Earlier this week I shared 3 things that are working for me to make my remote working experience work well ;-)
That write-up went down nicely with a lot of folks. Here’s part deux.
This short follow-on list, importantly, starts with something I should have touched on in my last write-up...navigating the pandemic.
Here we go...
Many of us are working from home. We’re not commuting into the office. And travelling abroad is either forbidden or too frightening a prospect.
To get from London to Rome, and then to Switzerland, where I was last week, required careful planning, COVID-19 tests and, most importantly, the maintenance of COVID-safe behaviours.
Getting a COVID test in London was both easy, free and costly. My wife, kids and I managed to get a couple done in the run up to our departure.
One first London test came at no cost because our son was attending a local Hackney school and Hackney Council encouraged its residents to get tested, so we did. That was super easy to schedule via the NHS and we walked to a nearby temporary facility for the [self-administered] nasal swab. A negative result arrived by text message and by email within 24 hours.
But we needed a negative result within 72 hours of our departure for Rome, so we had to go private and pay GBP £125 each (nearly USD $180) for a “gold standard” PCR test. We were shocked by the cost, but we had no choice. Shortly after we arrived at the Fiumicino airport in Rome, we were required to take another COVID test (no cost). Thankfully, the result, again, was negative.
Note: The flight out of London was completely full. The whole experience felt like being part of a mass exodus.
Although we weren’t 100% clear about whether or not we needed another COVID test for the trip from Rome to Switzerland (or at least to cross the Italy/Swiss border), we got tested anyway.
This was especially interesting - all we needed to do was schedule a test with a nearby pharmacy (by phone). In this case, it was a rapid antigen test and the cost was EUR €22 (around USD $27) each.
Were we stopped when crossing the Italy/Switzerland border? Nope. No passports checked. No questions asked. Nothing. We were just waved through until we were stopped by the road tax police to pay for the use of Swiss roads.
For the return trip (crossing from Switzerland to Italy), we were again unsure if a test was required, but we scheduled one with the OneDoc service, which was seamless. The cost? CHF Fr50 (USD $55) each.
Again, were we stopped at the border? Nope. No passports checked. Nothing. We were just waved through. Oh well. At least we did our part to be safe.
But, of course, negative test results are clearly not enough. We still do all of the other things to keep clear of the virus - and to prevent its transmission to others if we happen to catch it e.g. regular handwashing, wearing clean masks, keeping our distance from others.
It’s a weird - and still very wonderful - world out there these days, but with care and determination, living and working remotely can be done well.
This one goes without saying, but it’s worth saying ;-)
Although most of us are spending more time with family these days, this time doesn’t necessarily translate into good quality time.
I am certainly very guilty of going way deep into my work for days or weeks on end - even when my family and I are in the same flat.
Thankfully, working from anywhere means, for me anyway, that it’s pretty easy to dip in and out of work.
When the family is happy, I’m happy. When I’m happy, I am relaxed, creative, patient and more productive.
Here’s me and my family, with a lovely friend Helen (at the upper left), during our visit in Switzerland last week.
Now that I’m in Rome, I’m a little spoiled. Coffee is everywhere.
When I’m not making coffee at home (which is usually the case; using a French press), one of my favourite places is Cristalli De Zucchero, a five minute stroll away.
But, boy do I miss the coffee from Climpson & Sons on Broadway Market right at the south end of London Fields.
Together with “avo on toast”, served with a healthy dose of pistachios and, on a generous day, layered with two strips of gorgeously rich, smoked bacon from the Hill & Szrok Master Butcher across the road - wow! That’s hard to beat.
Ok, that’ll do it for me this time.
Wishing you much success in your remote work experience from sunny Rome.
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