In Pittsburgh, there is an order for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their offices and work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.The number of people infected with the virus continues to grow, and it is creating a crisis in the public health system.
Businesses have advised their employees to work from home. While some are nervous about their productivity decreasing, others see it as a way to boost their productivity while keeping themselves and their colleagues safe!
Advantages of Work from Home
Flexible Schedule: You are working on your own pace on your own time and you can take breaks whenever you want. You can even eat lunch at 10:30 am if you want to! (Just be sure to get your work done!)
Custom Environment: You can blast the volume of your favorite techno band as loud as you want (just don’t blast it at 8:30 am and make your neighbors mad) or you can listen to soft jazz on a low volume to set the tone as you catch up on emails.
What is Business Casual?: Who doesn’t love to be in sweatpants all day? You can lounge in pajamas and sweatshirts while you’re working and no one will ever know (unless you are doing web conferences – then people will definitely notice).
No Distractions: Do you find yourself getting caught up in political or social conversations during the day which distract you from your work? Does your office keep the temperature at a brisk 65 degrees and you can’t focus because you’re shivering? Do you work near a hospital and all you hear are sirens outside your window? Now you won’t have any!
More Time with Family: It’s definitely easier to spend time with loved ones with a flexible schedule – you can get your kids off the school bus or take your parents to and from their doctor’s visits.
While some people see huge advantages in working from home, there can be some disadvantages as well:
Willpower: Getting out of bed and starting your workday at 8:30 am when no one is watching…
No Routine: The schedule you had at the office will likely not match the schedule you have at home. It can be difficult trying to mirror it, especially with other distractions.
Boredom: Normally, you would meet with the gals in the break room for a 3 pm snack session and talk about last night’s Bachelor finale. You miss your work friends!
Distractions: total opposite of the above advantage – your child is home sick and you are finding time to keep up with their medicine, but you have an online webinar at the same exact time…
No second monitor: Most of us don’t have a fancy home set up (unlike many of the IT folks here at JENLOR) and you are in dire need of a second monitor. All of my tabs are essential!
Despite the numerous advantages and disadvantages of working from home, the most important thing to remember during this time is to remain positive and stay home! This crisis will pass as we all do our part.
Here are a Few Serious Work from Home Tips:
Develop benchmarks: while your schedule may not be the same, you can set benchmarks or goals for each day. Hitting the marks will keep you motivated.
Stay connected: consider a virtual 3pm visit with co-workers.
Split the difference: set up a space that is “work”. When you want to work, enter that space and focus. When you’re done with work, “commute” back to your other spaces.
Thanks to everyone who is doing their part, especially to the medical and emergency services community.