News - March 30, 2020

This is how I work from home: Hannah van Zanten

Albert Sikkema

WUR is working en masse from home. There’s no choice for now. And we are all making do. Hannah van Zanten, Animal Production Systems chair group shares her experiences.

© Hannah van Zanten

‘It’s a question of adapting. I am now in the living room with my two children of seven and five. My husband, who normally goes out to work too, is working at home as well. It’s a full house, and I work far shorter hours than usual, but it’s cosy too. Not only are the children out of school, but the school also expects us to do home schooling with them for three hours a day. We collected homework from the school on Monday, and we have to hand it in again next Monday. I think it’s good that the school goes on setting learning goals, but it is an added task. So altogether, it’s quite a lot. I think that effectively I can only work half the usual time. My husband and I study our diaries and then we start puzzling it out. I also try to keep as many appointments as possible on Skype. Everything that can’t be done on Skype gets cancelled. And you have to make choices. The main priority for me is for the PhD students to be able to carry on with their work. Luckily, our tasks can be scheduled flexibly – you can hold meetings at any time of day on Skype. If my husband or I have an appointment, the other one looks after the children. It takes a bit of getting used to. I need to be there for the children, but I also keep thinking: I have to do some work.’

This is the sixth part of a series on working from home during the corona crisis. The editorial staff calls a WUR colleague every day to find out how things are going. The illustration is (of course) a selfie or a snapshot taken by a housemate. Would you like to participate? Mail or share via #WURkfromHOME.