When social distancing is the best practice due to the coronavirus, many people are creating makeshift workspaces in their homes so they can continue to work without being around a lot of people.
R.J. Post, a copywriter and digital content creator for Idea Bank Marketing in Hastings, said one way he is easing the transition from working in an office to working at home is by keeping the same routine.
“I’m getting up at the same time, I’m getting dressed as if I’m going to work and I’m starting and ending my work day at the same time,” Post said.
He said his job translates easily because, as a writer, he can use any computer that has Microsoft Word because he doesn’t need the RAM space or specialized software other jobs may require.
Post said his family has been very accommodating to the situation, so he isn’t easily being distracted at home.
Jessica Hendricks, executive director for Leadership Tomorrow, said now that she is working from home, a big challenge is time management, especially because she has children ages 6 months and 2½ years at home.
“I work when the little ones are asleep,” Hendricks said.
She said working from home isn’t as easy for all parents because some have school-age children they are trying to homeschool while trying to balance work as well.
Mike Bockoven, marketing director at Stuhr Museum, said his family helped convert a room in his house to a home office for him.
Bockoven said COVID-19 has changed his job significantly because he and his co-workers had to figure out how to take their mission to the people.
“We would normally do art shows or display artifacts, but those options are gone right now,” he said.
Bockoven said his staff has worked hard to communicate and adapt to the changes, which meant developing a larger digital presence to get the message out.
“The new things we are doing will definitely carry over when we are back in the office,” he said. “People will see a different digital presence, and it will change the museum.”
Bockoven said he is grateful that his staff has been willing to adapt to the current situation.
“We may be further apart, but this has brought us closer together,” he said.
Chris Hochstetler, executive director at Stuhr Museum, is not working from home, but he is the only person in the office at the museum. So he is working in isolation, too.
“It’s quiet here, like I imagine it would be if you’re working from home,” Hochstetler said.
He said the technology at the museum was upgraded a year ago, which allowed employees to be able to work from home, so he is thankful for that.
Now, Hochstetler said, they do a lot of Zoom meetings, which works for the situation, but it doesn’t quite feel the same.
“You lose that emotion and interaction that you would normally get when you have meetings seated around a table,” he said.
One thing he has enjoyed is seeing how the wildlife has taken over where people usually are.
“It’s strange walking out into an empty hallway and then seeing a goose on the porch,” Hochstetler said, adding that it seems as if the animals are feeling free to roam the museum’s grounds.