As individuals and organizations take on proper physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have found ourselves spending more time at home for many reasons. What was once a common place to eat, sleep, and unwind, our homes also double as remote workspaces for those of us that have the option of working from home. With this significant change, we need to adapt to become more flexible with how we use our homes. We’re asking people in our community to share their work from home (WFH) spaces, routines, and coping mechanisms.


Nadia Yau

What is your profession?

From 9-5 (and more often than not, beyond), I help develop arts and culture programs or campaigns for brands at Shed Creative Agency, a division of Universal Music.

Tell us about your workspace.

I live in a loft(ish), so the division between different spaces doesn’t really exist. You could say my “home office” is about 50% living room couch/floor, and 50% kitchen/dining table, which is essentially attached to my living room. I love being in the main living area because I get to take up as much space as possible, sit under the sun that gets in from the high windows, and when things get a bit stale, I move to a standing-desk situation on my kitchen/dining table, which is a high-top. Bonus, this location also provides easy access to the kryptonite for all home workers: snacks.

What are some important aspects of your WFH space?

I actually find it helpful to have some minor distractions here and there – just to get that out of my system, almost like a small reset. Being in my living room means I can look outside every so often and check up on the outside world, which seems to be exclusively made up of dog walkers and joggers at the moment. I’m also surrounded by artwork I haven’t taken the time to look at closely for a little bit, or these daunting piles of magazines that I haven’t gotten around to, or old art books I’ve bought but maybe haven’t *properly* opened yet, which I start flipping through and taking a closer look at until (soon enough, sure enough) I get “distracted” by an incoming email and those activities get pocketed for later. Reset complete.

Do you have a WFH routine or tips?

Having a 9-5 has helped me stay focused for the most part, since I have to get up in time to clock in at 9AM as per “The Old Days.” I’ll still try to take a “lunch break,” which is when I’ll go for a short run, plus a walk or bike ride “after work” to stay active. As for getting dressed, if it weren’t for this little thing called Zoom, I would struggle with this part, but that’s helped me remain (again, for the most part) presentable. Let it be known that, today, I put on jeans. To go nowhere. Just to work…at home.

I know.

Do you have any WFH coping tips?

I’ve been living alone for what has felt like forever so I’m very comfortable being with my own thoughts for most of the day, but the hardest part of working from home for me has been being STILL. I’m usually fairly active, and not going anywhere during the day, seeing other things or people, hearing other voices, or stumbling onto something or someone I didn’t plan on seeing or meeting…it’s been tough not to have these small “surprises,” which help keep daily life from getting too insular or stale. To make the transition easier, I go outside (safely) at least once daily and somewhere different each time. I also try to expand on what “different” means each time: new route? destination? things I’m looking at or for? Otherwise, it’s easier said than done, but I also try to remind myself: one day at a time. And everyday is a new day.

When times are tough, gratitude is an integral part of keeping balanced. What are the things you are grateful for?

I’m grateful for all the small things, which turns out really aren’t that small in the grander scheme of things. For example, a roof over my head. Little rituals that help make a house a home. Space, sun, and light (literally, metaphorically). The list goes on.

Sending and receiving love right now is important. How are you expressing your love for the people in your life?
By checking in, lending an ear, practising being a good listener, and/or sharing a helping hand if that’s needed too.


*Are you working from home? Want to share your WFH space, routine, or coping mechanism? We’d love to hear from you.