Comfort and Chaos of Working From Home

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Working 9-5? Well, not exactly. Most of us have transitioned to working from home during COVID-19 and the stay-at-home life we’re living right now. But for some, it’s more like working 5-8am (before the kids get up), 1-3pm (naptime) and then 8-11pm (when the kiddos are off to bed). We’re getting our hours in nonetheless—taking conference calls with shouting kids or barking dogs in the background, but also getting notes like this on our desk that we would never get while in the office. 

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Note 1 A
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Yes, that is an autographed Bea Arthur picture in a frame on my desk at home, as well, but I digress. 

Working from home is what many of us are talking about during these coronavirus times—well, besides the virus itself, of course. On average, there are 730 #WFH (work-from-home) tweets per hour, equaling more than 17,000 per day. 

This is a time unlike any we’ve experienced, and while it’s very scary, there are a lot of positives, as well. I asked peers on LinkedIn to share their #WFH stories—and the peek inside how their daily lives have changed couldn’t help but put a smile on my face. 

Jennifer Robinson, director of marketing at Waste Harmonics, is getting assistance from her cat to keep her kids in line while she—and they—work.

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Our furry friends are a staple in many home offices. Marisa Iacobelli, an outside sales representative, has a new assistant!

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New helpers are making working remotely easier for Trillium Health Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lisa Thompson. And these four-legged friends aren’t asking for promotions or raises for their good deeds—just a good walk and some tasty treats!

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And in what other situation would we let our colleagues (aside from IT, of course) take over our computer? Works out just fine now, especially for Kristin Wright, senior communications manager at The Arc of the United States. 

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Have a big second monitor at your workplace that you were able to bring home—or maybe miss because it’s still at the office? Then you can either relate to or be jealous of Born Collective Designer Maria Posato. 

We were encouraged to take anything we could from our offices. So I took home not only my laptop, but my second monitor, extra keyboard and mouse. I lugged up an old desk from the basement and currently have everything set up in the family room next to a big window and surround-sound speakers to jam to some music. ☺️”

Jamming to music. Creating makeshift office environments. Lydia Palmer, senior director of marketing and communications at RIT, has built a home office for not just herself, but for her son, who is a college student. He took over her office and she’s able to use her nephew’s desk, chair and giant RIT monitors that wouldn’t fit in his VW Golf when he drove out to Silicon Valley for his job last year. Resourceful!

Palmer

And nothing can replace all of the love parents are receiving throughout the workday—hugs like the ones Lori Field (associate executive director of the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester) and Cara Lemieux (director of communications and content at Phase 2) are receiving daily.

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We also get a front-row seat to see our kids’ talents on display!

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And what’s working from home without a little sibling rivalry to contend with?

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This is something we will never forget. And during this time, as we worry about the health and safety of our loved ones and ourselves, it’s comforting to be around the ones we love throughout our workday. No matter how chaotic it might be. 

And when things go back to normal, I hope work-from-home policies will become even more commonplace. According to GetApp, the number of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. At least 99% of people would choose to work remotely, at least part-time, if they could (Buffer). And even 46% of C-suite members work remotely at least part-time (Owl Labs).

The 9-5 workday has been gone for a while now—we’re always on,” always available.” Let’s make the shift. It could be for just one day per week. We do have to prepare ourselves for one thing when this is over, though: We’re going to miss our two- and four-legged friends who have comforted us with such love, fun and support. 

 Oh,  Dear. 

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