Remote Work in the Time of COVID-19: We Can Do It!

To those of us fortunate enough to be able to work remotely, I offer this: We Can Do It.

Remote Work in the Time of COVID-19: We Can Do It!

The global spread of the new coronavirus has organizations around the world scrambling to figure out what measures to take to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into their workplaces. For many people, that means suddenly becoming remote workers.

Not everyone embraces change with the same level of comfort, and when major changes—like how, when, where and with whom you get things done at work—are sudden and accompanied by a global viral outbreak, even the most easygoing types can begin to doubt their ability to succeed under new work conditions.

To those of us fortunate enough to be able to work remotely, I offer this: We Can Do It.

A World War II color poster depicting 'Rosie the Riveter' encourages American women to show their strength and go to work for the war effort by J. Howard Miller in circa 1940. (Photo courtesy National Archives/Getty Images)
A World War II color poster depicting ‘Rosie the Riveter’ encourages American women to show their strength and go to work for the war effort by J. Howard Miller in circa 1940. (Photo courtesy National Archives/Getty Images)

In fact, some epidemiology experts are suggesting it’s our responsibility, if it’s within our capability, to work from home. While it may not stop COVID-19 altogether—because many workers don’t have a work-from-home option—it can help slow the spread of this new coronavirus disease through communities. And that can prevent medical facilities being inundated, ensuring that people with serious medical conditions continue to get the care they need.

When I came on board at Writing by Design, I was excited about flexible and remote work, and the values reflected in these options. We practice transparent communication, personal accountability and mutual support, and our communication and project management tools were selected to empower us. Even inside our new office location, we’re encouraged to use varying workspaces not only for meetings, but also for meeting our own needs—for privacy, comfort, interaction or quiet focus.

Turns out, Writing by Design has been working remotely with great success for years, landing major clients from as far away as Saudi Arabia and as close as our nearby neighbors, and providing great client service and strategic communications over years-long relationships. We’re professional communicators. We practice active listening and proactively reach out to clients, nurturing high-touch relationships even in a no-touch context. These capabilities don’t just prevent the spread of viral illness; they also enable us to be good stewards of our clients’ budgets and project timelines.

All that said, sometimes there’s just no substitute for face-to-face, in-person engagement. When the need arises, we’ll be there, respecting social distancing and hygiene practices as appropriate. In the meantime, be well!

With experience in publishing, advertising, marketing and higher education, Jo brings two decades’ worth of expertise in marketing communications and client service to Writing by Design. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German and an M.F.A. in creative writing. She has lived and worked across four continents and most recently taught Professional Communications for Business Majors, Writing Content for the Web and English Composition at the postsecondary level—both in the classroom and online.