A New Era Of Working Begins: How Corona Has Affected The Work Environment.

The Coronavirus as change our work condition for better or worst

By Jahi Seifert

Corona has changed our way of life. Not only has it made us way more conscious of our health but most importantly how it has affected people’s line of work and may change our way of working forever for better or worse.

Imagine you wake up at 6:00 in the morning, brush your teeth, take a shower and eat breakfast and then head out for work, but what if instead of heading to work, you’re getting on zoom or discord to talk to your boss about the latest assignment or what if you work in a restaurant that once allowed you to sit in now has to rely on delivery service to make income. This is the reality we live in now, and this might be the way of the future.

Before Coronavirus, it was the norm to go into work and work a 9 to 5:00 shift. Still, now we see a completely different work environment because most places have transferred their work to working at home, and it’s led to some interesting situations. On the flip side, it affected different work environments differently and led to many struggles when it comes to finding and keeping a job.

According to an article writing from The Washington Post mentions the fact that unemployment has been at an all-time high in the United States, ranging from 10.1 million to 20 million according to U.S bursar of Labor statistics which at the moment the time of this article it was 6.3 percent (as of March it is 6.2) which is a high number. Still, there are reasons to expect it might be more than just that due to misinformation. To quote Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Labor Department, “the unemployment numbers leave out so much…Right now for a host of reasons the unemployment numbers is just not capturing all the people that are feeling the corona shock” one of the reasons why the gap is so big is because most of how they collect the data are from surveys done from a household that is collected each month from the Census Bureau. However, due to the corona, it’s been tough to accurately tell how much unemployment really is—that why many people are considering it to be the next great depression.

Lord and Taylor close photo by Jahi Seifert

The New York Times goes into even more detail on the reopening and losing millions of jobs. It makes mention of the fact that even though places are reopening. Places are learning to adapt, the number of the unemployment rate has been still high. They state that “The city is staggering toward reopening with some workers back at their desks or behind cash registers, and on Monday, it began a new phase, allowing personal-care services like nail salons and some outdoor recreation to resume. Even so, the city’s unemployment rate is hovering near 20 percent — a figure not seen since the Great Depression.”

“Working from home, no commuting time hence productivity up, you spend more time focused on the issue at hand most of the time working through lunch and into the night sometimes 10-11 at night.” by Lionel Sylvester

It really has shown the effects of everybody even those who originally thought they would have been fine are now in a serious situation such as Kelvin L. Rolling, a 48-year-old taxi dispatcher at the Kennedy international airport originally was there for 5 years and thought he’d be able to stay there for a long period of time, but due to a lot of cutbacks, he was laid off on June 2020. this is happening worldwide, such as restaurants and hotels expected to stay open even though the pandemic has now closed. John Fitzpatrick, an owner of two hotels in Manhattans, had to lay off most of his employees.

Originally he had his staff on for a furlough, which is your work still at the company but receive no pay and cannot work. At first, around April, he could get payroll protection loans from the federal government for most of his employees, but in June 2020, he had to lay them off again to know tourism really coming to New York. As stated in the article, “A second-generation hotel operator, Mr. Fitzpatrick has struggled to hold his business and his staff together. He started tearing up as he described how disappointed his late father would have been to learn that a business bearing the family name had shut down.

Homeless person Photo by Jahi Seifert

But it’s not on gloom and dooms for those who don’t have their job. They’re learning to transfer over to watching at home, and it seems like the future of it may be the right choice. In an article by Forbes, Kweilin Ellingrud talks about how workers adapt to covid and how this new change will affect the future. One of the big things she touches upon is the fact that now that everything is done remote working, there’s been less time to travel, which makes it easier to make it to work due to virtual meetings with apps like discord and zoom meetings helping people connect and stay on top of their work.

Most importantly, she also talks about the likelihood of it continuing to quote her, “Remote work has seen theatrical change. We believe work from home will likely continue at significantly higher rates than before Covid-19. In surveys, 72% of executives say that their organizations have started adopting permanent remote-working models. Similarly, 70% of employees say that being able to work from home for at least part of the week is a top criterion in selecting their next job.”

Besides, she also talks about the idea that automation may be on the rise when it comes on to indoor productions and Warehouse because the social distance is something that is required but also just in case they have to replace anybody who’s sick, Automation would be a good way for work to continue without stopping production.

But seeing people adopt is one thing, but what about the people used to this sort of lifestyle? Lionel Sylvester is an IT guy from cisco And he’s pretty much was prepared for the pandemic after talking to him.

Q: you’ve always worked at home. What is it like?

A: It is extremely productive and can be good and bad.  Contrary to most beliefs, you do work more hours working than people think. As you don’t have the interruption, you would have if you are in the office. I remember when I was in the office, I would get up for multiple coffee breaks. In the break room, you would chat with your colleagues, which would happen several times a day. Productivity down. Working from home, no commuting time hence productivity up, you spend more time focused on the issue at hand most of the time working through lunch and into the night sometimes 10-11 at night. With the pandemic where it is a concern and everybody has difficulty adjusting, I am a veteran.

Q: do you think working at home is the way of the future?

A: Yes, because not having to commute and most companies can save money on rental space.

Q: do you feel like there’s any issues anybody with face after the corona is over in terms of workplaces such as movie theaters and login to companies like yours

A: employees are now accustomed to working from home that they will be reluctant to return to the office for work if they don’t have to.. as a matter of fact during one of our office Town Halls recently it was discovered that a number of our colleagues are germaphobes and would much prefer working from home. Therefore the option was given to them to work from home permanently. As far as the Cinemas, I think they will take a hit but not a significant hit because of the popularity of streaming media like HBO +, Prime Video, and AppleTV. However, the Cinemas will bounce back as many fans still crave the  Cinematic environment.

But that’s just one person’s viewpoint compared to a nurse like Carol Marilyn, who works at Lenox Hill Hospital. I have slightly different experience dealing with the coronavirus.

Q: what is it like dealing with patients now that corona happened?

A: The management is so demanding
Dealing with the patients during the covid compounds the situation me.
I feel sorry for some of the patients, but some with some patients, I have to remember I Need my job.

Q: Do you know how many at your hospital have come down with the corona?

A: We have had over a hundred staff member contract covid. We had over a thousand cases in our place alone.

Q: What was the hardest/sad moment at your job during the pandemic?

A: The hardest part of the pandemic was the unknown. There was no definitive way to treat the patients with medication. Seeing the patients on Respirators fighting to breathe. Watching patients die due to respiratory issues brought in by covid 19.today, they’re several medications that they can use to treat Covid. For some patients, It’s still a fight for life even though there’s more knowledge about covid and treatments/medications.

Q: do you think your job place is going to change forever? And in what way?

A: Yes, my job has already changed. We’re all more aware of the importance of handwashing, wearing a mask, especially since living through the pandemic. They even changed the mops that housekeeping use. They’re disposable mop bottoms. No more sending out to wash them. Certain areas we’re not allowed in unless we absolutely have to be there. The stinky people bathe more. They’re forced to have better hygiene.

Corona has taken a lot from people and is unsure if anybody will be able to recover. Still, for those who have kept their job, they’ve either learn to adapt, or they’re feeling the struggles of Corona, but one thing’s for sure is going to be a long time before things go back to normal or if ever but what the vaccine being more available things are looking brighter.  

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