COVID and the new “Home Headquarters”

The world is going through a major shift right now due to the COVID-19 virus. All across the world, our work life and home life just got tossed into a blender and mashed together to a point of no return.  

Since the start of the age of the personal computer and email, it has been difficult to “turn off” work at home, but that was nothing like the past couple of months in America. From virtual meetings to phone calls in the middle of the night, American society has just taken this strong work ethic to a whole new level!

The COVID-19 virus has blended work and home at a level never seen since farmers left the fields to head to the factories in the early twentieth century; this blurring of lines between home and work has radically altered most of our homes and those around the world. 

This article will help you set some healthy boundaries if your “home headquarters” is getting completely out of control.

School and the new definition of “homework”

“Do your homework” just took on a whole new meaning in America.  This week would typically be final exam week for most high schools and colleges across America. However, almost every classroom in America is empty today. 

These exams signal the end of the school year.  However, I don’t know of any teacher that is meeting with his or her students in the classroom this week.   The separation between “schoolwork” and “homework” just got obliterated!

Students have been forced to try to figure out assignments on their own.  Many students are learning at home or over a computer for the first time, and this has put mom and dad in the role of teacher in many houses.

My heart goes out to teachers right now.   As a part-time professor, I understand the complexities and the challenges that go along with teaching and learning from home. 

However, parents please be careful to separate school space from living space right now. If you can, protect your children from schoolwork intruding into family life by creating a separate space.

Even if that space is on the back porch, students need healthy school boundaries in the home just like your work boundaries. And for help with focus, see my post on How to Focus While Working From Home

Starting a new “home business”

If you are one of the almost 30 million Americans who have lost their job, or your job has been significantly reduced because of this virus, maybe it’s time to think about a new career field. Maybe it’s time to consider starting a new home business. After all, we’re already doing business from home anyway.

The business world is full of examples of major corporations that began in someone’s living room or garage. A few of these small startup businesses became multibillion-dollar corporations. 

I recently read about an Atlanta, Georgia based startup that began in 2003 and by 2014 was worth more than $1 billion. Perhaps your idea won’t become $1 billion company, but maybe now is the perfect time for you to turn business from home into a home business. Hear more about this amazing company in my sermon for the 2 Cities Church livestream from Nehemiah chapter 5 this Sunday.

Separating the new “heart and home”

Do you remember the saying- “Home is where the heart is”? There is still a great deal of truth in this statement. However, right now because of the shelter-in-place order that has affected most Americans, home is where everything else is also. 

Like you, I’m trying to figure out what opening our homes up to friends and neighbors will look like when the social-distancing order has been lifted.  I have no idea what this is going to look like, but I am convinced that there will be a new normal in most homes across America.

There’s a politician in the Bible named Nehemiah who opened his home up in order to get work accomplished. In Nehemiah 5:17, he hosts hundreds of people in his house each night at his own expense! (Think about how much this cost Nehemiah the next time you think your grocery bill is expensive.)

Nehemiah is the kind of guy who opens his home and his heart for the good of his people.  Opening your heart and opening your home were already becoming a lost art in America before the COVID-19 virus. I am concerned that this will become a casualty of the virus if we aren’t careful.

I want to challenge you to think about how you will open your heart up to others by opening your home up after social distancing has ended.

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