The Challenges of Working Under Quarantine

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It's been nearly two months since the Redgate Software offices closed. I am not normally in the office, but I did cancel a trip that I normally would have taken to touch base with a number of teams. That's a minor change for me, but a still a change. It's much less than the disruption that most other people have had to deal with, and by now, I expect many people have somewhat adapted to working at home.

Working at home under this pandemic isn't the same as working remotely. This has been forced upon us, and I agree with Scott Hanselman. Like me, he's worked remotely for years, and this is different. We have kids, partners, roommates, and others around. We can't easily change our scenery or engage in some of our usual activities. This is stressful, overwhelming, upsetting, disconcerting, and more.

Some of you might have accepted this and are learning to work in a new way. Some are coping, but expecting to go back to normal at some point. Some of us are getting much less work done, which adds another level of stress. Performance reviews, and the inevitable comparison with others will weigh on our minds. Whether we go back to normal soon or not, companies will add and remove staff. There are new projects to tackle, raises to award, and all the regular work of running a company.

This is a difficult time for all, and most of us are experiencing life in our own unique ways. Our view of the world, of coping and getting our daily work done is much different than our co-workers. Even if we appear to be the same people, we aren't. We may react differently day to day, and there may not be a good explanation for our behavior.

This is not the same as remote work, and I hope managers understand that. It is important that we all appreciate that our view of any big or little thing at work is not necessarily the same way others view the same action. A daily standup meeting might seem like a little thing to you, but perhaps it's exam day for someone else's child and they can't focus, or maybe not even attend.

Be kind, be more flexible, and be more understanding. You never know what someone else might be dealing with in their life today.

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