As a newly defined elderly person (like most people, I have assumed it is much older than I am), I am adjusting to a different life as CEO of Bud Industries, an Electronic Enclosure company who is working from home. This is especially challenging as my management style is heavily based on “walking around” to touch base with my team and help facilitate their activities and interaction. I have to learn new techniques and adjust as much as possible. Fortunately, we use “slack” so there is a lot more text messaging going on although some still at work forget to log in. While before people would drop by my office to provide updates, I now have to be sure to continually keep in touch to make sure I am not left out of the loop (out of sight…) We also have IP cameras throughout our shop floor so I can keep track of activities and startle people whom I call from home with questions or concerns.
The day starts differently as well. Despite the advice you see on line to dress for your home office as you do for your workplace, I am no longer putting on a jacket and tie to work at home (yes, I still wear them to work…another way I know I am elderly). I am trying to keep to the same schedule but there is a bonus as I now am getting to “work” earlier as I no longer have to commute. My co-workers are much more supportive (see attached photo) although they can be fairly distracting.
While I am only one of two who are working from home, we have instituted many new policies to deal with the pandemic from taking the employees temperature when they come in each day to providing extra or earlier benefits for those who are ill or caring for an ill family member. And, of course, allowing those who should to work from home. It is a bit frustrating that I cannot be leading by example at the office in wearing gloves or social distancing, hopefully there is an understand on why I am not that and that, too, is a reminder. In my 47 years with Bud Industries, this is a new experience. However, as we have over the company’s 92 years, we are learning to adapt and persevere through the changes in our industry, country and world. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.