STORIES BY DEMI ROUHANI

How Americans are Adjusting to Working from Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published: Oct. 5, 2020

It can be a difficult situation when your place of work happens to be the same place you relax, and the coronavirus has made that a reality for many. Millions of Americans are now working from home and there are mixed opinions about their new situation.

Hospital worker Denise Sarakbi is among ⅔ of Americans that are working from home due to COVID-19. Photo by Demi Rouhani.

COVID-19 has changed the lives of Americans in many ways, including their everyday work routine. Although it has been a big adjustment to those who used to go into work five times a week, many actually prefer this new arrangement. Being in the comfort of one’s home helps a lot of these people focus better and work more efficiently.

“My work is actually getting done more effectively at home because I am more comfortable and don’t have the added stress that I do at the office,” said Sarakbi.

She also says there are more benefits to working from home than there are disadvantages. Some of the benefits she outlines include working in pajamas, always being on time to work, and not having to deal with heavy traffic while driving to and from the office. 

Sarakbi experienced some financial losses in the beginning of the pandemic, due to her work hours being cut by a fifth, but says that she actually has saved money in the long run.

Working from home means people no longer have to take their commute to and from their job into consideration. Those who work far away from their homes have to pay for transportation everyday just to be able to do their job. Cutting this expense out of their everyday spending helps people save money long-term.

With no commute comes no traffic, which is just another benefit to working from home for some Americans. Angela Rukab, an executive assistant at a local financial service company, says that not having to deal with the stress of traffic every morning helps her start her day in a better mood. 

To keep a good mental health at home, she tries to step away from her computer as much as possible and take her eyes off the screen.

“Sometimes I just walk away from the computer and stretch or I’ll run to the grocery store and get something to eat,” said Rukab. “It’s a change of scenery and sometimes you need that breath of fresh air.”

Although some may find working from home to be more efficient, others have been facing some difficulties while trying to adjust to their new circumstances. Those who still have their jobs are very appreciative that they are still able to work, but have some concerns with different aspects of having to work from home.

Compared to being in the office, working from home comes with a lot of distractions. Sarakbi says that her dog is the biggest distraction in her household since it barks every time someone walks by. 

Rukab says that her children are the biggest distraction at home. She has to occasionally stop her work to help them with homework, make them meals, and work around each of their schedules. However, regardless of these distractions, they get their work done the best they can under these circumstances.

“A job is a job and no matter how you look at it or where you do it, you still have the same expectations,” said Rukab.

Much like many other Americans, Sarakbi and Rukab are unsure of when they will be able to get back to their normal work lives and have accepted their new routine for the unforeseeable future.