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Same Work, Different Office-mates

“I will get back with you shortly, I am just finishing up episode 5 of Season 3 of the Ozarks.” 

I am sure a few of us would like to reply to some calls, texts or emails with this during the COVID-19 situation we are all in.  

As we all are dealing with the unknown of Covid-19 we are also dealing with the unfamiliarity of our current working situation. I know for awhile many people have been working remotely. That could mean from home or a separate office as an out of state employee. I think we can all say it is not as easy or fun as it may seem. It is even harder when you may have your kids, spouse or roommates home with you.  

There are many great tips people post about how to make working remotely a success. They include get up at the normal time, get dressed like going to the office, don’t start drinking at 3, etc. 

The reality is we are all still required to work, it is not a vacation. You owe your customers, fellow co-workers and employer a full day. How that full day comes about may be different now as there are many different factors that are now affecting it. I think the smarter we can be with our time the better off we will all be. 

Find a schedule that works 

I have found when I begin my work sooner, I can get a lot more out of my day. This may mean starting when you normally would start your commute to work or even earlier. It usually is a little quieter and easier to get things done. For those with kids it may mean getting things done before they are looking for some of your time. These darn kids are always in the way, aren’t they. Try and eat lunch at your desk, it is most likely the kitchen table anyways. You are picking up some valuable time there that you can use on your family later. 


Communication is important when everyone, or some of the team, is working remotely. It’s imperative to be checking emails and calls and responding quickly. Sometimes just an acknowledgement that you received the message is all someone needs to make them feel comfortable. This can be for both customers and coworkers. We need to remember some of these questions could have been asked in person within the office. 

Stress relief 

I think we all need a stress relief and for many of us that includes exercise. Try and find the time for this. Get that walk in at lunch or that run in the morning or evening, you will thank yourself later. 

I also think we all need a good laugh nowadays. Try and find a show, a comedian or a podcast that can achieve this for you. A few of my favorites are Jim Gaffigan, Sebastian Maniscalco and Pat McGann. All are pretty clean comedians for the most part and can be enjoyed with family. 

Keeping in touch 

This could also be a good time to call someone and check in. I know an email is often easier and takes less time. However, I have noticed that I myself have appreciated the times I have chosen to make a call or when someone called me.  

Hopefully we will never be in a situation like this again. Taking positives out of a negative situation is all we can ask for. We are all learning new skills of working remotely and challenging ourselves to learn new technology. We are also learning to slow down a little bit perhaps with all the craziness that we all usually live in. Please take this time to try and enjoy the time spent with your family and bond with each other. I know as the father of three kids I will never have their attention like I do now. My wife and I are trying to soak up as much of this as we can while still doing our jobs. Years from now we will all look back and talk about this time. Please try and have happy memories of the stuff you can control.  


tom o'malley

Tom O'Malley

Tom O’Malley is a founding partner at Clover Architectural Products and is vice president of sales. He has been in the aluminum and glass industry for 23 years. Currently he focuses his time on working with architects, helping to bring their ideas to fruition.