So I’d like to sit down and discuss what I’ve learned about Work From Home over the last few months. I am of the firm belief that more people can work from home, should work from home, and there are great benefits. I think we need to shift our businesses to more work from home. But this brings up my first finding: those who can’t Work From Home deserve a lot more.
This isn’t just about people in essential jobs deserve to be paid more. This isn’t just about these jobs require a lot of skills. This is that those in these hands-on, be-on-premises jobs, deserve more PERIOD.
They deserve to be paid more – and most of us are pretty underpaid as is. This is pretty much a given. But let’s look at what essential people face;
- They have to travel to a job, disrupting their life and schedule.
- They have to deal with all the problems of being tied to a location, which as we’ve seen has challenges.
- Work tied to a location often has inconvenient schedules, where many of us get standard weekday work.
And consider what many “on-site people” have to do. These are skilled jobs:
- They have to deal with people person-to-person. If you have ever seen a cashier, stocker, etc. deal with an irate or curious or lost customer, that is serious knowledge and emotional labor being deployed.
- They have to deal with physical infrastructure: traveling in an area, dealing with physical inventory, installing computer components, etc. There is physical, mental, and skilled labor here.
- Dealing with physical infrastructure often has risks: chemicals, heavy equipment, disease exposure, etc. Doing that right, being safe requires work – and compensation.
These people deserve more money and of course proper benefits. But they also deserve more.
They deserve respect. We’ve just found that those who can’t work from home are people we often depend on, and they deserve to be respected. They do not deserve to be abused by angry customers, or people that won’t observe health advice, and so on.
They deserve a career. We need so many people who can’t WFH and they deserve to have a life, with a career. Not just because they do work, but they’re DAMN GOOD at what they do, so let’s make sure they have a path. Some do have a career, of course.
They deserve support. Medical care on site. Health services. Meal services. Anything that helps them do their jobs dealing with US the annoying public.
This applies to people from store stockers and baristas to doctors and nurses. We rely on these people to be intimately involved in our lives and help us out. They deserve a lot more.
And if this makes you realize your doctor and the barista who has your coffee are similar, good. Because that doctor who deals with your hypochondria and that barista who remembers your order and gives you a kind word, are both supporting you. Keep that in mind.
Now, my future writing is going mostly go to us who can work from home. But keep in mind those that can’t deserve MORE.