Working from home. A lot more people are doing it now as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19.
One of the most famous home workers must surely be Robert Kelly, the American expert on inter-Korean affairs whose 2017 interview with the BBC was spectacularly interrupted by his two little kids, as well as their “skating” mother who scrambled to prevent the situation from getting more out of control (spoiler: it got more out of control). The hilarious video — you can find it at the bottom of this page — has now had more than 36 million views.
With the pandemic forcing more people than ever out of their workplace and into their home, the BBC decided to reconnect with Kelly at his residence in Busan, South Korea, to see how things are going for the political analyst. Kelly has always worked from home, but the closure of some schools in response to the virus has meant his kids have been around more than usual.
Judging by the latest interview (below), the pair are as boisterous as ever, with Kelly’s concentration — and possibly his patience — tested to the limit as they goofed around during the live BBC chat this week. Kelly even apologized (for the second time in three years) for their adorably riotous behavior, to which the anchor said: “That’s one thing you can never apologize for now, it’s part of the scene, it’s what we expect.”
Asked about how the virus has impacted his work-from-home routine, Kelly said: “It’s pretty tough for us, as you can see … maybe I get three hours of work done a day … three weeks ago it was very hard because we couldn’t go anywhere, there are only so many games you can play and puzzles you can do before they just run around.”
“A lot of people will share that sense of, let’s say, ‘challenge,’” the anchor responded.
South Korea hasn’t imposed lockdowns anywhere near as strict as the ones we’re seeing in a number of American states and European countries, but some companies instructed employees to work from home. Combined with other measures that included the temporary closure of schools in some areas, South Korea is hoping it’s through the worst of the outbreak.
Kelly has been tweeting about his experiences of having his kids at home while trying to get things done at his desk, saying recently that it’s “basically impossible for me to work now.”
This is what happens when I sit down at my desk now to try to work. It is basically impossible for me to work now. Be kind to your employees with kids. After two weeks penned up in the house, those kids are gonna be climbing the walls. pic.twitter.com/KXquOrM7Lt
— Robert E Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) March 16, 2020
Hopefully the millions of Americans and others around the world are able to be a little more productive. If you’ve yet to set up your home office, Digital Trends has some useful ideas on how to go about it.
And here’s that classic interview once again: