Diverse Client Reactions about Working from Home

Week #2 of Isolation

With clients working from home, few corporate emails are being returned and undoubtedly this is not the best time to get a decision-maker’s ear and introduce “services.”

I am aware of feeling shut-in and too silent and decide to make a few calls. Calls by phone. Calls to client cellphones. Calls being picked up and positively responded to! Before this pandemic, I’d probably “connect” by email or social media. Now, without face-to-face meetings, voice is the next best thing. To me, voice feels more intimate than writing.

When Hurricane Sandy left cities without power for days, weeks and months, the burning question I asked (to just about everyone) was: What did you miss the most?
Was it having heat, light, cooking, the internet, technology? Now with this global pandemic, my question is more present: What are you missing most?

I decided to contact some of my colleagues and long-term clients to get perspective.
Here are some of their responses:

  1. Actually, personally, it’s not much of an inconvenience. I have a small team and we’re moving things forward.  We’re pretty agile and remote business is nothing new to us.  I also like not driving at 5:30 AM to beat the traffic to get to my workplace by 8:30 AM.

Corporate VP/Team Leader/Pharmaceutical

  1. I have a pretty robust set up in my home…many screens, so working from home is not a problem. However, we’re now using a new platform that requires us to be seen, not just heard. I’m busy learning these new business tools.  I miss my lunch break with colleagues, though, where we collectively had social down time.

                                                                                             Senior Director, Clinical Research

  1. I’m missing being in the same space as others. Though I generally focus on my own personal goals when I go to a dance, yoga or exercise class, the absence of classes (and hence people) heightens the isolation for me.  So many social “positives” are cancelled:  reunions, theater, concerts, networking groups. Now I not only see the loss of my routines, but the absence of a community environment as a backdrop.

                                                                                               Entrepreneur -Consultant, Coach, Trainer

  1. I’m doing lots more virtual therapy /coaching sessions than ever before. Though I’ve always had some, now the scale is tipped in the Zoom/Skype/Microsoft Teams direction and I miss the balance of working with people “live.”    Some people think it’s no different; but for me as an intuitive therapist, there’s greater value working with someone I can see and sense more completely. I’m more “drained” from back to back virtual sessions than I would be from face-to-face ones.

                                                                                              Psychologist and Executive Coach

  1. The warehouse is CRAZY! International and domestic shipments are delayed or totally stopped. I have too many workers without work to give them one day and then the restrictions are lifted and I have to scurry to find workers to manage the deliveries, two days later.  It’s very stressful.

                                                                                            Warehouse Manager, Sales Distribution

  1. It’s nice to be home and have more time with my kids, but I still have work tasks to do. I have to home-school or at least keep the kids from freaking out or being bored, and I feel work-compromised and trapped.  I miss the calm of my workplace atmosphere and my role as an non-profit leader.

                                                                                                         Director, Non-profit

  1. As a Learning & Development professional, a major part of my job right now is helping employees who have not typically worked remotely, become comfortable with virtual resources. It’s not just to engage in platforms that support virtual meetings, but also to provide resources that support a growth mindset and positive outlook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Learning & Development HR

Though we have been given the same work order restriction, different personalities and occupations have easier or more difficult responses. For me, I turned a corner from feeling chained and imprisoned (perhaps an extreme reaction) to feeling a sense of newness and creativity. Spring helps! Nature nourishes. Working towards the creative while staying safe and optimistic. And you?