Last week, the northern end of the Ragan office was remarkably quiet. Absent were the usual snark and sneezing to break the silence. Our guess—our hope—was that our readers wouldn’t notice our absence.
The Editorial Department was working from home.
We couldn’t foresee, when we arbitrarily chose Jan. 31–Feb. 4 as our week of self-imposed exile, that smack dab in the middle of it Chicago would be hit by a blizzard and “thundersnow.” We’d be dealing with nearly two feet of serendipity by noon Wednesday.
We had anticipated household interruptions, a sense of isolation, even cabin fever. We had not expected torturous ergonomics, a tendency toward slovenliness, and OSHA-violating felines. (More on those factors later.)
The purpose of the experimental week was twofold:
Each of us had had experience working from home sporadically, individually; all the various back-end software and platforms were available online. There would be a few hitches, maybe, with our print newsletters, but the nuts and bolts of getting stuff done electronically was in place and familiar.