Troubles Working From Home
Similar to most things, working from home has its pros and cons. My commute to work went from nearly 20 miles to about 20 steps down the hall. My alarm has been changed from being at 6:45am to 7:45. And the breakroom fridge is fully stocked with food that I can take my pick on whatever I want to eat. Wait those were three positives, oh yeah, the negatives are pretty much everything else that revolves around the actual working part in the phrase “working from home”. For one, communication with coworkers is stuck behind the wall that is Google hangouts. I keep notifications on and at full volume yet somehow while sitting at my computer watching videos on DHCP, network security, spanning tree protocol, and other highly entertaining networking topics, will somehow miss the all familiar “ding”. It’s just not the same as when we’re in office and get the ding from 6 different phones and 4 different computers all within earshot over one message sent in the group chat.
Obviously the difficulty goes beyond just google hangouts. I won’t even delve into the troubles that coincide with the fact weekends don’t really mean anything anymore and the days just blur together. The idea for this blog actually stemmed from one instance when I was trying to help out a client. It was a call about a printer issue, something that in and of itself, poses challenges when attempting to troubleshoot. There are a lot of different variables that could cause a printer to have issues. Is the trouble coming from the application you’re trying to print from? Is there an issue between the computer and the printer? Well are you referring to drivers, a network issue, or a hardwired connection? You get the point, there’s quite a few variables. Also while doing this remotely every time you try to print, are wanting a cable swapped out, the printer reset etcetera; you have to ask the client to be your eyes, ears, and hands on the other line of the phone.
Queue working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. At the start of this call I was on my home desktop, remoted onto my work computer, remoting onto the client’s laptop that they brought home, and that was remoted onto a computer in their office trying to print from inside their practice management software, to the printer that the client had at their house. So not only did this add several additional variables due to the three remote software connections, but all the other variables I mentioned previously were essentially multiplied per host connection. Thankfully I was helping a very understanding and appreciative client. I was communicative with her as to what I was dealing with due to the circumstance, she was an excellent pair of eyes and hands through the phone, and the situation was able to be resolved.
If nothing else let this blog post serve as a reminder that with everything going on right now, we’re all going through it together. If we can just be a bit more patient and understanding with our neighbors, co-workers, and fellow human beings, we can get through these very strange times together.