Day 1 could have gone better, but we're adapting. And for some people this is deadly serious. Also, an invitation to comment for real, and 7 other things worth your time.
I work from home all the time (though am missing coffee shop time - even as a tea drinker - more than I would have imagined) so life hasn’t changed as much for me as for most.
My funny story - on zoom with my “boss” (I’m the ED of an association, so report to a Board; was chatting with the President) talking about some challenges when all at once she starts giggling. Seems my 14 week old puppy had climbed over the baby gate (behind me, but in full view of the camera) and made a run for our cat.
I've had a home office since about 2005, so this is nothing new for me. My funniest "incident" was receiving a text from a coworker at about 5:15 PM in the middle of a multi-hour conference call: "DUDE! Did you just crack a beer???" In fact, I had, and made sure it was close enough to the speakerphone to be heard. :D My boss was oblivious. (I should state this was at a PREVIOUS job.) :)
We prepared over the past two weeks to get the entire company (300 employees) set up. We went with a cloud based email and VoIP phone system in the past year, so we were prepared. Fortunately so far my contact center has been running without a hitch since Friday (knock wood.) Some staff in other departments didn't prepare, they're not doing so well!
Stress is high, but Slack has been a life saver for communication, and just staying in touch. We say good morning, share jokes, help each other.
My embarrassing/funny story - on a conference call with several colleagues, someone knocked on our door, the dog went crazy barking, everyone heard it! Oh well, life working at home!
I'm just getting my home office for work set up, lots to do. Setting up dual monitors, a docking station a new printer, etc. I made a list at work of things to take home to my home office set up from work so I don't forget anything. I'll post an update later when set up.
I work for a boutique PR agency, and while we're used to working in an office, many of our internal processes/operations are designed to be compatible with remote work. So I think our transition to using Zoom for our daily meetings, continuing to communicate (and now trying to overcommunicate) on Basecamp, etc. has been a lot more straightforward than it is for most people.
However, many of our clients are restaurants, theaters, and other businesses that can't physically provide their services remotely. We've done a lot of pivoting and just figuring out how best to support them, but some have to close for a couple weeks and some have to make the hard decision to lay off employees - and no matter what, they're all kind of in crisis mode. So I know I'm super privileged to have job security and the ability to work from home right now, and my heart goes out to all the people for whom that is not the case.
I've worked from home on and off, more and less for 10 years. What's weird for me is that it is normally broken up by in-person meetings. I miss that a lot. I do go out to walk every day and see other people often with their dogs although the friendliness quotient is way down. Rarely even hello or a nod. I did find a new way for some contact this morning. I volunteered at a food bank. Rather than stopping the need, COVID-19 has increased the demand. At the same time, they have temporarily lost some volunteers due to being in high risk categories or living with someone that is. If you're craving some human contact, there are nonprofits that are soldering on that need your help more than ever. And, you'll feel good about helping some people that are being hit hard without even contracting the virus.
Our company has always been well set up for remote work. We're in tech (a workforce management software, specifically) and so as long as we have internet we're pretty capable of working wherever. We're also a pretty small, introverted team, so those of us who are in the office are doing alright with social distancing.
The hardest part I've found is staying focused and positive throughout this time. I'm supposed to be getting married on May 9th, and suddenly all of our plans are turned upside-down. Some people say we're trying to make a decision too early, what if all these regulations get revoked in the next 7 weeks, while others are trying to figure out if they should still buy flights. It's hard watching all the work we've put in the last 8 months be potentially shut down, but we're also trying to remember that if we do need to cancel, it's not about us but the safety of our guests.
Great post and that fact regarding New York took me by surprise and made me scowl at a photo of Boris Johnson
Thank you for a little laughter and giving me perspective of what "working from home" looks like for others. We're all in this together but with various levels of acceptance, frustration, anxiety, and hardship. Cheers!
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have for 5+ years split my work week by 3 days in the office and two remotely from home. Plus almost a decade as an online adjunct instructor for a state wide community college system along with my 'day job'. And I still had to make adjustments in my dedicated home office set up to accommodate full time remote work and providing virtual classroom experiences. I brought home a second monitor and added a second standing desk to my layout. Now my IT work is on one desk and my college and personal work are on another. So if this is a new experience for you, keep the faith! It is a new day for most of us.
So far, so good. Our employees have the opportunity to work from home one day a week, so most of us had done it before and it wasn't terribly difficult to make the transition. I do have direct reports, and the hardest part for some of them was giving up the ability to print. I like to think we are a "green" company, but you don't realize how much you like paper until it's not there. Still, things are going well and nothing crazy has happened on any of my google hangouts. But, a few months ago I donated blood on my lunch hour and went directly to a hangout meeting with someone in another state. A few minutes into our chat, I passed out on my desk right in front of her. My office door was closed, and she was frantically trying to call people in my building - and they were all out to lunch! I gave her a good scare, but we laugh about it now. I'm not sure I can top that in my work-from-home situation. lol.
I have worked from home for many years on and off. As a graphic designer/illustrator, I loved getting info from recent grads on how to quickly upgrade my Adobe Suite knowledge. When at home on my own, I relied on Youtube and Mac info. When viruses descended on me, I called the it guy at work but at home discovered I could call the local Genius Bar and would be walked through the problem. As for daily work habits, it was always best to schedule the day with a few breaks to walk the dogs, have lunch,etc, otherwise I would find myself burning the midnight oil. I’ll always remember getting faxes from China in the middle of the night. Ah, the turmoil of, “Should I get up and see what they want, or turn over and go back to sleep?” I would invariably get up because I could go back to sleep if I knew what the next day would bring. At home now it’s great to go for walks in the middle of the day, teach water aerobics and have time to finish an illustration too! Working from home can be the best if both worlds but requires discipline, along with staying away from that tall stainless steel piece if furniture in the kitchen. I do call friends, catch up with other former teammates. I do miss walking with them at lunchtime but plan to telewalk with some of them soon.
I work from home all the time. The challenge now is dealing with (shutting down?) the frequent interruptions from my daughter and my spouse. Closing the door to my office helps but then I really feel isolated!
PS: I once spilled my TEA on my laptop too. I immediately turned it to stand on it's side, then I took tiny pieces of absorbent paper towels and slid them under the keys and pressed down. It took me about an hour but it worked. The laptop is fine and now I never have a drink on my desk without a lid. (I recommend a travel Contigo mug.) Thanks for the laugh!
I've been fortunate to have roles for the past 20 years at a tech company where I have had some travel but, always being home based. For me, I have always been kind of old school and having a dedicated space for my 'office' helps me get in the mindset' going to the 'office'. More importantly, it helps me 'leave the office' and not just work constantly. I also ensure I take a shower to start the day just as if I had to go to the office. Again, helps kickstart my mindset for the day. I also try incredibly hard to keep calls from being scheduled back to back which gives me time to go outside and take a breath periodically. astly, trying to corral calls within my time zone (pacific) reminding people that I don't really want to be on a 6am pacific call anymore than someone from the east wants to be on a Friday call at 5:30pm pacific :-)
I have worked from home for 9+ years when not traveling for work. Now that my traveling has been put on hold, I am working from home full time. It is amusing to hear the embarrassing stories people have told about working from home. They have all happened to me several times over the years and many are now considered normal and expected by my co-workers! I am single and live alone, so I fear I will get depressed being stuck inside alone, if this last more than 4-6 weeks!