Written/Videos by Markus October 2020
At my workplace, we work from home. In my country, the Coronavirus, Covid-19, is getting out of control and restrictions are getting more strict by the week.
This results in companies making working from home not a choice, but an obligation. Even if I wanted, I’m simply not allowed to come to office.
In the beginning, everybody was happy, as working from home means not having to commute, no traffic jams, not having to dress up and more freedom. But as months have passed, satisfaction is dropping.
According to research done by the University of Amsterdam, satisfaction is related to having a choice. If you can choose to work from home, you’re happy. But if you’re told to stay home, you’re not. And this is expressing itself by more and more people getting health problems.
Also, productivity is going down again compared to a strong rise at the start of the “working from home” situation. The biggest challenge is, so they state, managing distractions. At the beginning, everybody understood that though working from home, you’re still working and are to be left alone by those in your household. But as time progressed, these borders are fading.
And the biggest factor in this are young children. They simply do not understand that focusing on work is very important and do not see the difference between you watching TV and you watching your laptop.
At my work, every department was asked to share how they manage working from home and moreover, how they manage distractions. How do they create a stable home work environment? These presentations are then to be shared with the other departments.
So with this task, every department made PowerPoint presentations, telling how they have setup their home office, how they make clear to others in the household what is work and what is fun, how they structure their life from home and so on.
I had a different idea. I over emphasized the statement in the university’s research that in my opinion was to be summarized as “children make working from home difficult”. My opinion of not agreeing on this, had me inflate that statement and thought of a way on how to point this out and pull it into the realm of sarcasm.
So when everybody was done, reading out the boring bullets on their PowerPoint slides, it was finally my turn. When the camera turned on, there was no PowerPoint. It was just me and I said: “The university states that it’s all about managing distractions and most often our distractions are generated by children. Now I of course understand, that you are all asking yourself….Children?…..Children?.....but what about cows!”
And I showed them the video that I made.