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May 3, 2021

Work-From-Home Wanderlust

COVID-19 Cabin Fever

When our company decided we were going to immediately begin working from home in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, our humans experienced several emotions ranging from fear to anxiety—all the way to indifference and uncertainty. We thought we’d be working remotely for two weeks. Then as time passed, that two weeks turned into months. And now, we’ve just crossed the threshold into one year. 

The pivot from working in a vibrant tech community in colorful buildings larger than life, to working within the walls of your home surrounded by pets, kids, laundry, and spouses was quite the adjustment. Cabin fever definitely began to sink in and some of our people found a way to cope by taking the opportunity to work from home—away from their actual home. 

Carpe Diem

The cool thing about working remotely is that as long as you have a wifi connection and your laptop, you can (most of the time) get your work done. Keeping this in mind, for those who were brave enough to travel during this pandemic or find a new remote location from which to work (and be safe) jumped at the chance to do so … and did. 

In a pre-pandemic world, most tech companies thrived through in-person working and collaboration, as well as in-person meetings. A little more than one year into this pandemic, many corporations have completely moved to a remote working business model through summer of 2021. Doing this opened up opportunities for those who wanted a change of scenery or a completely different environment altogether from which to work. 

Risky Business 

About halfway through 2020, we had several team members planning short-term travel to not only different cities or parts of their state, but different parts of the world. One of our team members decided to travel to Merida, Mexico for nearly two months to work, spend time with family, and safely explore the country when able. She said she didn’t feel concerned about the travel or flights, as the airlines were taking serious precautions to only put one person to a row and enforcing mask mandates. On the other hand, one of her flights to another part of Mexico wasn’t so smooth. That particular flight was packed shoulder to shoulder and hardly anybody kept their masks on their faces. In fact, a few days after she settled at her new locale, she became asymptomatic and indeed tested positive for COVID. The doctor’s there took great care of her and she made a full recovery, thankfully. She ended up isolating for two weeks before trekking back home to America. 

Another team member opted to work out of Tulum, Mexico, as well as Playa Del Carmen in March/April of this year. Not only was it a successful trip, but it was a safe one; she made it back just fine. And one of our developers worked remotely from Istanbul, Turkey. (The time difference was a hoot, but he managed very well.) As for myself, I worked out of a hotel room in Las Vegas for nearly a week. I never left my room, ordered room service, and just enjoyed the perks of seeing walls that weren’t my dining room. No regrets.

Return to Work and Travel

Who knows what the next six months holds for us. The cabin fever will ramp up once again as we tip toe into warmer weather and we see an increase in vaccinations and inoculations. We have a tentative plan to return to work inside our buildings with the lively community we miss so much around the summertime, but it all depends on data and science telling us it’s okay to do so. 

Until then, there’s a good chance we’ll see more of our humans itching to work remotely from the patio of a beach hut, a coffee shop in Seattle, or a family room in Turkey. Many folks still think it’s unsafe to travel, but for those with wanderlust in their eyes—and the laser stare of resentment at the walls of their own homes, we’ll see more folks opting to risk a cross-country drive or a lengthy flight to wifi in another time zone.

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This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager for Bitwise Industries. You can find her trying to balance her anxiety and excitement about traveling the world again. 

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