Can America Work From Home?

Can America Work From Home?

Americans all around the country are being asked to work from home in order to practice social distancing. The CDC and many counties and even states have issued a stay-at-home order, closing all non-essential business. But can America as a whole actually work from home?

Well, the answer is a little tricky.

Yes, some Americans can work from home. However, America as a whole cannot be expected to work from home. A significant amount of workers work at grocery stores, fast food, or hotels and resorts. These jobs largely cannot be done from home, with the exception of some higher-level management. This is leading to hundreds of thousands of layoffs all around the country,

These issues are not limited to just retail and food workers, but also for blue-collar workers and even some white-collar workers. Some agencies simply do not have the infrastructure required for full-time work-from-home staff, even for just a little while. This again results in more layoffs, or at least temporary work displacement.

How can Employers be Proactive?

First off, always make sure you comply with local, state and federal laws. If you are told to stay home, stay home! That goes for all non-essential businesses. If you are an essential business, the choice to stay open is up to individual companies. Preparing for a shutdown can be one of the best things you can do. Make sure you have a clear plan and understand where your business is. Try to take actions that help your employees keep their job. However, unfortunately, sometimes that is just not possible, especially in this time of economic uncertainty.

How can Employees be Proactive?

Start by understanding that your employer is balancing multiple plates. On one hand, they are trying to keep their business profitable; on the other hand, they are trying their best not to lay people off. However, if the worst does happen, do you have a plan in place? Where would you go? How would you live? These are all important questions to ask yourself, because bills don’t pay themselves.

Additionally, as employees, we never have the foresight to know exactly what is going on in the background. We don’t see the bills our employers have, and we don’t know the pressure they are under. Be sure to try and give some extra leeway to your employer in this uncertain time.

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