You Are Not "Working From Home"
April 1, 2020
From our Founder
Some thoughts I have been having over the past week, spurred into words from this tweet:
"You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work."— Neil Webb (@neilmwebb) March 31, 2020
I've heard this twice today. I think it's an important distinction worth emphasising.
You are not working from home.
Working from home means having a quiet space. Dedicated time. A schedule.
Self-quarantining with a computer is not “working from home” just because you can technically do your job. The kind of work you’re doing from home is the equivalent of taking your kids with you to the office each day.
We can’t go to the office, yet we are expected to perform like we are in the office.
It ain’t happening.
Spouses who are doctors and nurses aren’t coming home as much, if at all.
You can’t find the supplies you need at the store.
Your kids are home and now you are a teacher (THANK YOU, teachers, for the lesson plans. It is apparent you are worth more than you are paid as we try to fill your shoes. Is ANY parent doing it right?)
The quarantine side-effect of becoming a Hobbit is starting to manifest as we prepare 6 meals a day.
And we’re supposed to be working from home?
To put a cherry on top, for my nonprofit friends, now we are supposed to have a “Giving Tuesday” in about a month.
Nonprofits who are already struggling, stressed, and grasping to find out what to do, how to serve, how to pay employees, and what their future may hold, now have a quick turnaround giving day placed in their lap. Something that many spend months trying to plan and execute.
“The global day of action will rally people around the world to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities at the grassroots level.”
I am fully on board with the goal. I am fully on board with raising awareness and rallying people. The concept is great. But the reality is that this could be a significant burden on some people who haven’t even figured out how to work from home yet.
Should we be asking? Yes! Should we be engaging with donors? Yes! Do we need to artificially cram our giving into a single day? I’m not sure (but I hope the results will prove it to be worthwhile).
I worry about how this affects the small nonprofit, many of whom can’t easily implement a giving day and many times won’t see a huge end-result. Which organizations will benefit most from this new giving day? Will it be the local orgs who are currently holding your communities together? Or will it be the large organizations with brand recognition who can dominate our channels as we all compete for visibility?
While we are at it, can we consider just saying how many people we will be able to help due to the support received on giving day instead of throwing out a huge monetary amount? Focus on the donors and the people you serve. Saying that we helped feed 500 people in our community means so much more to me as a donor than saying you raised $25,000.
I’ll be standing by, ready to help nonprofits where I can… when I’m not teaching a class or baking a baguette. I suspect most nonprofits will come up with something, in some way or another. The question is, at what cost?
A 6-year veteran of working from home who is no longer working from home.