Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our daily life and work. Logic Solutions started our work from home (WFH) journey in mid-March. During the past four months, we collaborated with co-workers and our clients through emails, messages, phone calls, and video conferences. We no longer had small talks in the kitchen or by the front desk. Those talks now take place over video conferencing at the beginning or end of meetings. We transformed our company lunch meetings to virtual meetings, but sadly no more eating lunch together. We canceled our annual summer BBQ and activity days.
With all these big changes happening, the marketing team sent out a survey to all Logic employees two weeks ago, asking for an update of their life and work. The results are in! Let’s look at some of the answers.
Q1. What is the first thing you want to do after the pandemic is over/goes down?
From our Account Executive Al Carpinelli:
“Hug my extended family members, daughters/son-in-law, in-law family, etc. As for 4 months it has been air-hugs only! Hey, you need to consider that I’m Italian 🙂 ”
Al spoke about what many of us are thinking. Since Covid-19 largely impacts the airline industry, it is hard to travel by air. It is the same case for other long-distance transportations like trains, Greyhound buses, and boats. Many of us had plans to visit families in another city or another country. Then the pandemic broke out, and flights were reduced, canceled, or suspended. Some of the airline ticket prices also increased because the supply fell short of the demand. And it is stressful to take airplanes because passengers need to wear masks during the whole flight and take the risk of being infected. Hugging family members who are far away is still a wish not close. Even though for family members who live close to us, we try our best to avoid physically meeting with them because we don’t want to potentially pass the virus.
We received other answers from the survey like eating in favorite restaurants, going to the movie theaters, getting a haircut, attending live sporting events, etc. The pandemic and shelter-in-place policy greatly changed our lives. We are not able to do these common activities we always did in the past. On a positive note, we learned how to cook our favorite dishes, bought big TVs to watch our favorite movie, spent more time talking and laughing with family members, and taught ourselves how to cut our own hair (or suffered through it!). I personally found a lot of fun DIYing at home. But still, I hope I can soon enjoy a fine dinner, watch the latest movie at the theater, get a nice haircut, and cheer for my local football team.
Q2. In your daily life, what are the top 3 troubles caused by the pandemic? Do you have any solution?
“(Hard to) buy groceries. Luckily there are many online delivery services to help cover it.”
“Online grocery deliveries are hard to get.”
I noticed that grocery delivery service demand sharply rose a few months ago. For example, I had to place an order on Instacart (a grocery delivery service) at least three days in advance to get my groceries delivered to my door. People around me were a little panicked about the shortage of grocery delivery service. But recently the situation is much better. I can get a 2-hour-delivery even placing an order in the afternoon.
“I can only exercise at home… and for some sports, I just cannot do it at all.”
“Not able to visit the gym”
The gym I used to go to every day closed in March. And some other gyms like college gyms, community gyms, and chain fitness centers in Ann Arbor are still closed until today (August 6th). We can find replacements for certain kinds of exercise, but it doesn’t work for ones like swimming and most anaerobic exercises that need equipment.
Q3. Any habit you formed or got rid of during the pandemic? Will you keep doing it after the pandemic?
“I got a lot better about running during the pandemic because I have little else to do. I hope I can maintain it afterward, but we will see.”
Happy to hear that! In order to get enough exercise, I went outdoors four times a week. And I noticed that people are jogging along the street all the time. Staying at home for four months, keeping socially distant in public, and not able to have parties with friends are stressful. Exercising outdoors is a great way to relieve stress. Inhale some fresh summer air and let yourself sweat. It’s good for both physical and mental health.
“I formed the habit of washing my hand (wet or dry) if possible. This is indeed a good habit and I should continue doing this even after the pandemic.”
“Wearing a mask and sanitizing everything all the time. I will definitely do it after the pandemic.”
These are important habits we should form and maintain. Washing hands in the right way and wearing masks are the easiest and most effective ways to prevent contracting and spreading the virus.
Q4. We’ve worked from home for almost four months. How do you like it so far? Anything good or bad about it?
“Mostly good, I feel like I’m much more productive at home.”
“The good thing is working hours are more flexible. The bad thing is the utility becomes higher since we stay home working all day.”
“For the most part I like it! No commute :)”
“I miss interacting with people in person, but video chatting is still good.”
The top reason we like working from home is NO COMMUTE ANYMORE. More good news is, working from home is considerably more productive than working in offices, according to a Stanford study published in 2017. However, some research reported more stress working from home because people have more reliance on mobile phones/ laptops, and people feel more socially isolated.
Q5. Some tech companies said that their employees could work from home permanently. Do you think it’s possible? How do you like that?
“I think it’s possible but not ideal. I still believe talking in person is the most efficient way of communication.”
“Yes I think it is possible. I have friends who were doing it before the pandemic. I feel more productive at home and happier. This makes my work even better.”
“Not convinced 100% WFH is optimal, I think going to 90% is ideal, with the benefit of the occasional in-person meeting. ”
“Yes definitely. Especially if you only need a laptop for your day to day job. I feel like everyone should have an option to pick what works best for them.”
Logic employees adapted to working from home pretty-well. And we plan to continue working from home for the rest of the year. But I have to admit there is the necessity of giving employees the option to work in the office. In-person contact with co-workers keeps people motivated and connected. In the past few months, Logic provided limited amounts of working on-site in the office for employees who want to work in the office. And those who worked in the office were required to wear masks, keep social distancing, sanitize the workspace, and report health conditions through an app we created on a daily base.
Q6. Let’s do some brainstorming. If people are going to live with the virus in the next five years, what products will be popular? It can be something not existing now.
“I believe that social media, chat apps, video conference apps will have to evolve into the mainstream communication tool compared to traditional phone calls and emails.”
“Physical stores will be transformed into eCommerce stores, and industries like food delivery or package/grocery delivery will be more popular.”
People rely more on software and apps than pre-pandemic time. Life, work, healthcare, and education turn from offline to online. There are great opportunities in the software industry. Meanwhile, I noticed something being overlooked in the past. There is a large amount of the population having difficulty using smartphones and computers. They have been used to offline life for more than sixty years. On one hand, we are developing more and more fancy functions and products. On the other hand, some people are suffering from how to buy groceries online. Improving accessibility and explicitness is what designers and developers can do to help these populations in the pandemic with better user experience.
“Ferris wheel or roller coaster that fits your backyard so no need to go to a carnival or amusement park.”
“A car-wash kind of machine that can clean my body and clothes easily if I walk through it.”
We got a few creative ideas. It looks like someone is missing the amusement park. How about putting on a VR headset, and watching a bunch of VR roller coaster videos from YouTube? The videos are going to make your heart speed up. For the car-wash style body disinfection machine, it sounds handy, and I hope it can be invented someday soon.
The answers we received were both fun and informative. Our co-workers are doing well while they shelter-in-place. We hope that these answers will give some of you some great ideas for coping during this difficult time. We still have a long way to go before this is all over. Feel free to comment below and let us know what you are doing. Our team is always looking for fun and creative ideas. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy! You can always count on your Logic team to assist you in all of your software development needs. We are still working for you!