VIU's Working Remotely Chronicles

April 16, 2020 - 6:00am

On Monday March 17, we were asked to work remotely as much as possible and by the end of the following week, everyone who could was working off campus. This was the beginning of our new reality and VIU employees set about creating their new temporary work spaces away from the office. 

We have found ourselves in close proximity to loved ones, exposed to a Spring Break that never ended (for parents and their children), and adjusting to new furry "colleagues" who can be more demanding than those with whom we co-habitaite while on our campuses. 

However, in true VIU fashion, it seems that most have now embraced our current temporary environs. Below are entries provided by employees from around the institution. Please continue sharing your images and we will continue to build the VIU Remote Work Chronicles. Your favourite mug, your favourite working playlist and anything else that makes the day go well is welcome. Send entries to

"This is my office mate, Euclid. Only a Mathematician would dare name his dog after a long-dead Greek mathematician!" (First image)

"Being in the Math department, my office at home wouldn't be complete without a picture of Isaac Newton on the wall. This the one hanging on my wall. Newton discovered his laws of motion and developed Calculus when Cambridge University was closed during the Great Plague. That kind of hits a little bit too close to home." (Second image)

 "This is a photo of my seven-year-old Springer Spaniel, named Boomer. He visits me once in awhile to get a pet and kiss. He is loving the lunch time walks."

"I wanted to share this cute picture of my "co-worker" rubbing his gums on my desk to let me know he needs attention."

"Well, this is what my new office looks like. I get up each morning and ready for the day as usual. I enjoy my cup of tea in my VIU mug while my new co-workers gather around me. They can be a little distracting at times. I look forward to our department team Zoom meeting each week where we all share with each other how things are going. It's nice to have each other's support and to know that we are all facing similar challenges and great to share those aha! moments as well. I also have regular zoom meetings with my class -- I look forward to seeing their faces and knowing that they are all okay."

"My home office is one part office, one part dog lounge and one part home gym. I am thankful to be experiencing an improved work-life balance. All the time I used to spend commuting from Duncan to Nanaimo is now exercise time. From a quick run at lunch to morning yoga that grounds me and prepares my mind for the workday I am turning the #stayathome movement into a #stayfit one. You can also see how I have created a standup desk my using some bags of soil! And yes that is my puppy having a nap in her kennel."

Sarah Crover, Professor, English Department sent this photo with her smokey grey colleague sharing a cup of tea.

"Hubby built this for me over the weekend! So lucky to be married to a cabinetmaker :)." 

Mike Braun, Carpentry Instructor, shared this photo of teaching his curriculum from home.

Kelly Loewen, Payroll Clerk, shared this photo of her sunny spot with her furry coworker.

"Ruby the St Bernard, Katze the fat cat, seedlings and a sunny window are holding up all the team morale here in my new work from home office!"

"Gamers were prepared for this."

"Some folding tables out of the garage, our spare office chair and a section of my yoga studio is my new home office. And now I teach yoga via Facebook live instead of to a studio full of people."

"I am sharing my home work space with my dog KC. She oversees all my coffee and snack breaks as well as keeping an eye out for passersby between naps. I think she likes Zoom classes as she participates by offering her opinions when she hears the students' dogs offering theirs. She is a six-year-old terrier mix. We are both pretty happy with the arrangement."

"This is my home office ... as you can see I like to be surrounded by things that make me happy, inspire me and remind me of special time spent with special people ... and books."

"One of the best parts of working from home is that while I help students grow, I can also watch my garden grow! These are some of my sweet little coworkers."

Dan VanderSluis, AVP, Human Resources shared this image of his work space. 

"When I first started working from home, I rotated between the couch, the kitchen table and my bed because our only desk in the house is the messy home of my husband's company. After a few days, I found I was desperately missing my standing desk at work, so my husband made one for me that overlooks my garden. This is my furry co-worker, Buckshot, who is in charge of making sure I take regular breaks."

"I am working in my mom's office, which means I am surrounded by things that matter to her - pictures from my childhood, my kids and nephews, souvenirs from special trips and her books. It has been an education about who she is. And these are the kids who are frequent Zoom crashers throughout the day." 

“The two desk spaces in our house have been taken up by my husband (who always works from home) and our teenage son, so I am set up on the kitchen table. I love it though as I get a great view of our front yard where my co-workers – young deer, wild turkeys and a huge variety of birds – keep me company and make me smile throughout the day.”

Tags: In the Community