By Gaby Doman
Working from home has been eye-opening. I’ve learned a lot about myself (mainly that if nobody’s around to be horrified, I will drink five liters of Coke Zero a day). I’ve also learned a lot about my colleagues. Zoom has offered us a tantalizingly voyeuristic peek into the homes and lives of our co-workers, and it has been fascinating. While we are gradually returning to the office, our WFH experiences have made us rethink our working styles. Here’s how we made the most of our time.
Bring in the green
Stephen, Producing Editor
“I get up earlier when working from home than when working in the office. I can cram an amazing number of tasks into the first few hours of my day, from jogging and reading to weeding the garden.”
The view from his home workstation is somewhat different from the 8th floor of FunkyCorp’s central Tokyo office. “My desk overlooks a small, wooded area, where nightingales nest. Their singing is truly amazing.”
Working from home has impacted on Stephen’s caffeine consumption, too. “In the office, I have to trek a good 10 meters or so to reach the coffee machine,” he laughs. “At home, I just brew up a large pot that stays on my desk throughout the day, which is probably why it takes me so long to get to sleep at night.”
Create a routine
Narumi, Senior Account Manager
“I feel like team communication has become deeper than before,” says Narumi on the perks of working from home. But despite these more meaningful interactions, she says it’s her colleagues (and reliable Wi-Fi) that she missed the most.
Narumi has created a solid work from home routine. “If I have my perfume and Airpods, I feel ready to work. I wear workout clothes so I feel comfortable and can go running right after work.” Her desk is minimal and stylish, with just a Macbook, coffee, a few hand creams, and some seashells from her hometown in Chiba.
As we start implementing a staggered return to the office, Narumi says she’s looking forward to the walk home. “I like walking the quiet back paths around Omotesando at night; it’s my “me time” when I can clear my head.”
Shuhei, Production Manager
“There are frequent dramas in my office at home,” says Shuhei. “I get a little visitor who breaks into the room and tries to sit on my lap.” Working at home with a young daughter has its challenges, but Shuhei appreciates the flexibility. “It’s been great because I haven’t felt as concerned about infection.” Overall, Shuhei’s WFH setup is relaxed (and his desk super-organized). “I work in my bedroom with the window open. It’s nice to feel the breeze and hear my daughter playing,” he says. “Even when she finds her way in, her mother is usually right behind her to coax the office “visitor” out of the room again,” he laughs.
Take time to chill
Nicole, Production Associate
“I dress comfortably while still wearing actual, non-pajama clothes,” says Nicole. “I’ve never been good at keeping a clean desk, but I’ve been trying to keep things as simple as possible. I still have two drinks, two notebooks, and an array of stationery spread out around my computer and monitor at any given time, so I can’t say I’ve been successful.”
However, she has nailed her morning routine. “I play Animal Crossing while eating breakfast, and make time for cuddles with Gonta, the rabbit.”
As for what she misses the most? “The Trash Bar! It’s a central part of the way we socialize across teams, from snack breaks to post-work drinks. I miss it more than I expected to since I consider myself an introvert.
Add inspiring visuals
Venus, Production Manager
“I miss my office chair, the big screen, the alcohol, and the Trash Bar — but mostly the people and the interactions,” says Venus. Despite being keen to head back to the office, Venus has carved out an efficient routine. “I wake up later than I do when I go to the office and do Ring Fit Adventure for some exercise; then I have a shower and some breakfast before work.”
Venus likes to be surrounded by a few personal possessions when she works. “The MacBook and iMac take up most of my desk, but there’s also room for some postcards from my friends on the wall and a photo book of Yui Aragaki, an actress I admire for her relentless hard work.”
Shiho, Digital Marketing Associate
“The dress code at FunkyCorp is pretty casual, so my clothes haven’t changed much, although I don’t bother with a bra at home,” laughs Shiho.
Staying home all day and moving less than usual has encouraged Shiho to implement some health-conscious habits. “Since we started working from home, my boyfriend and I have been putting together a home gym with bands, an ab roller, and dumbbells,” she says. “I also bought a standing desk to use occasionally because sitting all day and not going outside isn’t healthy. When the weather is nice, I set it up outside. It’s really nice to feel the breeze.”