Life

Coronavirus has America Thinking About Working from Home

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For a growing number of employees — at least those who have the ability to do so — working from home seems more and more a valid option.

I spent a full day at the office Tuesday without leaving my humble abode, thanks to working from home.

For many people, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that option has gone from quick meetings and planning stages to full-fledged reality. Some people in certain industries don’t have that option. They’re having to either work or use vacation time to stay home (assuming even that is an option).

Honestly, I never thought there’d come a day when I could truly work from home completely.

Yes, there have been days when I have worked from home in the past. But in those cases, I mostly just updated information or posted breaking news.

Evolving technology provided a new opportunity to take true working from home to the next level. With a multitude of software packages, I was able not only to sign in on my Mac, but actually log in to two different computers at the office (both PC) and do things I couldn’t do on the Mac alone.

Please allow me to digress for a second: Seriously, businesses need to figure out Macs. They are not a passing fad that only came out a few months back. The Mac was introduced in 1984. They’ve been around for 36 years! If your software isn’t “Mac compatible,” there’s something seriously wrong — and shortsighted — with you. Okay, rant over.

A few tips on working from home

I ran across this article on working from home and found a few points in particular helpful to keep in mind.

First, maintain regular hours: I got up at the same time I would have if I were actually going to the office. I showered, styled my hair, got dressed just as if I were headed to work.

Then I maintained a dedicated office space. I sat at the desk I set up specifically for this purpose. I didn’t want to sit back on the couch as if it were a “day off.”

It wasn’t a day off at all. I felt going through the motions of normalcy would reinforce that for me and it seemed to.

And I used a combination of FaceTime, text messages, phone calls and Microsoft Teams to communicate regularly with my colleagues. It’s difficult when you’re used to being around a team of people all day to suddenly do the work with no one physically around you.

But I remind myself that the fewer people who can be cramped into that one room at work, the safer everyone is likely to be.

It will get easier as time goes on. I don’t know how long I’ll be working from home yet. I’m hoping to be back in the office within a couple of weeks. But I learned it’s entirely possible to do about 95% of what I need to do at work from home.

That’s a bit scary and a bit exciting, too. I’ve learned some tricks I can use when I’m not having to work away from the office but that I may benefit from if an emergency requires that I log on from outside the office.

I hope you’re able to practice safe social distancing, either at home or at the office.

Are you working from home or still reporting to the workplace?

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.