Twitter has informed their employees that they can work from home “forever.” Google and Facebook are saying that their employees will not return to the office until this fall or next year. My own office is definitely closed until July 6th but I’m assuming that date will be extended. You can read more here in this article by Juliette Kayyem for The Atlantic.
In spite of the justified complaints about working from home, there are also countless benefits. We can do a load of laundry between meetings. We can bake brownies while reading emails. The dog is happy to have more walks during the day. We can wear sweats with a professional shirt.
Obviously, there are countless careers/jobs that cannot be done from home. I wonder if one of the systemic shifts post-pandemic will be that we increasingly choose our occupations based on the ability to work from home.
NOTE: This whole conversation reeks of privilege. We who are Privileged have lots of choices. The poor do not and it’s always been true that the poor do jobs that many of us would not do because we don’t have to: sanitation workers, delivery people, ditch diggers. We must be mindful of this reality.
There is a meme going around about Ascension Day (May 21, 2020) – the holy day that when Christians acknowledge Jesus being lifted into heaven after the resurrection:
“Today is the feast of the Ascension marking the day when Jesus started to work from home.”
Working from home is just the tip of the iceberg.
The layers of shifting the culture because of COVID-19 are countless and complicated. Is corporate culture over? Will most meetings stay virtual? Is residential architecture going to become more working-from-home friendly? Will Trauma Informed Care become part of the curriculum for training teachers and child care workers? Will liability laws change? Will technology improve to allow most medical professionals to work from home while adhering to HIPPA laws?
The Church is also going to be changing in dramatic ways that we cannot yet imagine. But the notion of Jesus “working from home” while the Holy Spirit is with us wherever we go assures me that all will be well.
Happy Ascension Day.