One day we're all working hard at our desk in the office and the next a pandemic turns the world turns upside down and many business owners and their employees move operations to their homes.
While our pets are definitely happy that we're spending more time with them, there are plenty of challenges of working from home too. From kids running around and making it harder to concentrate to the full fridge, just a few steps away. One of the problems people have been running into is actually finding space to perform their duties. Not everyone has a separate room which they can transform into a home office. Some studio dwellers don't even have a place to sit. So they improvise.
Twitter user Jules Forrest recently shared a pic of her own setup: she moved a chair into the hallway and made a desk out of her clothes hamper. Thinking she can't be the only one, Jules asked if someone else also wanted to respond with an image of their own 'unglamorous' home workspace. Immediately, creative solutions started pouring in.
More info: Twitter
Image credits: julesforrest
Google. Microsoft. Twitter. Hitachi. Apple. Amazon. Chevron. Salesforce. Spotify. From the US and the UK to Japan and South Korea, in the past days, global companies have rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of COVID-19. Not to mention all the medium and small size organizations. Many employees are working from home for the first time, which means figuring out how to stay productive in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity.
Communication is key. “Have really clear-set expectations for communications day to day,” Barbara Larson, a professor of management at Northeastern University in Boston who studies remote working told the BBC. “Ask [your manager] if they don’t mind having a 10-minute call to kick off the day and wrap up the day. Often times, managers just haven’t thought of it.”
Most people spend their workdays in close proximity to their boss, meaning communication is easy and effortless. But that's not the case now, so a communication breakdown is expected. However, don't forget that your manager might not be used to managing people virtually, too.
Last year, a study of 2,500 remote workers found that loneliness was the second-most reported challenge, one that 19% of respondents struggled with. And loneliness can make people less motivated and less productive. So when you do communicate with your boss and team from home, keep it as “rich” as possible. That means face-to-face and instant. Think video calls, Skype, Zoom.
Another key part of working from home is your setup. Many of us don't have the luxury of an office room, so do what the people in the pics are doing. Try as hard as you can to create an ad hoc, bespoke space exclusively for work. “Not having a well-equipped home office space when [people] begin remote working can cause a temporary decrease in productivity,” said Sara Sutton, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, a remote job listing site. “The very best remote workers will reach out to coworkers and managers regularly” through a variety of tools. She says double monitors and a wireless keyboard and mouse make her more productive at home.
Twitter user @twiztwit is one of the people who uploaded a pic of their setup to Forrest's thread. "I am a technology platform architect," they told Bored Panda. "I rarely worked from home before my employer mandated it 2 weeks ago. I simply prefer going someplace else for work."
When it was time to take their work home, twiztwit's husband scrounged a piece of shelving from his shop. "He beveled the edges to save my hands and wrists. The shelf sits on top of the treadmill 'arms' which are thankfully long enough. He set some long screws in the underside of the board on both ends to prevent the board from moving laterally." You can actually see the screw if you zoom in the photo, which was one of the most popular ones.
To twiztwit or their team, working remotely is not a new. "I work in Chicago. I have teammates in Mexico, India and Tennessee . And frankly I collaborate from my desk with people in buildings 1 to 8 blocks away. Our collaboration model shifted to mostly online several years ago." However, the challenge they and their colleagues constantly face is the same one that Barbara Larson mentioned. "You cannot replace in-person communication." So twiztwit, just like the rest of us, tires to make-do with what they have.
Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.