March 19th, 2020


Interesting Links for 19-03-2020


Work in the time of Coronavirus

Last Thursday (a week ago) Jane emailed her boss to say that she had a fever and so would be taking the day off. "See you tomorrow," she said. "Oh no you won't," he said, and reminded her of the brand new guidelines saying she had to work from home for 7 days if she was sick.

Because the guidelines said nothing about partners, I went in to work.

On Tuesday evening that changed. The advice became "If your partner self-isolates then you have to do so for 14 days". And so I started working from home yesterday.

I have a desk from Ikea (there was one other person on the bus, I sat at the other end. There were 12 people total that I saw in Ikea, staying 2m away from them was trivial). I have a network cable on the way which will get my desktop online, and in the meantime I have a I spent a chunk of today working out how to make Lync (the Microsoft chat application we use in the office) forward calls to my phone. (Thanks to Adam for tons of help there!)

In the day or so since that point large swathes of the company have been switched to working from home. A couple of thousand of us will, by Monday, be working remotely. I still don't like it as much as I do working in the office (you can get problems solved much faster when you can get three people in a room with a whiteboard for ten minutes), but it's definitely bearable. And I can listen to music without headphones while I do it.

As far as I can tell pretty much all of the large companies in Edinburgh are doing likewise. Hopefully they're doing it everywhere.

Even my parents are being somewhat sensible. My father was quite sceptical to begin with. But they have agreed with their regular walking buddies that all (12?) of them will spend the next two weeks self-isolating in their own homes, and then once they are past that point they can meet up as a group, so long as they aren't meeting up with anyone else. Which isn't perfect, but is better than I was expecting of them.

We're supposed to be having a family holiday in late June. I wonder what state the world will be in by then.

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