Categories
Work/life balance

Please forgive me for not being a TWaT.

Why I went for Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays in the office and working from home in the middle of the week – practically the opposite of the TWaT model

As we returned to presence working in July 2021, there was a major change from 2020. The previous summer, we were in in split shifts, meaning a week in the office, and then a week working from home in two fixed teams. The latter option meant less setting up and putting away of computers, but had the inflexibility that you only saw one half of your department. If there were two people working on a topic, they only ever saw each other virtually.

This issue didn’t really impinge on me as a one-man team. All that matters is that translations are completed on time. I took working from home as a serious prospect, so over the last year have invested in my home office. Investing in equipment to make the experience as close to, or in some cases better than my set-up in the office, was key.

  • A double width monitor is even better than the paired monitors set-up in my office at work.
  • A full-sized keyboard and wireless mouse are hooked up to my laptop.
  • My laptop sits on a portable stand so that the webcam is at eye height, which is vastly more flattering.
  • I have a bluetooth headset, and stand up and walk around my office during calls where not in video mode.
  • For presentations at conferences and lectures I also have a podcasting microphone. It helps my audience to hear me and makes a real difference when speaking.
  • Due to a recent tinnitus issue, I also invested in a conference spider for home.
  • I have also upgraded the lighting above my desk – the daylight lamp I have has made a massive difference.

Home Office as part of regular teleworking

I also upgraded my home set-up as since July 2021 I have been working from home two days a week. I opted for fixed “Home Office” days as my teleworking arrangement, and work from home on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Mondays and Fridays are quietest in the office, but Mondays and Tuesdays are when I have most hybrid meetings. Most deadlines requiring calls with other authorities are on Wednesdays or Thursdays. I schedule them on those days to allow me to dial-in from home with full acoustic flexibility.

I am also consequently pretty much the antithesis of a TWaT. Many colleagues prefer to be in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It is not possible for everyone to work from home on Mondays *and* Fridays. But there is a strong preference for at least one of the two, if you are not a TWaT. I understand the three days in and two days out mode well from a previous job. From that, I knew that I wanted to avoid MWF (or t&t) and changing my office location everyday. There are times when it is excellent not to have to build and pack up an office every single day. So I went for three days in, two days out, but fixed for the middle of the week. With most colleagues in one out of Monday and Friday, I get to see more colleagues more regularly.

I needed the flexibility for medical appointments for my eldest son, which I schedule on Wednesdays and Thursday where possible. Working from home allows me to start earlier, saves on commuting time. I also don’t usually work so late into the evening as a result. My anti-TWaT presence also permitted a useful desk-share with a part-time colleague. It allowed her to go in on Wednesdays and Thursdays and work from home on Fridays.

One reply on “Please forgive me for not being a TWaT.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.