Cabin fever — NYC dwellers waiting to get back into their work schedule
by Anne D’innocenzio and Mae Anderson
Associated Press Writers
November 03, 2012 12:00 AM | 771 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joe Ciprello comforts Sandra Dietz while handing out sandwiches in a neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy in Staten Island, N.Y. on Friday. Sandy has created legions of people who can’t wait to get back to the office.<br>The Associated Press
Joe Ciprello comforts Sandra Dietz while handing out sandwiches in a neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy in Staten Island, N.Y. on Friday. Sandy has created legions of people who can’t wait to get back to the office.
The Associated Press
slideshow
NEW YORK — Nearly every office dweller fantasizes about the joys of working from home: Dressing in PJs instead of suits. Eating from the fridge and not the vending machine. Listening to birds chirp instead of the boss bark.

But Superstorm Sandy has created legions of people who can’t wait to get back to the office.

They include parents who have struggled to juggle conference calls while their kids scream in the background. Also families who have fought for days over the use of a single home computer. And even executives who have conducted business with the only device they had with reliable Internet access: their smartphone.

About one-third of American workers work from home at least occasionally, according to Forrester Research. But massive flooding, power outages, transit shutdowns and school closings that followed Sandy forced thousands more from North Carolina to Maine to do so this week. And many learned that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Michael Lamp, a social and digital media strategist who has been working out of his one-bedroom apartment in the Brooklyn borough of New York City because his office in the Manhattan borough is closed, sums it up on his Twitter page: “I’m getting sicker of it with every hour that passes. I might be slowly losing it.”

Lamp, who converted his coffee table into a desk, says he longs for face-to-face interaction with his colleagues at Hunter Public Relations. And he’s finding it particularly difficult to share his workspace with his live-in partner.

“I love him very much, but I would rather not see him 24 hours a day,” says the 28-year-old, who proudly admits that he can’t wait to greet his manager in the office. “I’m going to run to my boss’s office and tell her I missed her face.”

Dr. Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, says it’s normal to struggle with working from home. He says it “has its own set of difficulties” that people who don’t do it often aren’t always aware of.

“There are many more distractions than working in an office,” he says. “Even people who do it on a regular basis find it much harder to structure and discipline their time.”

Hilfer, who lives in Brooklyn and works in a hospital in Manhattan, knows the distractions firsthand. He was working at home on Thursday to avoid the difficult commute in the storm’s aftermath. But he kept getting distracted by Sandy updates on TV, projects he needed to get done around the house and his wife asking questions about what she should get from the supermarket.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides