Like millions of other people around the world right now, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been working from home, in his property near the western U.S. city of Seattle.
According to a recent CNBC report, Gates has introduced a number of changes to his daily routine to balance how he works, takes care of his children, and remains safe and in good spirits. Below are some of his thoughts on the new changes.
— Biggest day-to-day change: Less travel
“I used to travel a lot,” Gates said, referring to his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
— Working-from-home output: Better than expected
“When we told all these employees not to come into the office, I thought the loss of productivity actually would be quite a bit higher than it has been,” Gates said. “Overall, the productivity penalty for office work, including software engineering, has been way less than I would have expected.”
And he himself has been “able to get a lot done.”
— On his children: Nice to spend more time with them at home
Talking about his three children (Jennifer, 24; Rory, 21; Phoebe, 17), Gates said the pandemic has meant they have been spending more time at home, “which, at least for me, is a nice thing.”
“We’ve had to be fairly strict about exactly what the kids do” to ensure they are all following proper safety protocols, said Gates.
— Recreational activities: Reading books, watching TV shows, playing online bridge and “safe” tennis
“Whether you’re looking for a distraction or just spending a lot more time at home, you can’t beat reading a book,” Gates wrote on his blog in May, attaching a list of books, TV shows and movies he recommended.
Online bridge has also been a choice of amusement for Gates, who has chosen billionaire investor Warren Buffett as his favorite partner. Gates mentioned in the post that it worried him when Bridge Base, the online platform he and Buffett play on, developed server problems.
“I was surprised at how relieved I was to see it running again,” Gates wrote.
He also shared a way of safely playing tennis, in which players stay outdoors, keep their distance, always wear masks, and avoid touching or sharing tennis balls.
— Masks: Always on when going out
Gates always wears a surgical mask when going on walks. “I see in my neighborhood there’s almost nobody that we’ve walked by who isn’t wearing their mask,” he said.