Men At Work (From Home)
By Heidi Sarna **From the Gentlemen's Special Edition of The Feeder**
Many of us, in the spirit of social distancing, have been working from home recently. And the experience has evoked many different reactions in people, from stress and doom, to new-found joy. The Feeder of course is going to focus on the good stuff. Besides the obvious benefits of setting up a home office—no commute!—I decided to dig a little deeper and ask a few of my male friends what else they have really liked about working from home.
Quality Time with My Wife: Ben Lyons
"My wife and I (with very different jobs) were always jetting off to some new country each week, it seemed. Every month was a race to see how many frequent flyer miles we could get or how quickly we could get to the airport, and often one of us would be leaving just as the other was returning. Working from home has allowed both of us to spend the most time with each other in the six years we've been married. It has been a great change of pace to be able to stop in the middle of the day, have lunch with her, catch up and just spend more time together! I think we'll both be sad in some ways when it is time to go back to an office and only catch up in person at the end of the day when we're both exhausted from a day's work.”
Ben has a lifelong fascination with ships and the sea; after a career working as an officer and captain on cruise ships, he is now CEO of EYOS Expeditions.
Peace & Serenity: Carlos Dennis
“As I live alone in a quiet apartment overlooking a garden it has been birdsong that has comforted me. The horrible open plan of the office where everyone’s talking on calls or punch typing that was endured daily—are for me a thing of the past. At home, the quiet soothes me. I’m more productive. I also take gym breaks at a time that works with each day’s meetings. I’m a happier professional working from home.”
Carlos specializes in online privacy at a global tech company. When not negotiating commercial agreements, he frequently gives unofficial museum tours in NYC and other cities. Follow him @19thCentMan on Instagram.
Better Balance: Will Anstee
"Previously, my life was pretty much out of balance. So much so, I didn't even recognise it. I would generally be on a plane Monday to Friday. I would often wake at night and not know where I was—on a plane, in a hotel room or back in my own bed at home. Always sleep deprived, continually doubling up on meals between the airport lounge or the 1am meal on the flight. After all, it would have been rude of me to say 'no' to the many people that were constantly offering me that little cheeky glass of champagne or that beef fillet. Funnily enough, my wife loved me travelling. She would get that little glint in her eye as she kissed me goodbye on the Sunday night or Monday morning, walking me to the door to ensure I was safely on my way. She had the best of both worlds. Her own life during the week and her loving partner to socialise with on the weekend. And I get it, I would be the same.
Then I started working from home. It was unsettling at first. Particularly the video calls...But it was nice wearing shorts every day. After all, nobody would ever know. It was liberating! Before I knew it, I was loving this new world. Early nights to bed. Minimum of eight hours sleep every night. Nice walks in the morning, breathing in nature. The city generally felt a lot more peaceful. I was feeling more peaceful. Mastering the zoom calls, but more importantly, mastering my 'me' time. I started taking meditation courses, reading more books, eating meals every night with the family, etc. Generally, just enjoying life.
I remember my wife looking at me one night as I was happily tucking into dinner, with a little level of desperation in her voice, and said 'Do you realise we have had 95 meals straight with each other.' I think it was starting to take its toll on her, as I started hitting my stride. Bless her.
But long story short, I like this new life and I intend to keep it this way. [I've been forced] to rethink how I was living my life, my priorities, my health, but more importantly, how much I have enjoyed spending time at home with the family. I think the new 'Will' is here to stay!”
Will is CEO at TotallyAwesome in Singapore, the fastest-growing kids' and family digital engagement company in the Asia-Pacific region, with an unapologetic mission to make the internet safe for children.
Efficiency & Cost Savings: Peter Barnes
“I would say I’ve enjoyed some practical aspects of working from home. Foremost is safety. The fact that you are staying at home minimizes the chance of getting sick. Also, efficiency is another benefit since commuting time has been reduced to zero and this gives me the ability to wake up a little later for 7am meetings. Working from home has also meant the ability to wear more casual attire, which saves on dry-cleaning.”
Peter is the director and head of Operational Risk Management for the Americas region, for the Barclays Investment Bank. In his spare time, Peter likes to drink, think and share wine on Instagram @Peter_Barnes.
Stray from the Work Zone: Jai Pathak
“I appreciate the ability to roll out of bed and work at my home office desk and effectively deal with work meetings through Zoom/Microsoft Teams without the stresses of travel to distant destinations. I also value being able to mentally stray out of the ‘work zone’ and meet with family/friends who stop by and then go right back into the ‘work zone’ of a home office that is essentially just a couple of steps away. And these ‘perks’ can be enjoyed without feeling guilty at not being at work in a more formal environment, because it is generally a very acceptable mode of behavior in these challenging times.”
A lawyer, Jai is a partner in charge of a global law firm’s Asia-Pac region.