Well, the university where I work decided to convert all classes to online for the remainder of the semester. Students are encouraged to go home, but allowed to stay on campus. Employees were also encouraged to work from home, but I still had to go in on Monday and Tuesday. We spent large chunks of Monday and Tuesday preparing for working from home. It was kind of an adventure, equal parts exciting and scary. Well, maybe a bit more on the scary side.
But there were problems to solve, and my team was on it. We walked other coworkers through the processes of downloading, installing and connecting to a VPN. We had to work out how they would do the work that they normally do with two large monitors from a tiny laptop screen, while at home. At first, we tried to get some work-specific software installed on the laptops, but our tech support area at the university is slammed by people trying to go remote, so we got the standard answer of “use remote desktop instead of the laptop itself.” Which, to be honest, is actually a really good idea.
We just had to get all the end users comfortable with the idea. Well, that was mostly Monday’s plan. Tuesday upped the ante a bit. The decision was made to allow employees to take home their towers and monitors, if they so desired. Some of them did, others did not. I did not, because I live in a studio apartment and there’s really not enough space for another computer, let alone the two large monitors. I’m going to give it a go with my laptop for a while and maybe I’ll be able to figure out the space issue.
It’s going to be interesting doing all meetings virtually and trying to get work done with my husband in the same room. Oh, man, we’re going to have to figure out some sort of truce on the music front. I know what he likes to listen to during the day, and, for the most part, it’s not what I would want to work to. Especially because I like to sing along to songs, and since I’m not in the office, I can do that. And I’ll have to ask him to be very quiet during virtual meetings. And I’ll either have to say my conversation isn’t private or literally ask my husband to leave the house during meetings. He says he doesn’t mind, but it’s still funny to me.
I don’t know how long this situation is going to go on. I don’t know when I’m going to see the people that I’m accustomed to seeing every work day again (at least in person – virtually, we’ll be online later this morning). I feel like everything is changing so quickly, and also standing still. I have felt some moments of random panic, even though, to be honest, there’s nothing to panic about – yet. We’re taking precautions. We’re trying to be safe and responsible. But unless everyone else does the same, our efforts could be for naught.