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Workers remain productive on home front

2020-2-11 10:50

 

Employees adjusting to life away from office

 

Deserted roads, near-empty subway cars and offices without workers are normally the last scenes you would expect to see in Beijing, especially after the weeklong Spring Festival holiday.

 

However, amid the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, people have been encouraged to stay indoors and many companies have asked their employees to work from home to reduce the risk of being infected.

 

Liu Xinzi, 30, a Beijing resident, planned to vacation in Japan during Spring Festival, but canceled her trip and stayed at home in the capital with her parents.

 

"Usually, I return to Beijing a day before the holiday ends. After doing some cleaning and resting at home for a day, I go back to the office to work," she said.

 

Liu works for an artistic performance agency, which like many other companies, was due to resume operations on Feb 1 after Spring Festival.

 

"On Jan 30, I received an email from the company, telling us to extend our holiday for two more days," she said. She was then told to work from home until Monday, when she returned to the office.

 

Liu has worked at the company, which is based in the capital's downtown and has more than 100 staff members, for five years.

 

She usually rises at 6:30 am and heads for the office an hour later. "I have a simple breakfast, put on some makeup and feed my cat-all in just an hour, which is very tight," she said, adding that she uses buses and the subway to get to work.

 

She said that during the morning rush hour on a bus, she can spend as long as an hour in traffic jams.

 

"I once dreamed of working from home, which is a privilege. Now, because of the outbreak, it has become a necessity," she said. "It's a good opportunity for me to test my efficiency and self-discipline. I don't have to wear any makeup, I don't have to change into my work clothes and I don't have to wash my hair every day.

 

"We are facing a crisis due to this outbreak, but looking on the bright side, we now have more time to spend with our families.

 

"It feels as if I'm returning to my high school days. After finishing my 'homework', I have dinner with my parents at home," said Liu, who usually hangs out with friends and colleagues after work.

 

Her company has asked staff members to report their health status twice a day, and has sent them information about epidemic prevention. They have also been told to report their whereabouts.

 

Liu's work, which involves coordinating with artists and performance venues, has been badly affected by the outbreak.

 

"Obviously, it's not easy for me to work alone, so doing so from home involves lots of phone calls, video chats and emails," she said. "A lot of our work usually involves employees gathering together, which we cannot do during the outbreak. We have some big projects, which involve collaborating with international artists, but we have had to put those plans on hold."

 

According to a report from Ding-Talk, internet giant Alibaba's business collaboration and communication platform, some 200 million people are working from home due to the outbreak. More than 10 million companies in China are using DingTalk to contact such employees.

 

The report also said that over 200 education bureaus in more than 20 provinces, including Guangdong, Henan and Shanxi, are using Ding-Talk to launch online courses for over 12 million students from some 20,000 middle and primary schools. To support this unprecedented demand, the company has added more cloud servers to facilitate videoconferences and live group broadcasts.

 

Online media platform Tencent News commented, "As Chinese companies begin to restart operations, it's likely that a large number of people will be working from home."

 

Jiayin, an ethnic Mongolian woman living in Beijing who manages rock band F.U.N. and also works on music production projects for movies and television dramas, said, "We have to organize meetings and group discussions via online chat apps, or send our daily work content and plans through such apps.

 

"Working from home means not commuting... but a more comfortable environment. But bands have had to cancel many shows because of the outbreak, such as performances at music festivals, which has been a severe blow to us. Since a band needs inspiration for songs, staying at home is not a good idea, so this is a big problem right now. We also need to get together to brainstorm sometimes."

 

Many people have told of their experiences of working from home on social media platforms such as Sina Weibo.

 

One, sharing a picture of his desk, a computer, a cup of coffee and his staff name badge, wrote, "We need routine to remind us of the workplace, even though we are at home."

 

Another person wrote: "We have a videoconference tomorrow, so I will wash my hair and dress well. It would be great if the chat apps had a 'beauty' function, so I wouldn't need to put on any makeup."

 

Some people have shared pictures of their pets sleeping next to computers. One netizen, who posted a picture of his cat, wrote: "Why must my cat always sit on my computer? I have to finish my Power-Point presentation today!"

 

Cao Xia, who works for a telecommunications company in Beijing, said: "We have been told to return to the office on Feb 10. However, by communicating through WeChat and email, we have remained just as productive as we would have been in an office environment."

 

He added that as Chinese companies rarely let their employees work from home, it has been a novel experience for him.

