Wednesday March 11th. Earlier in the week Wordley announced to its staff that we would be working from home in response to the unfolding pandemic. The desk in my suite had not long been finished, & I’d only just finished configuring my suite to how I like, it looks great. A colleague showed me a video of an epidemiologist on the Joe Rogan Experience explaining the severity of the situation, things are about to get real (it’s ironic now that Rogan has been revealed to be one of the most flagrant distributors of covid mis-information). Wordley has never had work from home capacity in post-production outside of the laborious ‘clone drive migrate bins’ workflow that avid has to offer, none for online. Myself & Glenn are trying to figure out a way of making this happen (mainly Glenn, I do what he tells me). We decide that virtual machines are the way forward, however Avid’s solution is expensive and has exhaustive limitations, so we decide to move all our projects over to Adobe Premiere. I would not make it out of the office for another two weeks, the place eerie in everyone’s sudden vacation of the building. Everything has been collected & uploaded to the cloud. And then I am put on furlough.
I return back in October. Trial and error is the only way to quickly convey the following months. A virtual machine provider was already in use but there was room for improvements. Parsec, no Paperspace, no Azure, Azure & Parsec? So many combinations I’ve forgotten already. The ultimate goal was to be able to remotely connect to a machine in our machine room using our elements server to manage media & projects, whilst also allowing collaboration with directors and producers. Glenn then comes across HP ZCentral Remote Boost, and before you know it we can connect to our internal infrastructure. No more uploading to the cloud, no more migration. However, there were teething issues, lots of teething issues! More trial & error! Frame sizes not matching up, quality settings, internet speed, all variables that needed to be investigated, all while busy trying to get on with the day to day cutting for Wordley. If I were to look back on mine & Glenn’s WhatsApp chat it would be littered with comments from me saying ‘Mate can’t login for some reason’, ‘Dude, the connection has just dropped off randomly’, ‘Is there something up with the VPN?’. Luckily Glenn is very patient with me. We narrow down the bulk of the issues to my internet connection, intermittent bandwidth in my area, engineers in my living room multiple times, a new router, I complain, I upgrade my service from virgin. Still no real improvement. Then HP release an update on their software. It works. Seamlessly, as if I were in the office, minus the fancy desk & large client monitor. All of that energy, desk pounding, yelling at my monitor gone. This was in October 2021, a year after my return to work. Now the only issues with working from home are how work life intersects with home life. Dropping off my son to school is stress free, being available in the evenings is great, my espresso machine is 15 ft away from my desk, my front room for breaks, no commute. And then, isolation, 3 yr old screaming at you when he is not in nursery, laundry, my front room…again.
Two years on from the seismic shift in our working lives, the next big dilemma…return to the office…