A lot of people began working from home when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit back in March and many have never returned to their usual work places.
Here at the Carroll County News-Leader, the office was closed for a period of time and the office manager did work from home.
However, sports editor Ron Park and myself worked from our office spaces here with the front door locked. Publisher Daniel Richardson came to work here as well. Our offices have petitions between them so social distancing was not a problem.
At our sister newspaper, The Camden Chronicle, two of the graphic artists, and another artist who works for The Funky Banana there, began working from home. They have chosen to still work from their place of abode.
Here at the News-Leader, it’s back to normal as our office manager is here where she takes care of business.
There are advantages to working at home as well as some drawbacks.
As for me, I had rather work from the newspaper office. It puts me more in the mood for doing my work at hand. At home, where I work mostly from my dining room table on a laptop, there are too many things that I see that needs to be done on the home front. That in itself, distracts me from what I am trying to do in my newspaper job. Our home computer in the den is near the television that stays on most of the time. That certainly is a distraction. If I had a room dedicated to office space that would impact my desire to want to work from home, I feel.
At home, there are temptations like putting a load of clothes in the washer or the need to check on this, that or the other.
I once toured a new house in Jackson that had a home office in one corner of a large den. It had a couple of steps that led to the entrance. That end of the office space was glassed in which had a smoky tint where you could not see inside or out. In the center was the desk, with an extra chair, a small bookshelf, and a small table situated within the room. An ideal setup I thought as I looked it over.
You certainly have to adjust to your new environment when working from home. At home, everything is mostly quiet whereas at work, you hear the phone ringing often and voices of customers and also there’s the interaction with peers. They are right there. You don’t have to text, e-mail or call to ask a question or comment on something. I enjoy being around people.
I like to get up and get dressed into my work clothes and not sit around in pajamas all day which I would be prone to do if at home.
Of course, you save gas if you live a distance away and you don’t have travel time which is a plus.
When you work from home, you have to learn to stay focused, maintain good organizational and communication skills, and be a self motivator.
I have worked from home during snow days before.
However, I can truthfully say, as for me, I love my office at work and not at home.
Editor’s Note – Last week my column did not appear in the newspaper as a story on a meeting that I had attended would have been left out. So, I chose that article over my column. That’s only the second or third time in the last 35 years since I’ve been writing it that it has not appeared.