I’m not a stranger to working from home. In the past couple years, I’ve divided my time between the newspaper office and the home office. But since the stay-at-home order came down from the governor, my job has become 100 percent work from home.
With the lifting of that order today, I expect we’ll be back working from an office setting once again in the near future – at least part of the time.
When it wasn’t mandatory, working from home could be a treat. I’d spend time in front of the computer writing or responding to emails. Maybe conducted a phone interview, then go out to take some pictures. There was variety in it, prepandemic.
When we were ordered to work from home, the job became monotonous at times. There’s a routine to it now. Up in the morning, work in front of the computer or on the phone all day, maybe cover a meeting on Zoom or some other meeting app in the evening, then call it a day. Sleep all night, repeat the next day.
I still get out occasionally – an interview or photo shoot all done while wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing – but the bulk of my work is done indoors, at home.
I have new co-workers now. There’s Anita, my girlfriend, who works with numbers. I consider her the accounting department for our home office.
There’s also our chief of security,
our dog Gunnar, who used to bide his time while I worked at home by laying on the couch in the living room on the other end of the house. Now, with both of us occupying the home office, he’s decided to spend his day with us. He doesn’t really do much from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. – sleeps a lot and then jumps up barking when he hears a noise (he has to earn his pay as security chief). I think he views his job as security, though sometimes I wonder if he thinks he’s in management…when he gives me that “look” if I decide to put the TV on while I take my lunch break.
Our days in the home office are usually uneventful. Anita’s work is all about formulas and calculations, stuff that goes over my head because I’m not so good with numbers – hence I became a writer.
Though she won’t admit it, I know she gets tired of listening to me replay interview and public meeting recordings over and over as I try to determine what the guy in the clip is saying. Sometimes I’ll even ask if she’s hearing the recording like I am: “did he just say what I think he said?”
So it has it’s ups and downs, but overall working from home hasn’t been terrible, but it does make those days I’m able to get out and interact directly with the public – even while maintaining social distancing – a nice break from what is the new normal.
Gary Gould is the managing editor of the View Newspapers. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.