Remote Work and Vanishing Personal Time
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- This topic has 19 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by akuperma.
May 10, 2020 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1859271
With virtually everyone working remotely these days, it seems that the 8am to 6pm window that most of us had allocated to work time is getting blurred. I was always accustomed to having one or two work calls a month scheduled for 11 pm or 6 AM to accommodate colleagues/clients in in Asia or Europe but is seems that now that everyone is working at home, others assume that we are always available and accessible and the frequency of work calls outside normal hours has increased. I value my “off time ” and have increasingly pushed back against those intruding on that personal time with stuff that clearly can wait for the next “business day”. It must be even more difficult for those with young children at home and are trying to juggle their time with kids’ remote schooling and their professional responsibilities .
Hopefully, one of the first things that happens when we start returning to “normal” will be returning to a “normal’ workday and colleagues respecting the boundaries of others. Not everyone has the ability to simply say “no” and not fear for their job security and/or repercussions. same for business travel. I, for one, will probably not be comfortable getting on an airplane for business or personal travel until their is a vaccine with proven efficacy. I wonder how “understanding” employers will be once we “reopen”. .May 10, 2020 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1859282
Do not answer business calls during personal non-business time.
(Hopefully that rather simple idea will help.)May 10, 2020 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #1859328charliehallParticipant
I worked until at least 11pm every night last week except Friday when I stopped only a half hour before candlelighting. I also worked about four hours today. It is exhausting. But I am glad to have a job. So many people don’t.May 10, 2020 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1859334
Those without employment can be earning, now, $1,313 every week they’re unemployed in NJ. $713 from the state plus another $600 from the feds. In NY the maximum is $1,104 ($504+$600) each week of unemployment.
Some people are making more on unemployment today than they earned on their last job. (The $600 additional unemployment each week from the federal government is that same amount regardless of what the person previously earned.)May 11, 2020 12:10 am at 12:10 am #1859368PhilParticipant
“Do not answer business calls during personal non-business time.”
That could be very bad advice for many, Until work schedules return to “normal”, employers are expecting the employees they can still pay to be highly flexible and ultimate team players.May 11, 2020 8:58 am at 8:58 am #1859437
As most frum families have lots of little people running around, I suspect that it will be necessary to develop mini-offices with sound-proof cubicles, either in homes or perhaps as a business outside the home, to support teleworkers. The same might hold for teachers and perhaps for students. There also is the issue of bandwidth, since if one has six children each doing different programs, one needs six computers with adequate broadband.May 11, 2020 9:01 am at 9:01 am #1859452anonymous JewParticipant
Gadolhadorah, virtually everyone is working remotely, except, of course, the hundreds of thousands, if not much more, working in law enforcement, fire departments, healthcare, factories, farms, driving trucks, stocking shelves etc. These people don’t have the luxury of working from home while at the same time putting themselves medically at risk. I’m sure they, plus the doctors and nurses working 18 hour shifts and the EMT’s would really sympathize over your blurred lines .
RepairedMay 11, 2020 9:03 am at 9:03 am #1859457MomsiParticipant
While you value your off time, many working moms don’t have any at the current time. (Do they ever?) Since school age children are home and there is no daycare, many women and some men are putting in “office hours” after their children are done classes or once their spouse finishes work and can take over the childcare. It’s frustrating for everyone and my colleagues also mentioned getting calls at all hours. I have my limits with phone calls but do email from when I get up until I go to bed. It’s the payoff for the benefit of flexibility.May 11, 2020 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1859476CTLAWYERParticipant
I have maintained a home office for decades and only spent about 15 hours a week in our law offices (that is a benefit or perk of being the boss).
The business phone line in my home and those now routed to employees’ homes is answered by an auto-attendant after hours and it states our hours and that we are now closed. Please leave a message and it will be addressed when we are open. We don’t do criminal law, so there has never been a need for after hours emergency phone service and we don’t do personal injury work with commercials telling potential clients we are always there, call 24/7.
Our business email have an auto-reply for after hours that lets the sender know we are closed and the email will be read and addressed during regular hours.
I do not intrude on my employees after hours unless it is truly an emergency and then would contact them via text or email to personal account and ask if possible to call me.
Employers do not pay employees for non-working time and have no right to expect them to be on call 24/7.
