Working From Home

Collaboration and Communication

Work presented us with a whole new litany of issues. From working with new technology, slow internet connections, or even our usual tasks not translating to a new environment, and yet throughout the struggles, many also found it refreshing.


L.            Oct.25.2020

This month, I started working from home at a part-time job I had previously done in an office. The job entails working with a team and I had to learn how to use my tablet with google teams. I also need to use my desktop at the same time for another program. It was difficult as I am not very technically advanced, but it worked out better than I imagined. It felt great to contribute again and have something to focus on rather than covid 19. However, I miss the social aspect of seeing people in person and chatting.

D.         Oct.16.2020

I love working from home. I find myself so much more productive and less burnt out

S.         Jun.26.2020

I acknowledge that I am lucky, as I can work from home and can afford food. I am now sharing my home with family members who left an area of the state that was a hotspot. I am putting fewer miles on my car, working longer hours and have learned how to wash my hands properly and won't leave home without my mask.

Having four people work remotely within the frame of my home is challenging. There are issues with bandwidth, privacy and suitable desks and chairs.

G.         May.31.2020

About March 1, we were beginning to hear more about the virus and were starting to clean our office space more. I had someone unwillingly come into my office and loudly coughed all over the office in an attempt to be asked to leave. At this point, I knew life was changing.

I never thought my work could or would be able to be done from home. One day we heard it was being considered. By that afternoon we were asked to create an emergency work from home plan and were told not to come back until told. I have been working from home and staying at home. 

At first, I felt odd and uncertain how to proceed to work from home. I felt guilty if I wasn't working every moment. I have now begun to love being at home. I feel more rested. I have had more time to cook. I feel my body has gone through preservative withdrawal. I never took a break at work. Working from home I can take a break and walk my dog. I have not been very worried about catching the virus while never leaving home. 

My job has changed to begin helping with unemployment. The unemployment in NY went crazy and the program was not ready for anything of this magnitude. I was a tiny piece in helping people through the process. I believe I helped many people feel listened to and helped

My cell phone was too old to do work from home. I ended up getting a new one fairly early on. I also did not have Microsoft products installed so it was not possible to edit my work documents. The Internet has been a complication for many. It has been a goal of my boss to get hot spots created for people to have internet access. I have learned about zoo

K.          Jul.8.2020

March 17. The last day I went into work at my office in the local YMCA. From then until today, I’ve been working from home. 

I’m working from home instead of working at my office. 

I’m very concerned about my job. Gyms are still not allowed to be open per the Governor, and I’m stressed about the future of the Y. 

I actually love it [working from home] and would enjoy it more if I felt that the Y would be ok long term. We cannot open the building yet. The challenges are financial sustainability.


The Balancing Act

Working from home created new problems that arose when our private lives collided with our work lives. With our living environments repurposed as both work and personal spaces, we tried to balance the needs of both while still keeping them separate. Having our employment and personal lives intertwine allowed some to reflect on the relationship between the two.

J.          Jun.9.2020

mid-March [2020], and have a much better understanding of my own workflow and where I can and can't focus.

Some days I have a really hard time getting anything done. I just stare into space, trying to get started working and unable to. I try to be creative to relieve stress, and some stuff works; I host a podcast, and that's been a good project. 

I am an essential employee. I am a digital reporter for a news station. I was already working outside the main office, as the main reporter for Warren and Washington counties, so exposure to coworkers was not an issue to begin with. At home, I am trying to be diligent with things like hand sanitizer and washing everything extra regularly.

Focus is harder at home. I like some things, like being able to make lunch in my own kitchen, but working in the same space I live makes it harder to focus in on work, and also hard to just exist while not working at times. I like having separate spaces for work and personal life.

M.          Oct.21.2020

Yes-internet issues at times. At times it is hard to get motivated for work when you are in your home environment. In the beginning, work didn't shut off so learning to balance that while in the same location.

C.          May.21.2020

The big change for me has been to have time to reflect on my career and how much time I devote to it rather than family.

It has been difficult to separate home and work life while being at home. I find that I have to carve out certain times of day to get my work completed or else I put it off. I now know what I've always suspected; I am a night owl. I get most of my business done during the late hours.

The possibility of the world reopening very soon has certainly increased my stress level, mostly because I have my staff members' lives in my hands for the first time really.

G.          Jun.25.2020

Life currently consists of working, sleeping, eating, exercise, and bathing. It’s extremely stripped down to only the basics and necessities. Luckily, I am still able to work from home, and I live alone, so a large portion of my day both at home is unchanged. Working remotely, I am still completing the same tasks but miss begin able to talk to people face to face, despite being able to complete the work over the phone if needed. 

I was designated as an essential employee but I could work from home using a notebook computer. Since I could work from home, I took great care to make sure that I washed my hands for 20 seconds under hot water every time I entered my home without touching anything else, and to be careful handling anything that was from the outside. At my workplace, some staff are required to report on site. The company instituted an entryway with temperature checks, facemask requirements, social distancing, enhanced cleaning of bathrooms and common areas, closure of some office spaces for employees who are now working at home.

Working from home has always been a mental challenge for me. There are too many distractions. I use spaces to segregate activities: the workplace is for work; the home is for home activities. I’ve managed to find a space that I can focus on work in my home. Another challenge sometimes comes from other people working at home as they are not able to find a quiet space when on a work call. And finally, while some could consider that it is easy to slack off while the boss isn’t looking, the value that someone brings to the company needs to be evident over the work completed now more than ever. There is a small amount of anxiety to work even harder to make sure I am noticed and that I am not seen as taking advantage of not working while at home, but I am actually working hard just in my home. Working from home also comes with perks. Since I can make my own coffee, I’ve begun experimenting and trying new coffees and methods of brewing. It’s much better than the office coffee and I think I’ve found a new interest that will last long beyond the pandemic.

J.          Sept.21.2020

My wife has been great company as she was sent home from work at the same time and called back in shortly after. She is a dental hygienist and that profession is not safe and not sure if it ever will be again. That is probably our biggest source of anxiety.

Our office splits time with half the staff able to go in the morning and the other half afternoon. I have the morning shift. We are on the road selling but most clients really don't want us in their stores.

My wife collected unemployment for 11 weeks. My office never closed so I continued to get paid but being a salesperson who works on 100% commission it has been a lot less.

Zoom calls/e-mail/text and phone have taken the place of in-person sales calls. The changes have made me move up my retirement timeline. I am now targeting the end of this year. Work is no fun anymore and there is a lot less money to be made.

New Family Dynamics

Not only were we balancing our professional and personal lives but many of us were now spending all of our personal and professional time with everyone in the house. This included spouses, significant others, children, family members returning home, and even our pets had to learn to adjust.

Gone were the days of heading out the door to work and school. Now the household held virtual meetings, breakfast, virtual schooling, lunch, private calls, dinner, evening entertainment.

Everything became intimate.

D.          May.21.2020

Difficult sometimes to get my own work done and help them [kids] navigate their schedules and workloads. But I love the extra time with them.

I am hoping more people will telecommute, which will help the environment.

G.          Jul.6.2020

I work from home and all the kids are home.

We now work from home in a very small space. We sell online still and at farmers’ markets as they are considered essential. Consumers can pick up at our home too, zero contact from our porch. We do not feel safe or comfortable reopening yet.

I am also a home health aide. I clean a lot more at home I have gotten rid of many curtains for example to keep the house more sterile. I am always disinfecting at work.

We have limited space to work in. I have to be available for both my business and my family's needs 24/7. My mom is now very ill which has been the hardest thing.

Working From Home