Q4 2020

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69 W I N T E R Q 4 I S S U E W O R K F R O M H O M E having a longer-than-expected break has been stressful, I'm trying to embrace the positive of more family time. We've also upgraded our home office in terms of the internet and general office organization to be better equipped to work from home when we start back up. Q Once COVID is behind us, which part(s) of the pre-COVID work life would you like to see return? What part of working at home should become the new normal? I do miss office life. I miss seeing my coworkers and the camaraderie and cre- ative energy that comes from working so closely together. Just having the ability to work from home for a few days out of the week would be nice. AMY DUDDLESTON, ACE (Picture Editor) Q How has COVID impacted your work/family balance? We used to live in Northeast L.A. and the commute to my daughter Lucy 's school in Mid-City was sometimes 45 minutes. Many people assume losing the commute would be awesome, but it was a loss for us. Lucy and I enjoyed our commute together. We chatted, listened to KROQ and laughed – it was "our time." My partner picked her up from school and that was "their time." We were sad when that got disrupted. Suddenly we had an Avid in the living room of our small house. My partner is an archivist and she had to set up shop on the couch or kitchen table. Lucy's bed- room became her classroom. We would all forget to eat lunch and take breaks. It felt like the days never ended. Everything I did took twice as long because I couldn't concentrate. The internet situation was a mess. I count my blessings every day that I had work during this whole time. I know I am lucky and I will never take that for granted. Q Once COVID is behind us, which part(s) of the pre-COVID work life would you like to see return? What part of working at home should become the new normal? I certainly miss the camaraderie of the office. Eating lunch with co-workers and talking to them in person throughout the day is something I miss terribly. It helped my creativity. You don't know how much you miss it until it's gone. I want things to go back to an edit room. More magic happens when you're collaborating in person. Evercast is great, and I was used to working that way even pre-COVID, but it's draining and fraught with technical issues, even on good days. Q Are there special tools or gear that have made the job easier? The cloud-based editing storage sys- tem we switched to was a game changer. We can see each other opening bins from across town, which is mind blowing. It's so much easier for my assistant—no more emailing bins back and forth, copy- ing things over to hard drives, etc. Q How can the union help more with this balance? The union could work on getting a turnaround in the next contract -- that would be good for work/life balance. And making sure we get paid equally for working at home, in terms of internet & utilities. ■ Su Fang Tham is a story analyst and freelance writer specializing in media and entertainment. Melissa McCoy.

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