro-ing of the daily commute.

Everyday transit rage might disappear when you don’t have to entertain thoughts of strangling fellow citizens as they push their way onto the SkyTrain. The folk who refuse to remove their elephant-size backpacks, the princess types who put their Louis Vuitton bags on the seat beside them, and even the people who occasionally throw up will all vanish into an unpleasant memory.

Your attitude towards humanity might suddenly blossom into magnanimous compassion and love for all living things. It’s possible. Unlikely… but you never know.

Save money

Working at home is cheap. In addition to not paying for gas, parking or transit, you’ll also save money by making food and drink in your own kitchen. You might even eat better, because you’ll actually have to cook instead of eating hamburgers. With that money saved you can buy yourself a new fluffy bathrobe or some luxury sweatpants.

582px version of SandwichNapDW.jpg

Naps!

When the 3 p.m. lull hits and you can’t keep your eyes open anymore, just give in and take a quick snooze. Even 20 minutes can do wonders for clarity of mind and productivity. Plus, there’s the added benefit of weird daytime dreams that you can incorporate into your work. In my world of journalism, nothing says creativity like the sudden injection of surreal images into an ordinary story. Keep your readers on their toes, as they try to ascertain why a giant lobster in a waistcoat and silk top hat suddenly popped up in a piece on zoning bylaws. Fun!

Peace and silence

Depending on your sociability needs and requirements, this can be a good thing or a very bad thing. If you spend a good portion of your time avoiding people and being an introvert, then working at home might be a dream come true. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. Take this time to recharge your batteries, look inside yourself and dig deep into the inner marble, I mean marvel, that is your brain. (Important disclaimer: this advice is all based on working at home alone. If you’re sharing the space with a partner who has also been banished from the office — or, shudder, a toddler whose daycare has closed — you need a whole different set of strategies. And I wouldn’t know where to start in offering them.)

Without anyone around to watch or judge you can be as weird as you like: make up songs to sing to yourself, laugh at your own trumpeting farts, try different things with your hair. Anything is fine, so long as you exercise a modicum of restraint. This is still a workday, after all, so save the experimenting with magic mushrooms until you’ve finished your tasks. Then bring on the chorus line of lobsters in top hats singing excerpts from My Fair Lady.

582px version of LobsterTopHatDW.jpg

Once these scary times have lifted, you might have greater appreciation not only for your workmates, but also for the everyday struggles of normal life, be it the bus being late or the high price of fancy lattes. When the overloaded SkyTrain lurches to a stop mid-track and sits there for 20 minutes, rejoice friends! The world is back to its usual crazy state.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Do not:

  •  Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully, threaten, name-call or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, downvote, or flag suspect activity
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities

Do:

  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls and flag violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Stay on topic
  • Connect with each other

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll