Two Weeks In – Sheltering In Place
March 31, 2020
As this is being written, most citizens in Bay Area counties are now entering the third full week of sheltering at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a Bay Area resident and much like everyone else around the country under similar orders, I am beginning to feel a bit cooped up at home.
But I am used to maintaining a full schedule as a “teleworker,” given that our team has functioned successfully as a virtual PR agency since Bospar’s founding in 2015. Fortunately, during the current coronavirus outbreak the quality of our account service has remained unchanged.
We chose to have our team work remotely because we believe that the virtual office model provides a number of benefits, including eliminating commutes and providing employees with more time and space to concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand. In addition, our model enables us to recruit employees from anywhere in the U.S.
For PR professionals, particularly those who are writers like me, the peace and quiet at home are simply mandatory when it comes to creating content. Open offices are constant sources of distraction, and Bospar has been critical of open office plans for a long while. We even have survey data that shows people really, really don’t like them.
However, despite all of its benefits – including being supportive of today’s urgent need for physical distancing – working from home can create extra stress, particularly right now when everyone in the family is stuck at home together. That is more togetherness than most parents, children and siblings can handle.
The New York Times put together this excellent explainer about addressing the first hurdle of telecommuting, which is managing one’s technology setup. And Vox provides some helpful tips for parents who are dealing with the dual challenges of work and home-schooling their kids at the same time. That sometimes includes juggling work conference calls and distance-learning sessions that are happening simultaneously! Taking regular breaks and making sure the TV is off are best practices from my view, and I am sure that everyone reading this has their own tips and tricks to make the day more productive.
Based on what we’ve learned recently, the coronavirus shutdown could perhaps last well into the summer. And, fortunately, knowing that we’re in it for the long haul, people all over are handling it with grace and creativity. For example, a local restaurant and pub, Norm’s Place, recently gave each takeout customer (like me) a free roll of toilet paper with every order. It provided that with this message: “Remember that Norm’s always has your back!”
That’s the kind of good humor and kindness that will see us through this crisis.