Making working-from-home work

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“Working from home” used to be something you did on occasion so you could be around when the cable guy showed up, or there was no one to drive your kid to soccer practice. But with our world turned upside-down and inside-out, WFH is no longer an occasional departure from the norm. It is the norm.

At Carpenter Group, we switched to a WFH model on March 10. It’s taken some adjusting, to be sure. We spread out at kitchen tables, in basements and closed-in porches, on living room rugs and in-home offices, focusing on our screens and conducting Zoom calls to the background music of barking dogs, squabbling toddlers and jackhammer jockeys.

But there are workarounds that make working-from-home work. Ear plugs and noise-cancelling headphones help. There’s nothing like cranking up Led Zepellin or Mahler to block out the cacophony of home life.

The contrasts between home and office are inescapable, of course. We work in sweatpants, shave infrequently, eat too much. With our days no longer bracketed by our commute, work time has no set beginning or end, and week days bleed into weekends. This is a strange time, unlike any we’ve ever seen. And yet life somehow goes on, even with the world spinning off its axis. Jobs get done, deadlines are met. In the important ways, it seems, working from home isn’t that different from working on site.

Meanwhile, we wish you and yours the best in these challenging times. Wherever you’re reading this, take care and be safe.