What It Felt Like to Work in-Office During The Pandemic
No matter where you live in the United States, March 2020 means something to you. In Texas, this is the time that we were ordered to a statewide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools shut down, workers went home, and social activities were put on hold indefinitely.
The only people who continued to work in person were “the essentials”; the people absolutely necessary to provide food, utilities, and medical care.
At least, that was the case in most places.
When Texas went into lockdown, I worked for an essential business, but I was not an essential worker. I was a marketer with no impact on the company’s ability to operate. So when the lockdown went into effect, I thought, “Surely our boss will encourage us to work from home.”
Instead, despite all expert recommendations, my boss preferred that we come into the office every day because:
- If we were in the office, it would be easier for him to “pop in” and pull someone out for an unscheduled meeting.
- He didn’t want to keep track of who was in the office and at home each day.
- Using video calls for meetings was less convenient than meeting in person.
- It was easier for him to manage us if we all worked from the office during lockdown.
Our Chief Technology Officer preferred that we risk our health because he felt it was too inconvenient to manage a small team through video technology.
Let that sink in for a second.
Working in the office for over a year during a global health crisis caused a rollercoaster of emotions. Here’s everything that I felt during that time.
I felt confused
At the time, it seemed like every other company allowed their non-essential employees to work remotely. Why didn’t we follow suit?
Almost everyone on our team worked from home at some point, including our boss. If we had a doctor’s appointment or needed to be home for the repair person, we could work remotely with no issues. It was part of our team culture.