Workers in many fields are adjusting to doing business from a distance

Workers in many fields are adjusting to doing business from a distance

Lauren Gorcz, Clara Burkin
eSomethin staff

It’s safe to say that many Americans may feel “the rug was pulled out from under them” when so many changes were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Michelle Gorcz, a second grade teaching assistant at Saint Rose school, says that she misses her students and routine. She also says that online learning has been challenging for her students, since they are so young: “the kids, the younger ones, they don’t want to be at home, they want to see their friends. They have a lot of energy and it’s hard to get them to focus and listen to their parents.”

Regarding parents of young children, Mrs. Gorcz said “if they are working from home, you know they have conference calls and lots of deadlines and stuff still needing done but they also have their kids home, so if they have young kids, they need to be fed and make sure that they are on task getting their homework done. So. it’s been hard.”

Donald Burkin, a sixth-grade science teacher at Eastwood Middle School, says that his job “has changed because it’s more online and not face-to-face.”

Burkin points out that technology trouble can amplify stress for teachers and families in Eastwood: “[Schoology] is working about fifty to sixty percent throughout the last couple weeks, so that’s added a lot of unnecessary stress to the students and the staff because we rely on Schoology a lot.”

BGSU’s department of English administrative secretary Danielle Burkin says that the social distancing learning mandate is hard: “I no longer have the social interaction with the students, which is one of the high points of my job.”

BGSU luckily has resources to help their students, Mrs. Burkin said. “The faculty members who had face-to-face classes and had to move them online already had all the information there digitally to begin with; it was just a matter of them learning how to communicate assignments moving forward.”

Mrs. Burkin does have some tricks up her sleeve to help her do her job online. “I brought my stand up desk frame [home] because I was used to standing for four to six hours of my day.”

Mrs. Burkin said she does not like the situation we are in, but she did find one upside: “I get to wear pajamas to work and no one knows.”

Beyond education, workers have been affected by the social COVID-19 changes. Those in pharmaceuticals, for example, have been rushing to help find a vaccine, as well as keeping up with the rest of the medicines the world needs.

Damon Gorcz, who manages a pharmaceutical sales force for Navartis, gives insight into this niche, saying that his team has “stopped going into physician offices and hospital settings and have worked more from a service-based perspective.”

Mr. Gorcz said this feat of switching to the physical to virtual world has been accomplished by “using telemarketing and telemessaging and video conferencing with our providers in various hospital systems to provide them with the necessary resources for their patients.”

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