WFH edition (plus cats)

In the almost six months that we’ve been working at home we have tried to maintain a sense of community through meetings and retreats (via Zoom, of course), collaborative projects, and virtual coffee dates. However, beyond a few peeks on Zoom, we didn’t know what our colleagues’ work environments looked like, so we put out a call to our co-workers in the Social Sciences Division, asking them to share pictures of their home offices. We now present to you the range of ways we are continuing to stay connected to the Library and our work!

But first– a few words from colleague Natalia Estrada, who best sums up the challenge of working from home — even for those of us who were able to bring home our beloved dual monitors from our campus offices:

I live in a one bedroom apartment in a noisy part of town with a ton of construction. My spouse is also in academia, so we both are handling various Zoom meetings (sometimes at the same time!) and other large projects. You can imagine that working from home has been a challenge, bordering into impossible at times. The spouse and I have taken on many habits to try to make work-from-home in a small space work for us. We ended up rearranging our living room to create a better work station, using furniture we’ve acquired second hand (Urban Ore is a great place for this), plus taking certain needs into consideration. The work station, shared between the both of us, includes:

  • a whiteboard used for teaching
  • headphones, so I can block out distractions while I listen to a delightfully informative podcast (or the new Phoebe Bridgers album)
  • two of our thickest cookbooks to use as laptop stands for presentations
  • a desktop usually for processing large data sets, but also useful for touch ups before all those video meetings
  • one of our many much needed mugs (this one comes from Valois in Chicago)
  • a “work station” for our cat/office manager, so she can hang out while we work (she is a very good cat, but a bad office manager)
  • artwork! Because artwork works great as a background (better than a laundry rack, at least for us). We like both the block print from Suzhou, China, and the concert poster from when Japanese metal band Boris played at Amoeba.

We’ve still faced various hurdles that make it hard for us to work at 100 percent, especially when one has the desk and the other has to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure a second work spot (the couch? the bed? the kitchen? the choice is yours!). But, hey, my cat digs all the attention she gets on Zoom!