With this COVID-19 epidemic continuing to hang around, how many of us have found ourselves binging on something instead of working? To work from home or not to work from home is the question? With pros and cons looming overhead, can you decide what is ideal for you and your family? Central Florida is home to so many theme parks that it is nearly impossible to find home business opportunities for those currently out of work amidst COVID-19.
Do you find yourself distracted?
Eating or exercising?
Eating and drinking are probably the primary sources of binging that is going on during COVID-19. It’s tough to stay in one place all day and not need something to do with your hands. Are you smoking more? Going to grocery stores is allowed, so we go. And we buy food and then we eat and eat. On the opposite spectrum, there are many commercials out there that indicate people are exercising and developing their own home gyms routines because they can’t get out. Do you think people are binging on exercise? It is quite possible since bicycles have been flying out of stores. More walks with the kids and pets? How do you find solutions to exercising when all the public parks are closed?
Binge shopping may have some restraints with people because UPS and AMAZON have been cutting back delivery services and keeping it geared toward essential items. However, USPS is still delivering mail on schedule so there are shipping methods still in full swing. Binge shopping is definitely a concern since people are confined to their homes and can not spend the day browsing retail stores or malls. Home Shopping Channels are more prominent as well as the advertising that supports those channels. Are you sleeping less because the TV is always on? Has your electric bill increased?
Watching entire seasons of shows you didn’t have time to watch throughout the year is now seemingly the norm. Cooking shows and virtually engaging activities are also becoming more popular. Apps that cost money just to participate are new ways to grow your business. So where do we find time to work with so many distractions around our house? Are your dogs barking incessantly and your human partners whining or loving you more? Do you find yourself barefoot and in the kitchen? Should you go back to the office after the confinement has been lifted? What are your benefits to working from home? Can you honestly say that you have gotten more work done from your home office than you do when actually in the office?
Roughly 21.5 million Americans live in Florida. 1.5 million have filed a claim for unemployment, according to this news report dated April 20th, 2020. Those numbers don’t seem outrageous, right? According to the Census, 20 percent of Florida’s population is over 65. But as we can see with our own eyes, that doesn’t mean the older population stays retired. It is hard to live on a social security paycheck these days. Currently, zero crowds are allowed. What will we do when restrictions are lifted? Is there a feeling of uneasiness, like when you just aren’t sure about what to do or which way to turn?
There are millions of people sitting at home just waiting for some sort of permissible freedoms that we took for granted. How many of the Floridian millions are introverts? The introverts can typically find comfort being in one place for long periods of time. They feel more secure and confident in what they do on a daily basis. Introverts are usually happy to work from home in front of a video screen, using Microsoft teams or zoom. For the extrovert, more stress is being placed on their emotions because they need physical social engagement to remain calm. Extroverts are not used to being isolated and may even find depressive anxieties kicking in.
Are you working?
So are you really working? Or do distractions kick in? For those of us not having a place to really set up a home office, it is quite easy to get sidetracked. Do you now have to help with homework because your kids are also home from school? Does your pool call out to you when the sun is shining? For those workers that require a creative mind and problem solving, how do you stay focused? I know that I find it very difficult to stay focused at home. With family staying home too, the TV’s are always running, computers going, things you didn’t notice before are now becoming annoying. More dishes in the sink, higher grocery and utility bills are distracting issues that take away from your focus on work.
Working from my office where there are no distractions, is more conducive to being productive. So far for me, a couple of garden boxes have been built, weeds have NOT been ignored, new trees have been planted and dogs are happier with more playtime. Putting in a new pool liner is next on the list. I do get up early in the morning before the house wakes and the sun rises to focus on my heavier work necessities. Building a web page and taking education classes require quiet times or closed office space to focus. Taking calls from other agents or customers also needs some personal space to hear and communicate properly.
Pros and cons
There are pros and cons to everyone’s job. The fact that some still have a job is a Blessing for sure. Having to uproot and bring computers home, employ video equipment, and necessary measures that will sustain the job itself can become more complicated when trying to find a room in the house to set up in. It is fun to see the news media anchors including their pets and home environments which allow them to become more personable to the watchers. These adjustments to our working environments and new techniques that teach us how to become creative in our actions and thinking are necessary to get through this COVID-19 epidemic.
However, some companies have not been able to sustain the impact of this virus and are still searching for help through unemployment, the SBA, or even city and state grants and donations. With unemployment at an all-time high in the United States, many stress-related medical issues are on the rise. Working from home can bring some unforeseen emotional issues. PTSD is being discussed on local news channels and their effects on being confined for long periods of time. My sister lives in New Jersey and she just told me the governor has added another month to the stay at home plan. June 5th seems like an eternity and even then, the millions in New Jersey may not be able to move about more freely.
Lifeline to connections
Working from home depletes the interactive connection that humans have evolved around. Whether you need that social or emotional connection depends on your personality. But millions of us need some form of interaction that will provide a lifeline to our stability. With digital navigation and equipment providing most of our facetime, it is hard to feel the excitement or be able to truly interpret what one’s words are actually saying. Hiding behind our masks makes it difficult to see that smile, frown, or discomfort from our interactions. Is working from home for a couple of months taking away your hope for a better tomorrow?
This COVID -19 epidemic is hard for me because I have two daughters that are nurses and I can’t even give them a comforting hug to say thank you for fear of picking up the virus from patients they have been working with on a daily basis. So far, my prayers have been answered and they, themselves are virus-free. The lifeline to human connection is highly important for our cognitive reasoning. Being close enough to touch another human is somehow more comforting to your emotional well being.
I will be discussing the risks involved with moving a business to the home front and what employees need in part 2 of Working from Home in Central Florida.