How To Survive The Office In The Age Of Coronavirus

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If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re not dead yet. But you are reading this in the age of coronavirus, which has… for lack of a better word… gone viral. At The Water Coolest are here to help, so we’ve compiled this list of some common issues you’ll run into at the office, or even at home under your two-week, government-mandated quarantine. You’re welcome.

At the office

No one likes to be at the office, especially when any one of your coworkers could infect you with a potentially deadly disease at any given moment.

First and foremost, before even dealing with your coworkers, go wash your hands you monster. I just watched you come out of the bathroom. Once you’ve done that, make sure you’re covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Were you raised by wolves?

Now that you’ve taken care of yourself, it’s time to toss on your headphones and avoid speaking to anyone at the office by any means other than Slack or email. If anyone comes close, just go ahead and wheel your chair away slowly while giving them the Dikembe Mutombo finger. Trust us, that works.

Other power moves include “social distancing” by quarantining yourself in a conference room or, when all else fails, feigning sickness via fake coughs or labored breathing. Editors note: this may get you locked up in a government facility.

That works, of course, until your office makes everyone work remotely for the next two weeks.

At home

Working from home shouldn’t result in any sanitary issues, assuming you’re not a complete slob. What it will entail, however, are tech and relationship related issues. Wait, relationship issues? Let’s talk tech first.

I like to chat face to face

Well, that’s going to be tough. But thanks to the pioneers at Chat Roulette, video conferencing is dime a dozen.

Sit somewhere that your coworkers can’t see the nest you’ve created for yourself, or at least find a spot that your ugly kids won’t come barging in the door like that guy on BBC.

Or, you could just pick up your damn phone and make a phone call. Come on, act like you’ve been here before. You’re working from home, not the moon.

My internet sucks

Well, that we can’t help with, you should have sprung for the higher bandwidth. Also, are you streaming Netflix right now? Turn it off, you’re hogging all the data. You can binge ‘Ugly Delicious’ after you sent that email showing your coworkers you’re actually online.

My computer keeps snitching on me

As I said above, shoot an email or Slack message to your boss or colleagues. It could be a question, it could be a status update. Just send something so they think you’re online.

Do it from your phone from the toilet, do it while you’re Call of Duty Battle Royale. As Nike so eloquently put it… just do it. And if anyone asks? Your chat isn’t working and you’re not sure why it’s showing you’re offline. Deny, deny, deny.

Now, onto relationships

OK, here’s where things could get a little hairy. You and your SO have been living together, but are used to the treat of 8+ hours apart everyday while you’re both at work. “But we both already work from home, and everything’s fine!” Why are you reading this? Go wash your hands.

For the rest of us, you’re entering uncharted territory. Unlimited time together, cooped up in the same 200 sq. ft. Murray Hill apartment. Things could get tense. The best advice? Get yourself a pair of headphones. Be open early on. “My headphones are in, I’m either on the phone or working on something.”

Everyone knows that the best way to solve relationship problems is to just keep them bottled up and avoid confrontation at all costs.

Assuming you do fight about who’s doing the chores and whose job it is to answer the door when the delivery guy shows up, there is some good news. Couples therapy has gone online.

The bottom line

So there you have it. You’re ready to be quarantined for an undetermined amount of time. Good luck out there. We hope you stocked up on cans of baked beans and toilet paper, you’re going to need it.


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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.