Coronavirus: Demonstrating the Possible

Report From a Financial Institution

I work in a financial institution that manages retirement accounts for companies and individuals alike. Prior to COVID-19, almost all the work was done on computers in the office; only some departments and employees had working from home capabilities due to management’s concern about security and productivity. The biggest request of many workers for years was to have greater flexibility and the option of working from home. However, this was pushed off over and over.

In the beginning, there was little discussion or action taken by management about the pandemic and how it would affect work. Even as the pandemic made news around the world, there was still no communication from management about plans for employees being able to work from home.

Workers asked questions but weren’t given much of an answer whenever it came up. When the state government told all non-essential workers to stay home, the company sent out messages telling us that we were essential, even though we aren’t providing a service that is critical to the survival of anyone. 

It was only when two confirmed cases appeared in one of the buildings that there was any actual action taken by management, at least the lower management. Not until the business itself was threatened did they deem it necessary to take any action to protect their teams. Now, the business as a whole has transferred completely to working from home for almost all workers in all buildings. Once the business was actually forced to send the entire work force home, management and IT were able to come up with a solution very quickly. But to all those who repeatedly requested being able to work from home, it’s like a slap in the face.

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