That said, at least 3-4 times a week either my eldest son or I are on the phone/computer with clients in China, necessary due to the time difference. BUT, we are owners/partners, not the ‘paid help’ and this is poart of our chosen business model.May 11, 2020 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1859535dakParticipant
Be lucky that you have a job. 25% of us don’t due to the economic terrorism wrought by the lockdowns.May 11, 2020 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #1859550
Dak: Some unemployed folks are making more being unemployed with the current special unemployment insurance than they earned during their pre-pandemic employment.May 11, 2020 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #1859700lowerourtuition11210Participant
GH: Have you discussed this issue with your boss/employer? Ask him (or her) how they really want you to handle it. If on a pre lockdown day you were not expected to deal with phone calls/e-mails between 9:00 PM and 7:00AM you should not be required to do it now as you are telecommuting.May 11, 2020 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1859713
Reb Yosef: At some point, let it go. Yes, there are some who might earn more by staying unemployed or leaving their jobs and collecting unemployment, but I would suspect few of them are YWN regulars. The vast majority of those getting the Covid-related checks and bonuses need the money to survive in these critical times. This constant drumbeat on the right about large numbers of lazy and shiftless workers exploiting the crisis is at best characterized using words that violate the CR editorial guidelines.May 11, 2020 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #1859746
G: There’s a real issue of people upset that they have to go to work when they could stay home and collect more in unemployment than their wages. Also, there’s certainly a percentage of people deliberately staying out of work in order to collect the current historically high unemployment benefits. I don’t think anyone will dispute these two points.May 11, 2020 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #1859758🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Staying home for inflated unemployment checks makes no sense. The supplement ends in July and new jobs will most likely not be easy to find yet at that time. Anyone not grateful to have a job now needs a reality check. And if a pandemic isn’t enough of a teality check they need to take on a musser seder.May 12, 2020 12:27 am at 12:27 am #1859802
Reb Yosef: I have too much respect for your intellect to get sucked into one of your trolling commentaries. Yes, of course there are some who abuse unemployment and yes the rushed COVID legislation enacted by Congress last month does create perverse economic incentives for staying out of the workforce a month or two longer.. However, whatever $$ might be implicated by such worker “abuse” is a small fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been identified as going to corporate entities who did not need those funds or to well-connected small business firms whose banks were able to electronically connect to the SBA. I’m no anti-corporate populist crusader (indeed I spend most of my working day advancing their interests) but PLEASE, take a time out on your “factual” analysis of how many workers are deliberately avoiding going back to their jobs to collect unemployment as long as possible.May 12, 2020 6:51 am at 6:51 am #1859838
Regardless of whether history ends up seeing the Covid 19 crisis as a medical crisis, or an example of government overreaction and unjustified panic, the impact of increased use of the internet for teleworking and distance education will remain. Increased telework opportunities may prove very significant for frum Jews (e.g. ability to live in our preferred area regardless of where the job is, not having to interact with co-workers who are intolerant of frum lifestyles, etc.), and distance education offers many other opportunities (e.g. access to Torah education regardless of where you live, possibilities of getting secular studies without going through the yeshiva world). This is the true long term impact of Covid19.May 12, 2020 10:22 am at 10:22 am #1859861anonymous JewParticipant
Akuperma, distance Torah education has existed for quite some time. 15 years ago I was visiting the Chabad center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The host couple showed us how Chabad had surmounted the long standing problem of educating Chabad children in far flung areas. They had interactive classes over a network with other chabad kidsMay 12, 2020 10:24 am at 10:24 am #1859868
Akuperma: Well stated and right on point. The changes will be gradual but even the frum velt will gradually recognize and embrace (with limitations) the opportunities offered by new technology. They will do so incrementally but the genie (R’L) is out of the bag.May 12, 2020 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #1859924
To: anonymous Jew
It is interesting that Chabad pioneered in frum home schooling for far-flung Chabadniks. A leading producer of home schooling among the goyim (used by many Yidden who are home schooling as well), started out with a major audience being “missionaries” in far flung locations wanting an American education for their children.
Covid19 could result in facilitating Jews leaving New York City (apparently the world center of Covid19, probably because of the inherent problems of forcing so many people into such a small area).
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