The move to WFH

It's been a very tough last few weeks.

Although people working from home should be grateful that they have such an option available to them, the amount of disruption this crisis has posed to our normal routines cannot be overstated. If you're new to working remotely, you're probably noticing a few things about how it's changing things for you:

  • You're probably forgetting to take regular breaks
  • You're probably working later hours than you might normally
  • You're probably eating lunch too late or not at all
  • You're probably finding it harder to communicate your schedule and time needs to others

This isn't surprising. An office environment offers a lot of distractions, but it also offers a few advantages: notably, it means that you have lots of other people around. Need to reschedule a meeting? Just tap your colleague on the shoulder down the hall. Lunchtime? Yeah, everyone's leaving the office at noon, so it must be time to eat. It's the difference between synchronous and asynchronous environments.

The move to remote work was happening long before this month, but in this case it seems we all are getting a long trial by fire in how to do it effectively.

To that end, we've launched some new features for Reclaim that we're making available to everyone free of charge until the end of the year to help them -- even just a bit -- with keeping structure in their schedules in a time of uncertainty:

LunchBuddy

The first feature we've launched is called LunchBuddy. It's very simple. It makes sure you have time every day to eat lunch. It automatically adjusts and reschedules itself between 11:30am and 2pm so that it can flex with schedule changes, and then locks itself down by marking the event as busy when your day becomes too full.

You can get started with LunchBuddy right now, and our hope is that it will encourage you to eat something today :)

Catch-Up Time

We also just launched a new feature called Catch-Up Time that gives you two 30-minute slots every day (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon) to catch up on email and other miscellaneous tasks. Like LunchBuddy, these blocks will automatically reschedule and defend themselves as your day fills up. It's a nice way of making sure you're not getting snowed under, and it's a nice way to bookend your day so that you finally step away from the keyboard.

Multi-Calendar Support

One of our most-requested features when we launched LifeWork Calendar was to add support for syncing personal events from more than one account, and from more than one calendar within an account. This is especially important for people with family calendars, or for people working multiple side gigs.

We've added support for multiple calendars, so now you can sync events to a single calendar from as many different schedules as you'd like.

Travel Time

This is one feature that was also highly requested, although it's likely we won't be using it for a while.

Travel Time adds blocks for you to travel from one event to another, automatically. They stay in sync with changes to your calendar, so there's no need to manually move or manage them -- just add a location to your events (or be invited to events with one on them) and we'll do the rest. Bonus: if the event is a flight, we'll add 2h beforehand and 1h after to make sure you have enough time to get through security.

Get your calendar under control

If you're feeling a bit adrift in your new remote reality, that's very normal. Don't despair. One of the things you can do to reduce that feeling, if only by a bit, is to get your calendar into a state where it reflects your routine. Make time for breaks, make time to take a walk, and take care of yourself.

Here's hoping we'll all be traveling again soon, and that we'll come out of this better than ever before.

Take care.