Recently, I spoke with my friend Chris, a father and sales executive for a Silicon Valley based SaaS software company, about his work from home lifestyle. Chris has always worked remotely from his home office, where he manages his sales team who are located throughout the western US.
This past spring, the dynamics of Chris’ day-to-day household changed due to the shelter-in-place from COVID-19. His three sons, ages 14, 17 and 18, all shifted to distance learning from home. His oldest, a student at a California State University, is now finishing the last quarter of his college freshman year at home with a 16-unit class load online. His 17-year old son is completing his high school junior year while taking his AP classes test prep remotely and completing those AP tests online this Spring. Finally, his 14-year old is finishing his 8th grade year and will not be able to celebrate with the traditional junior high graduation ceremony.
Of course, with SIP being the “new normal”, Chris’ weekday morning begins a bit differently now. Instead of making sure the younger boys get out the door with backpacks and lunches for school, he and his wife make sure the boys are up and ready to attend an 8am Zoom class or confirm what time they need to login to take a test that day. Overall, his house is a bit noisier with three extra young men around trying to continue their education remotely. Chris and family also have two dogs who are enjoying the additional family members around all day, but the dogs also add to the noise in the house as the family shuffles through the house.
His workday typically begins with a series of online meetings starting at 7:30am or 8am with various internal teams within his company. He and his sales team also have frequent meetings with prospects throughout the week. He is fortunate to have a dedicated home office for his workspace which is set up with his desktop computer and laptop.
He also shared that he and his family have faced some internet challenges with all household members online with Zoom, Skype and Teams meetings or classes throughout the day. They recently had to boost their broadband service and add Wi-Fi extenders throughout their house to ensure all work meetings and school classes can be attended without any interruptions.
Chris utilizes several devices to help him stay productive. His home office holds the household office supplies, printer, and their ScanSnap iX1500 scanner to name a few. During his workday, he has found that he often scans paper for his work and family. He scans receipts to expense for work, scans a receipt to store on his Evernote Cloud account for personal taxes, and scans to email his son’s completed assignment to turn into his professor.
“My favorite office tool is my ScanSnap. Not only do I depend on using it multiple times per day, it’s the lifeblood of my daily routine and has worked without fail over many years of use.” He explains.
After his workday ends, Chris puts on his chef’s hat and begins to prepare dinner for the family. They always gather every weekday for dinner and everyone shares the day’s events. After dinner, he and his boys now attempt to organize a group workout in their recently refreshed workout space (AKA the garage).
Chris’ two older sons are taking online college courses this summer, so he does not expect his daily (noisy) workday routine to change. He is enjoying having everyone home and since the SIP will not last forever, he is treasuring the extra time he is spending with his boys in 2020.
Happy Father’s Day.