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Millions Of Americans Are Working From Home During The COVID-19 Crisis

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The pandemic has upended most all aspects of daily life, including a major shift in where and how work gets done for millions of U.S. employees. While there are perks (no morning commute!), working from home also comes with its own set of unique challenges.

Working from home -- also known as telework, remote work or simply "WFH" -- has been a necessary distancing tool to keep employees safe amid the outbreak while maintaining daily operations. While Texas is allowing most businesses to start reopening, cities including San Antonio remain under stay-at-home orders and non-essential employees continue to work remotely.

When your work and home inhabit the same space, it can be challenging to find a healthy balance between the professional and the personal. What are some best practices for setting up a home workspace and maintaining a healthy work-life ratio? How can you leave work at the office, when your office is at home?

Schools remain closed and day care isn't an option for everyone, which adds an extra obstacle (or two or three...) for parents working from home. What can you do to keep from going crazy while WFH with kids? How important are boundaries when working remotely?

Not everyone can do their job from home. Only 16.2% of Hispanic workers and 19.7% of black workers can WFH. Low-wage workers and those in hospitality and retail industries have the least flexibility. Compared to other Texas metros, San Antonio workers are least likely to have remote-compatible jobs.

Personal computers on less-secure home internet networks are being used in lieu of company-provided devices with encryption technology and other security measures. What are the biggest risks? What can companies and their employees do to mitigate these issues and protect sensitive information?

What do we know about employee productivity while working from home during the pandemic? What about employee morale? What can you do to avoid WFH burnout? Post-pandemic, would most Americans prefer to continue working remotely or go back to the office?

How important is face-to-face contact with coworkers and clients, and can it be replaced by technology? What could this crisis mean for the future of work in certain industries? 


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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, May 5.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dallas Williams is a Producer for The Source at Texas Public Radio. With a degree in Mass Communication — Broadcast Media, Dallas brings a unique perspective and a passion to producing a live, call-talk show.