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.

Name

Deborah Wang

What is your profession?

I am DesignTO’s Artistic Director, an independent curator, and also practice architecture. I wear many “hats.”

Tell us about your workspace.

I share a home office/study with my husband, so it has been an easy transition to working at home. In addition to being a workspace, our office is a dumping ground for magazines (we subscribe to many), paperwork, bills, books, nick-nacks, and plants.

Another workspace we use is our dining table, which is adjacent to a wall of books. We usually try to keep the table clear of clutter, but it is currently overrun with magazines and newspapers. With the feeling of everyday being “the same,” it’s nice to change-it-up.

Photo by Vai Yu Law for Dear Seekers.

What are some important aspects of your WFH space?


It’s not sexy, but our workspace is ergonomic. We have monitor arms for our screens, height-adjustable chairs with flexing backs, wireless keyboards and mice, task lamps, and a foot rest for me (I’m short). We also have lots of natural light and workspace.

Being focused is easy because our office is a space dedicated to working. It’s mostly quiet because we don’t have kids or pets. The exception is when we both need to be on a call, which is often these days. We’ve discovered that we both have strong phone voices, so it’s really distracting to be sitting next to each other.

Do you have a WFH routine or tips?


Showered, dressed, and at my computer with a coffee for 9am. Lunch break in the kitchen. Quick walk around the block. Cocktail hour after 6pm. And because we are workaholics, a late dinner. (It’s 8:45pm now and I’m still at my desk. Lol.)

Do you have any WFH coping tips?


I’m trying to take it one day at a time because thinking about the future is overwhelming.
I think it’s important to realize that the transition to working from home isn’t easy. Forgive yourself for a late start or lack of focus. I do jumping jacks when I feel squirrely. It gets the blood flowing, which is great for brain function.

I also lost work recently and that was hard. It was a first for me. Even within the context of a pandemic, it was a shock. It was so emotional I even called my mom. So what’s the take-away here? Feel all the feelings, and reach out to your friends and family for support. Talking about it in various ways and with different people really helped me process and get to a place where I feel settled now.

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


Without overthinking it…I’m grateful to be able to work from home because I recognize many people don’t have this choice. I’m grateful for humour and kindness. I’m grateful for chips and wine. I’m grateful for chatting online, for people continuing to check in on people.

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