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A look into the lives of staff working from home


A man sits at his home office, two computer screens behind him.
Andrew Steele support physical distancing by working from home, rocking dual monitors while he's at it.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, some Northern Health (NH) staff have been physical distancing by working from home. A few people shared their reflections about their new work arrangements.

Cathy Scaife, Administrative Support, Health Protection and Disease Prevention

I’m able to support NH’s COVID-19 response from home thanks to a VPN (virtual private network) to connect with clients, our Health Protection team, and the general public.

A woman smiles into the camera, her home office behind her.
Cathy Scaife, Administrative Support, Health Protection and Disease Prevention.

I use my home office, which helps to give the "feel" of being at work. I keep with the same routine that I have at the office: I turn the radio on first, I take breaks at the same time, and yes, I do get dressed and do my hair!

Working at home has run quite smoothly, but I do look forward to getting back into the office and interacting with my colleagues!

Shelley Pallot, Renal Dietitian, Northern Renal Program

Usually a lot of contact with my patients was by telephone, so the transition to working from home hasn’t been an issue. I've also had great support from my team lead and the Renal Clinic, particularly clerical support.

A woman smiles into the camera, her laptop sits on her wood desk at home.
Shelley Pallot, Renal Dietitian, Northern Renal Program.

I must say, I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying working from home. I was initially worried that I wouldn't be very productive, but in fact, for the most part, there are less distractions. But with my partner and daughters at home as well, my poor dogs don’t know which room to go hang out in! 

My days have a really nice flow to them, which includes a great early morning walk before sitting down at my desk for a 7 am start time. I do rely on my trusty earplugs to keep me focused at times, especially when I hear my girls chatting and laughing in the kitchen!

Darren Smit, Lead, Web Services

My work-at-home experience has been good so far and very busy due to the work I do for Communications and the COVID-19 crisis. With my graphic and web background, I have worked from home before and have my own dual monitor system, so it was an easy transition.

While my team members and I don't have the spontaneous conversations we used to have in our physical office at work, I find that we are more organized and communicate more thoughtfully and more intentionally. In the "bubble" of my home office, I find there are not so many distractions, I am more decisive, and I get things done quicker.

A man faces his desk and two monitors in his home office. To his right, a coffee and Rubiks cube sit under a window. Outside is a forest.
Darren Smit, Lead, Web Services.

I have access to as much coffee as I need, my Rubiks cube for in between times, and a nice forest view when I need to think. I like being able to interact with my son at certain times during the day. And I enjoy being able to wear shorts too!

Andrew Steele, Project Lead, Population and Public Health Support Unit

I’m supporting the COVID-19 response as a project manager for Population & Public Health. Working from home has been an adjustment, but making my workspace as comfortable as I can has helped. Also, making sure that I get plenty of outdoor exercise has been key to staying energetic and productive while working at home!