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Old 15.08.2020, 13:18
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Corona 19 and Self isolation

Hello folks
I have been in Switzerland for about twenty years and although still cannot speak German that well, this last lock down period was actually not as bad as first thought.
I found that it was much quieter, especially with aircraft noise, as I live not far from Zurich airport and was grateful for the time when there was nothing flying. The streets were quieter and the general atmosphere seemed like it was when I first came to this great country.


I am fully retired now and staying at home did not phase me at all, in fact for some of the time it was a blessing, as I could catch up on things that I kept putting off for having no time.


how has the lock down impacted your lives over here and did you find any benefits from it?
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Old 15.08.2020, 13:55
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

Not much different for me. I've been stay at home for years and rarely go out anyway. Only difference was having husband home instead of him going into his office. Benefit I guess is that while everyone else seems to be stressing out over the virus I'm not.
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Old 15.08.2020, 14:51
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

The lockdown (which was really more of a door-left-ajar, as there were so few restrictions and compliance with the ‘suggestions' was pretty poor among many where we live) was an interesting time.

I naturally tend towards the hermit end of the scale, perhaps more so as I get older. I rarely wish to be among crowds, pre-pandemic I would only go into the city when absolutely necessary and then usually with a gun to my head. So staying home with my dogs, my garden, my library seemed almost a dream.

That is, it would have been a dream if I’d had time to enjoy my dogs, garden and books.

Most of lockdown was of necessity spent playing office manager, as my husband was working from home. My time with my dogs was spent keeping them quiet enough for business standards, which curtailed my gardening while my husband was working, nor could I get to the stack of Great Works sitting unread on the shelf - let alone do the housework. Keeping my typical shoebox Swiss house running as something approximating a workable office turned out to be a full time job.

Then there were my friends struggling with boredom/anxiety who needed a fair amount of virtual hand holding. Plus juggling my responsibilities to the family back home; eldercare over Zoom just doesn’t cut it. Lots of emotional bandwidth spent there, albeit willingly so.

After the lockdown-that-wasn’t lifted, boy did I need a ’staycation’!

Now we face a dilemma: OH’s company is excited by the prospect of getting rid of its real estate and infrastructure costs so is expecting much of the workforce to keep working from home. While our home is actually decent sized by Swiss standards (although suffocatingly tiny by any other measure) it clearly is not up to corporate standards. I’ve been looking for something else for over a decade, but now the search, with different priorities, has become more urgent.

We can’t continue this way in our current shoebox. But given how shaky the economy is now and going forward, it would be foolish to spend the kind of money it would take to buy anything better in Switzerland than what we have now. So - should we stay in Switzerland, figure out a way to make home office-ing work here?

Or, as I am now unexpectedly no longer tied to staying in Switzerland, is it finally time to get serious about taking a leap into the next chapter?

Let's see what happens November 3.



tl;dr: The lockdown-that-wasn’t has put into perspective much that was already a long time a-brewing inside my head.
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Old 15.08.2020, 16:06
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

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Now we face a dilemma: OH’s company is excited by the prospect of getting rid of its real estate and infrastructure costs so is expecting much of the workforce to keep working from home. While our home is actually decent sized by Swiss standards (although suffocatingly tiny by any other measure) it clearly is not up to corporate standards. I’ve been looking for something else for over a decade, but now the search, with different priorities, has become more urgent.
One option I recently heard was for the "working from home" person not, in fact, to work at home, but to betake him/herself out to the library in the morning and to a quiet café in the afternoon. Or even to rent a co-working space (not fair, in terms of the employee then paying for premises just because the employer has decided not to) because that may be cheaper and saner than hurrying up to move into a larger home. And then at the end of the working day, to come home from work.
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Old 15.08.2020, 16:53
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

OH already had it in his contract that he can work from home 80% of the time, but he used to go to the office for 3 or 4 days a week as some software development things he works on are best done there. After lockdown and working from home kicked in they had a rota for staff to go in and upload work so they wouldn't physically come into contact with each other. He's now working from home about 3 days a week, he has a standing desk with 2 screens, a keyboard and a laptop on it. We ran our own company in Scotland out of a spare bedroom for 8 years so the home working thing isn't a problem.

The lockdown has been good for us. Last year was very difficult with my mother in law being terminally ill and eventually dying, we have never got on with OH's parents (and aside of an occasional conversation with my sister in law his family haven't spoken to me since 1985 and we didn't bother to tell them we were getting married). With all the strain the situation put on him (the horrendous emotional outbursts for instance) I felt we experienced a bit of a disconnect and being cooped up with each other let us iron that out, put it behind us and get back on track. I also found out a lot of stuff I didn't know about how horrible his mother was to him as a child so I'm glad that's out in the open and has been dealt with now. Sadly she just wasn't a very nice person and he has no respect for his father because he just enabled her to behave like that.

As for me, I'm happy with my own company (even as a child I preferred solitude to playing outside with other kids), but I'm by no means an introvert. When OH is here I just potter away in the background doing my own thing which since the start of the lockdown has been online study. If this is the new normal I like to think we'll all become better people for it.
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Old 15.08.2020, 17:09
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

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One option I recently heard was for the "working from home" person not, in fact, to work at home, but to betake him/herself out to the library in the morning and to a quiet café in the afternoon. Or even to rent a co-working space (not fair, in terms of the employee then paying for premises just because the employer has decided not to) because that may be cheaper and saner than hurrying up to move into a larger home. And then at the end of the working day, to come home from work.
Public or shared office spaces are out of the question due to security requirements.

As I see it, the only do-able way to make WFH work in the long run is indeed to WF our main H. To be sustainable in the long run that means having appropriate space. Which in Switzerland means spending a lot more money than I am comfortable doing as an economic downturn looms.

---

The pandemic has shown us that WFH - the 'Uber-ization' of office jobs - will in some form be part of the future. Will be interesting to see how Switzerland adjusts.
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Old 15.08.2020, 17:30
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Re: Corona 19 and Self isolation

When we ran our own company from home in Scotland, one thing we had a problem with was people thinking WFH isn't really "working". People would knock on the door during the day and say "oh, I was just passing so I thought I'd drop in" (even family would do this, my newly retired brother was notorious for it) They could never seem to get their heads round the fact we really WERE working, had deadlines to meet, online meetings with clients and coworkers etc. I remember one day my OH being upstairs on Skype and a visitor asking who my OH was talking to and did we have someone else there!

The more we said we were actually very busy the more they seemed to ignore it and it would end up with us having to make up time at the end of the day. We eventually decided to sell the house to downsize to 2 bedrooms and moved the company into a small serviced office unit at a business park on the edge of town.
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