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For this issue of Design007 Magazine, Managing Editor Andy Shaughnessy asked me if IPC had any insight into how the “new normal” of working from home has impacted their members. Here is what the IPC technical staff had to say about the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely, as well as working with IPC volunteers who are new to working from the dining room table.
This is a new experience for many in the electronics industry who have never worked from home or have had limited experience working from home. The most common experience has been plugging in at the hotel room after putting in a full day at a customer site and sending the day’s notes back to the boss, as well as plans for the next day. Having two college students at home, as well as myself, needing working space was a struggle at first. “Who gets the desk vs. the dining room table vs. the spare bedroom desk?” Making sure we had a solid internet connection was also a concern for three users, and we had to work around video calls to ensure there was a solid connection for the Zoom user. We had to make sure there was no noise when someone was on a call, in addition to no one yelling, “Hey, get the phone.” The only struggle we still experience is, “What do we do with our spare time?” There are only so many times you can ask. “Did you work out today?” “Did you find any part-time work?” “What is your schedule for the fall?” Finally, since working from home is mandatory, I see more meetings scheduled during my lunchtime. I have now experienced eating during a meeting, which I had not done when working from home was only an option.
Senior Director, Standards
There is a difference between working remotely on a full-time basis and being thrust into it because of a virus that we can’t see, feel, taste, hear, or smell. One of the biggest differences is the location. Most IPC staff have an office area, even if it is only a desk and a lamp. Sure, we can move around, but there is a place to go to work. The task group members I speak to on a regular basis tell me that isn’t true for them. They are working from dining room tables, kitchen islands, coffee tables in living rooms, etc. This is disruptive because they then try to have fun or relax in the same spot later in the day. This alone can cause them stress.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the July 2020 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.