It’s been about 2 months since California mandated the Work From Home status. First of all, people seem to have adapted some. There is less panic, as the now more filled grocery store shelves (and existence of toilet paper) can testify to, and more people can be seen wearing face masks and practicing social distancing outdoors. Stores have systems in place to enforce hygiene and distances in general, a good reminder wherever you go. Any healthcare facility also scans patients for their temperature before you are allowed in. However, with time there also seems like people are relaxing too much, and are wearing masks mostly for show. Standing in line, people forget about the 6 feet (~2m) line setup and I had a couple almost stepping on me only yesterday as they were right behind me. I heard a story about a lady screaming at a worker of a postal office as she wasn’t allowed in without wearing a face mask. She loudly demanded to speak to the manager, whereas the reply from the worker was “I am the manager!”...
It is in times like this I am grateful to work for a large company like Electronic Arts, who have the power to support their employees through this. Every company town hall meeting there is emphasis on the current situation, a lot of visibility into what the status is for when we can return to work and encouragement to take care during these unprecedented times. My partner (working for Activision/Blizzard), is also experiencing a lot of support through these times from the company which is very reassuring.
This “WFH” status is not looking to let up. Currently no end-date has been communicated and EA is monitoring and handling this carefully. I personally expect this to go on for at least 2 more months, likely even longer. There are talks about people going back to the office, but this is mostly for those who can’t get any work done/needs to be at the office for different reasons. Offices are going through a transformation, accommodating for the situation. Desks are to be more spread out, there is constant cleaning going on and the open landscape office is getting an overhaul to help combat the spread of any infection.
During these times I am making use of the 18 free coaching and 18 free therapy sessions we get through EA. The company offers speaker sessions with focus on mental health, handling anxiety and working with distractions (children etc.) during these times. Respawn has a workout channel where they send out health inspirations and body workouts twice as week. Even if we are all working from home, taking time off is highly encouraged. It’s a bit weird how much time off seems to help in these times, even if there is nowhere else to go than stay at home. We also have the opportunity to get some reimbursement on work equipment, should we need any to work more efficiently from home. A lot of the bigger tech companies offer similar support and Riot, Sony and Activision/Blizzard have their own programs to support their employees. Two months in and it’s still an ongoing process.
Whenever this situation is hopefully resolved, there will most definitely be a change to work from home policies. We can already see this happening with giant tech companies embracing this change. This is really exciting as it would open up possibilities to acquire, and keep, talent no matter where they are or want to go. Theoretically, this was about to happen but with COVID-19 this has definitely sped things up significantly.
Please hang on, take this seriously and take care #playathome