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Coronavirus: These are 11 things that will happen while working from home working during lockdown




Workers across the country are getting used to doing their jobs remotely.

And, on the whole, it is proving a success, with many roles previously thought suitable only for doing in offices, being adapted for our homes.

The brave new world of home working - where there's new ways of making an idiot of yourself
The brave new world of home working - where there's new ways of making an idiot of yourself

But it is still just over a week since the UK was ordered on full lockdown and so the potential for a full agenda of mishaps, conference calls of shame, and testing technology remains ever present.

Here we compile a snapshot of some of the issues workers are grappling with, and tries to celebrate some of the unique aspects of 2020 isolation working.

The tyranny of instant messenger notifications

Instant messages used to be a joy when we were in offices. They were for funnies or a private aside and sluggish email was for the important stuff. Well, isolation restrictions have thrown that on its head as people turn to speedy communication for all those essential queries.

And when you have several work and personal groups set up, the potential danger of a mis-fired message to the wrong recipient(s) is never far away.

Belle the cat makes her appearance just as her owner, senior reporter John Nurden, outlines his editorial newslist, via video conference
Belle the cat makes her appearance just as her owner, senior reporter John Nurden, outlines his editorial newslist, via video conference

Savouring hilarious moments

Wednesday, March 24, proved to be one the office's favourite day of this weird new world. Was it because all those work tasks were ticked off and deadlines were smashed? No. It was the appearance of a cat called Belle who jumped all over its owner during an editorial video conference, then proceeded to sniff the microphone.

Being an unpaid teacher

The panic of what to do when your 12-year-old daughter asks you to check her English essay at 8.30am, just before you are due to file work for your own deadline? Well there's only one way forward - manage expectations, of course.

Fortunately the message was received loud and clear and an extension was granted. For the 12-year-old.

Many are wondering just how teachers cope all day Copyright: Comstock/Thinkstock
Many are wondering just how teachers cope all day Copyright: Comstock/Thinkstock

Technology making you look a prat, part 1

Sometimes office funnies get a greater reaction because we're all separated from our colleagues. When one team member mentions on a group chat they are popping out and will be back later, that is of course the moment a message about confirming the start time of the working day, written the previous evening, decides to transfer from draft to a live message.

"Hi. Just going out. Will let you know when I'm back."

"8am is fine. Can we wear pyjamas?"

Technology making you look a prat, part 2

Not quite how you wanted to come across, remotely, to your colleagues who all seem to be managing just fine?
Not quite how you wanted to come across, remotely, to your colleagues who all seem to be managing just fine?

One former office worker writes: "I've been reduced to becoming a voyeur in video conference call because my laptop mic and camera don't seem compatible with google hangouts.

"I can see and hear everyone but I can't be seen or heard. That was until I realised I can use the text chat box at the side during the conference so I can interject the conversation with written text. I feel I've kind of gained some empathy with the likes of Stephen Hawking."

Finding your spirit animal on social media

If there's one thing this unprecedented situation has taught us it's the ingenuity and sheer hilarity of some of the memes out there today.

And it's surely good to have a laugh, however brief, at the situation from time-to-time.

What is this you ask? Well, its a must-watch tutorial on how to make bagpipes using recorders and carrier bags, uploaded on YouTube by wasabi32746
What is this you ask? Well, its a must-watch tutorial on how to make bagpipes using recorders and carrier bags, uploaded on YouTube by wasabi32746

The volume of posts and shares mean there is usually something we identify with.

There's simply too many to mention, but some of the stand-out ones include the barrister who warned her children while working: "The thing you see inside this room is not your mother."

Another team member celebrates people who just have 'all that time on their hands' to make bagpipes out of recorders and carrier bags, adding: "It's good to see human ingenuity and spirit stay alive."

You feel like a criminal during your one exercise of the day

You know that feeling when you come back through customs at the airport and you know you have absolutely nothing to declare, but you walk through feeling as guilty as hell, waiting for an official tap on the shoulder.

A friendly welcome on our one escape, sorry exercise, of the day
A friendly welcome on our one escape, sorry exercise, of the day

Well just substitute the airport location for the streets of Kent to get a sense of the emotions around taking a daily stroll.

Realising everyone has a 'type' of social distancing

"While out walking in the countryside it's been interesting watching the varying degrees people will go to in order to stick with the two metres distance rule. One couple I met on a narrow path backed off into a hedge a'la Homer Simpson in that gif.

"Others are embarrassed by the whole thing and try to look like they're not swerving you, and end up losing their ability to walk properly.

"The most extreme was a mum and grown up son, who waited at the corner of a field while I walked towards them from about 200 metres away on the path down the side of the field - the path's about two-three metres wide but I guess they couldn't risk a pass.

"When I reached them I was so tempted to start stumbling towards them with my arms stretched out in front of me like a coronavirus zombie."

Wondering if anyone else's children are still being homeschooled every day

Based on how Monday, March 23, played out many parents had thought they had cracked homeschooling. There was the first Joe Wicks PE class, plus school homework packs to crack open and the internet was awash with resources. Fast forward a week and this is what two parents had to say.

"The same children who were sitting, alert and at the table last week are now complaining about being asked to read a book."

Another summed it up as: "They've gone feral."

Housework suddenly becomes more interesting

So you have several work projects to be getting on with, plus a few things you can do quickly and check off the list. But, there's also the chance to actually see the bottom of the laundry basket - last witnessed somewhere around 2016. Or you could potentially fully empty the dishwasher straight away and not just help yourself to plates from the rack. Oh go'on, then..When another instant message 'pings' into life and you're doing battle with a washing airer, you can just claim you were on another conference call.

Starting to predict the aftermath

Lockdown didn't seem too bad when hair and beauty salons were still open. Sure, you didn't need a hair trim or dye job, right that minute, but it would be ok, because it would somehow just get sorted. Fast forward a few weeks and the nation's office workers will be slugging it out to be first to create a change.org petition calling for an extra UK bank holiday so we can get down to a salon and sort ourselves out before returning to our usual bases.

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