 

"Usually, going back to work after the weeklong holiday feels a little strange. It takes some time to adjust to the hectic daily work schedule. Working from home has been an unusual experience and one that I think many people will remember for the rest of their lives."

 

Cao said the outbreak has delayed the development of some new projects at the company. As the father of a 7-year-old boy, he has been paying a great deal of attention to the spread of the virus.

 

"Another thing about working from home is that I have to cook and take care of my son, which is tougher than working in the office," he said.

 

Zhao Yun, who works for a network security technology company, said in an interview with Tencent News, "On Feb 3, our company launched a chat group involving more than 8,000 colleagues in preparation to resume operations after the holiday."

 

Through the chat group, each department at the company has held two meetings a day, with staff members reporting on their progress.

 

However, some work cannot be done online. For example, the company has had to send employees to give technological support in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, where it is providing network security devices for the newly built Huoshenshan Hospital, where infected patients are being treated.

 

Many shopping malls have reduced their business hours, while karaoke bars and movie theaters have closed temporarily to help contain the spread of the virus. Blockbuster movie premieres have been postponed and many performance venues have cancelled shows.

 

Some businesses have turned to the internet to retain customer loyalty.

 

For example, gyms have closed but are encouraging people to exercise at home by sharing training classes through their social media platforms.

 

Cartoonist Liang Kedong, known online as Bai Cha (White Tea), has released a series of his work centering on iconic characters, including a fat, bossy, black-and-white cat named Wu Huang, a stocky dog named Ba Zhahei and their owner, an unnamed young man.

 

Liang, who is aiming to portray and reflect on the work people are doing from home, has received enthusiastic feedback from fans.

 

In one of his scenes, the cat sits in front of a computer looking alert and smart. An accompanying line states, "This is how my boss thinks of me when I work from home."

 

Another scene portrays the cat adopting the same pose, but looking sleepy, with a line stating, "This is how my colleagues see me." In the final scene, the cat remains in bed, with his face and hair unwashed. The caption states, "This is what I look like now."

 

"It's so true," one fan said on the cartoonist's Sina Weibo platform, which has nearly 5 million followers. "I didn't wash my face until the videoconference I was taking part in was about to start.

 

"It feels as though time has stopped at the start of 2020. I hope we can overcome this outbreak and that life can return to normal as soon as possible."

 

员工适应离开办公室的生活


空无一人的道路、几乎空无一人的地铁车厢和没有工人的办公室,通常是你在北京能看到的最后景象,尤其是在为期一周的春节假期之后。


然而,随着新型冠状病毒肺炎的爆发,人们被鼓励呆在室内,许多公司要求员工在家工作,以降低感染的风险。


30岁的刘欣子(音)是北京居民,她原计划春节期间去日本度假,但后来取消了计划,和父母待在北京的家中。


“通常,我在假期结束的前一天回到北京。在家做了一天的清洁和休息后,我回到办公室工作,”她说。


和许多其他公司一样,刘就职于一家艺术表演机构,该机构将在春节后的2月1日恢复运营。


她说:“1月30日,我收到了公司的一封邮件,告诉我们再延长两天假期。”然后她被告知在家工作,直到周一她回到办公室。


刘已经在这家公司工作五年了,这家公司位于北京的市中心,有100多名员工。


她通常早上6:30起床,一小时后去办公室。“我只吃了简单的早餐,化了妆,喂了猫——这一切只需要一个小时,时间很紧,”她说。她还补充说,她坐公交车和地铁去上班。


她说,在早上高峰时间坐公交车,她可以在交通堵塞中度过长达一个小时的时间。


“我曾经梦想在家工作,这是一种特权。现在,由于疫情的爆发,这已经成为一种必要。”“这对我来说是一个检验我的效率和自律的好机会。我不需要化妆,不需要换工作服,也不需要每天洗头。


“我们正面临这场疫情带来的危机,但从好的方面看,我们现在有更多的时间和家人在一起。


“感觉就像回到了高中时代。做完作业后,我就和父母一起吃晚饭。”


她的公司要求员工每天报告两次健康状况,并向他们发送了防疫信息。他们还被告知报告他们的下落。


刘的工作涉及与艺术家和表演场地的协调,受到了疫情的严重影响。


她说:“很明显,一个人工作对我来说不容易,所以在家里要打很多电话、视频聊天、发很多邮件。”“我们的很多工作通常都需要员工们聚在一起,但在疫情爆发期间,我们无法做到这一点。我们有一些涉及与国际艺术家合作的大项目,但我们不得不暂时搁置这些计划。”


