Working from home

An overnight change in worklife

Within the space of a week the routine I have honed for many years was brought to a grinding halt. With hundreds of thousands of people affected, it was not a matter of “should I isolate” but “I am going to isolate, how should I do it productively”. Being productive during this difficult time means not just looking after the emails, but oneself. The mental burden isolation can carry is immense and it should not be underestimated. So here is my battle plan for the next few weeks (and if need be, months).

Separation without the anxiety

One of the biggest issues I grappled with was the separation between work and home. I have always worked outside of my home. Sure, there have been “working from home days” but those were few and far between. Most importantly, there was an end date. I have to admit, I was anxious about bringing my work home. “Will be as productive at home as I am in the office?” I asked. “When does work end and home begin?” I wondered. “If I empty the laundry during the day, am I doing this on my or the company’s time?”. Obviously, I was just working myself up into a frenzy for nothing. In fact, it is highly recommended that you get up from your desk often during the day. Load the washing machine, take the rubbish out, make a cup of tea. 5-10-minute breaks every so often are encouraged. I also found that creating a specific work station was essential to separate my work/home life.

Work station at home

Not having an office, I did take over some of the dining table but it is now my work area. It is not a “one size fits all” situation, individuality is key. It is important for each individual to think about the conditions under which they can be most productive, taking into account workflow and emotional response.

Reading more than just emails

There is no escaping the stark realisation that the emails will not stop. I am, however, going to expand my literary horizons (and indulge in old favourites for comfort). Here is my panacea for the monotony of emails: books.

A collection of books

Since I am not able to travel to France, I will follow Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan on their adventures through Paris. I will people watch through the anthropological writings of Kate Fox and I will “evolve” with Daniel Dennett’s work on consciousness.

Keeping to a schedule

Isolation can be, for a lack of a better word, isolating. On average, we spend more time at work than at home. We have a schedule to follow, meetings and coffee breaks. This is an important pattern to follow. I have always woken up at 6.30am to get to work for 8am. I will still do that, whether it means indulging in a more imaginative breakfast than muesli or fitting in a longer morning jog, I will not stray far from my morning rituals. Speaking of exercise, I am fortunate to live in a remote location so my daily jog involves seeing only the sheep in the fields. I stick to the remoteness of the moors. I am also trying to utilise video-conferencing as much as possible, whether it is in my personal life with friends and family locked down across the world as well as in my worklife.

A sneak peak into TU Delft

Largest and oldest Dutch public technological university

Our very own Ellen De Korte, from Bradford University, has been based at the University of Delft for her academic secondment.

Delft, Netherlands

Ellen De Korte has been fortunate to work with Sylvia Pont and her team. University of Delft has a strong history of cutting edge research, with a reputation of being on the forefront of academic and technological advances.

Part of Ellen De Korte’s research

Ellen has been working at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, in the light and vision labs which are part of the Perceptual Intelligence Lab.

We will hear more from Ellen about her secondment and life in Delft once she has completed her work.

Delft, Netherlands

Exciting start to 2020

DyViTo would like to wish everyone a great start to 2020. We have several exciting events happening in the first 3 months of 2020.

Ellen De Korte has started her split secondment at the beginning of January. She has started at the University of Delft and she will be traveling to the University of Giessenduring the second half of her secondment. We wish her the best of luck!

Muge Cavdan and Jacob Cheeseman, from the University of Giessen, together with Baran Usta, from University of Delft, will be coming to Bradford at the beginning of February. They will be doing their secondment at the National Museum of Science and Media during their Yorkshire Gaming Festival. The festival is held from 5th until 9th February, with 5 days dedicated to celebrating games culture with workshops, masterclasses and special guests. Muge, Jacob and Baran will be helping with our partners during one of the biggest events in Yorkshire!

If that was not exciting enough, University of Cambridge will be hosting the whole DyViTo project for our Network Meeting and Workshops. As well as exciting talks and lectures from leading scientists int he fields of neuroscience and visual perception, the team in Cambridge is planning team building activities and round table sit-down with members of Downing College.

 

 

DyViTO Workshop 2019 in Cappadocia

We are beyond grateful to Professor Huseyin Boyaci and his team at the University of Bilkent not just for organising an event to host the consortium but for choosing such a fascinating location like Cappadocia.

Fairy chimneys in Cappadocia

Cappadocia holds wonder everywhere you look. From the carved layers of volcanic tufa, shaped by wind and water that are the fairy chimneys to the beautiful fertile lands of the Pigeon Valley, strewn with orchards and grapevines. Wondering up to Uchisar Castle, imposing and dividing in opinion.

Uchisar Castle in Cappadocia

All the while, Mount Erciyes is looming in the distance, a snow covered giant. All this landscape is mixed within a historical region that was a melting pot of cultures and beliefs, from ancient Hatti culture to Romans and Christians.

Mount Erciyes in the background

All DyViTo members are looking forward to learning more about this beautiful and magical region. Although we have a very busy week with some of the best speakers in the field attending hosted at the Argos Hotel, there is always time for tea.

Turkish tea on the terrace of the Argos Hotel

Science and Industry Museum – Manchester

There is a plethora of benefits in having industry partners involved. The vast amounts of knowledge and hands on experience that can be accessed during the duration of the project.

Working with the Science Museum Group means that our ESRs have access not just to the wealth of knowledge at their secondment institutions but the ability to visit other museums across the UK. Ellen De Korte, currently doing her secondment at the Science and Media Museum in Bradford, visited the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.

Science and Industry Museum show

The museum, opened in 1983, is dedicated to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city’s achievements in these fields.

Inside of the Science and Industry Museum