A lot of us riders are about to be working from home for an extended and possibly indeterminate amount of time. In addition to following CDC suggestions for hand washing, social isolation and general health care, here’s my Top 15 Tips for Working From Home for Motorcyclists.
1. Don’t bother wearing business or even business-casual clothing. Put on your usual base layers, then something comfortable over them so you’re ready to change into motorcycle gear at a moment’s notice. Set out two pairs of riding boots or shoes – one waterproof, if possible, to account for all weather conditions.
2. Establish a comfortable workstation – it’s probably too late to get an ergonomic keyboard, but hey, maybe you can do that before the next pandemic. Make sure the kitchen isn’t in your line of sight (thanks Jenn S.) or at the very least, put the cookies anywhere but the counter.
3. Change your computer display’s wallpaper to a photo of the next motorcycle you want, and adjust the monitor so the middle of it is roughly at eye level. Your neck, shoulders and back will thank you. If you can, avoid hunching over your laptop all day; if you can’t, schedule extra sessions with your chiropractor now.
4. Have a routine. (thanks to Paul P. for the reminder on that!) Get up at 8.45, wolf down breakfast, grab your coffee (or tea, in my case) and head into the “office.” Check your email, respond to what you need to and take a break. (We all know email is exhausting.) Get on that video conference and silently judge your coworkers for their clothing choices. Break for lunch – and by lunch I mean a 45-minute ride and a quick peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Pretend to focus on work stuff while reading articles about motorcycles and motorcycling. Knock off early (about 4 PM) and go for another ride. Have dinner with your family and sleep soundly.
5. Don’t listen to those people who say you should go to Starbucks or whatever and get a cup of coffee. Screw that. Sleep until 8.57, and every time you drink a cup of your own coffee from your own kitchen, put $3-5 in a jar marked “MY NEXT NEW MOTORCYCLE.”
6. In addition to whatever resources you need for work, keep a few motorcycle-related tabs open in your web browser. The MOA website (duh!), Cycle News, your favorite discussion forum, etc. This will enable you to read something about motorcycles once an hour for about five minutes.
7. Write down your to-do list on a piece of paper – what you have to do, who you have to do it for, what deliverables are needed. Cross them off as you complete them, it gives you a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day to see all the things you did… and if nothing is crossed off … dude. stop slacking! Start a second list of places you’d like to visit by motorcycle and start dreaming now.
8. Take breaks. Get out of your chair – which, if you don’t work from home all the time, probably isn’t the best chair for you to be sitting in for long periods of time. Go sit on your motorcycle for 5-10 minutes every hour. Make vroom-vroom noises if you like, but be sure to crouch forward and stretch back to keep your muscles limber.
9. Go ahead and eat lunch at your desk, but watch some fun motorcycle-related YouTube videos for a half hour or so. Don’t answer calls or check email during this important downtime. (insert playlist link for Rally! Rally! Rally!)
10. Drink more water than you’re used to throughout the day. Having to pee gives you a reason to get up out of your chair and being hydrated is always a good idea. Plus it helps build up your ability to hold it for longer periods of time, which while probably not great for your health, is great for long motorcycle rides.
11. Remind your family you’re working. Remind them constantly, like every 5 minutes when they interrupt you with questions or requests. Put in ear plugs, close the door and pretend you can’t hear them if they don’t stop. If you have to, scream “I’M WORKING IN HERE! LEAVE ME ALONE!” at the top of your lungs after six straight hours of incessant interruptions. Anybody who starts a sentence with “Since you’re home…” needs to be immediately cut out of your will. (thanks to Jeff C. for that addition)
12. Listen to motorcycle podcasts throughout the day. I recommend (of course) Chasing the Horizon and 200 Miles Before Breakfast, but other solid choices are This Motorcycle Life, Cleveland Moto, False Neutral, Moto Vibes, Girl on a Moto, Cafe Racer Podcast, and if you’re not easily offended, The Wheelnerds. (Bonus Tip: into racing? check out Paddock Pass, MotoWeek and MotoPod.)
13. Work on your marinaded recipes. Put something up in the morning… portobello, pork, chicken, beef. You finally have a chance to turn it every 2 hours like you really should. Things that soak in slow, like ginger or hibiscus, will now get the full two days that they deserve. A parallel one-day quick soak, like London broil or balsamic mushrooms, take up the same day slack. Grill it, broil it, bake it… you’ll make up the difference by taking a walk from 5 to 6 when you used to commute! (thanks to Dennis O.)
14. Call somebody and have a chat about motorcycles. Sure, the lady at the bank may not want to hear about your motorcycle, but that’s her fault for answering the phone. Once you’re done, disinfect your phone because you know you’re not washing your hands enough.
15. When forced to venture outside your home, wear your motorcycle gear at all times. Your helmet and gloves won’t prevent covid-19 transmission, but having them on at the grocery store or movie theater will sure as hell keep people away from you, reducing the likelihood you’ll contract the virus.
BONUS TIP!! No shower? NO PROBLEM! No pesky coworkers are around to be offended by your odiferousness. Revel in your ability to generate body odors without having to wear leather.