据互联网巨头阿里巴巴的商业合作与交流平台“叮叮当当”发布的一份报告显示,由于此次疫情爆发,约有2亿人在家工作。中国有1000多万家公司正在使用DingTalk与这些员工联系。


该报告还称,包括广东、河南、山西在内的20多个省的200多个教育局正在使用“叮叮”为来自2万多所中小学的1200多万名学生推出在线课程。为了支持这一前所未有的需求,该公司增加了更多的云服务器,以方便视频会议和小组直播。


在线媒体平台腾讯新闻评论道:“随着中国公司重新开始运营,很可能会有很多人在家工作。”


住在北京的蒙古族女子佳音(音译)是摇滚乐队f.u n的经纪人,同时也参与电影和电视剧的音乐制作项目。


“在家工作意味着不用通勤……而是一个更舒适的环境。但由于疫情爆发,乐队不得不取消了许多演出,比如音乐节上的表演,这对我们是一个沉重的打击。因为一个乐队需要灵感来创作歌曲,所以呆在家里不是一个好主意,所以现在这是一个大问题。有时我们也需要聚在一起进行头脑风暴。”


许多人在新浪微博等社交媒体平台上讲述了他们在家工作的经历。


其中一人分享了一张他的办公桌、一台电脑、一杯咖啡和员工姓名徽章的照片,他写道,“我们需要例行公事来提醒我们工作场所,即使我们是在家里。”


另一个人写道:“我们明天有个视频会议,所以我要洗头、穿好衣服。如果聊天软件有‘美容’功能就好了,这样我就不用化妆了。”

 

一些人分享了他们的宠物睡在电脑旁的照片。一位网友贴出了他的猫的照片,他写道:“为什么我的猫总是坐在我的电脑上?我今天必须完成我的ppt演示!”


在北京一家电信公司工作的曹霞(音译)说:“我们被告知2月10日返回办公室。然而,通过微信和电子邮件进行沟通,我们的工作效率和在办公室一样高。”


他补充说,由于中国企业很少让员工在家工作,这对他来说是一种全新的体验。


“通常,在一周的假期结束后重返工作岗位会让人感觉有点奇怪。需要一些时间来适应繁忙的日常工作安排。在家工作是一种不同寻常的经历,我想很多人会终生难忘。”


曹国伟说,疫情已经延误了公司一些新项目的开发。作为一个7岁男孩的父亲,他一直非常关注病毒的传播。


“在家工作的另一件事是,我必须做饭和照顾我的儿子,这比在办公室工作更难,”他说。


在一家网络安全技术公司工作的赵云(音译)在接受腾讯新闻采访时表示:“2月3日,我们公司成立了一个有8000多名同事参与的聊天群,为春节后恢复运营做准备。”


通过聊天组,公司的每个部门每天召开两次会议,由员工汇报工作进展。


然而,有些工作不能在网上完成。例如,该公司不得不派遣员工到疫情中心湖北省武汉市提供技术支持,为新建的火神山医院提供网络安全设备,受感染的患者正在那里接受治疗。


许多购物中心缩短了营业时间,卡拉ok和电影院也暂时关闭,以帮助控制病毒的传播。大片的首映式已经推迟,许多表演场地也取消了演出。


一些企业转向互联网以保持客户忠诚度。


例如,健身房已经关闭,但通过社交媒体平台分享培训课程,鼓励人们在家锻炼。


漫画家梁克东在网上被称为“白茶”,他发布了一系列以标志性人物为中心的作品,其中包括一只胖胖的、专横的黑白猫“五黄”,一只矮胖的狗“八扎黑”,以及它们的主人——一位不知名的年轻人。


梁的目标是描绘和反思人们在家里做的工作,他收到了粉丝们的热情反馈。


在他的一个场景中,这只猫坐在电脑前,看起来机警而聪明。旁边的一行写道:“这是我的老板在我在家工作时对我的看法。”


另一个场景中,这只猫摆出了同样的姿势,但看起来很困,旁边写着:“我的同事就是这样看我的。”在最后一幕中,猫仍然躺在床上,脸和头发都没有洗。图片说明上写着:“这就是我现在的样子。”


“这是真的,”一位粉丝在这位漫画家的新浪微博上说。“直到我参加的视频会议即将开始,我才洗脸。


“感觉好像时间在2020年初停止了。我希望我们能战胜这次疫情,生活能尽快恢复正常。”

 

原作者: Chen Nan 来自: china daily