When You’re Afraid to Work

July 17, 2020

Employee anxiety is one of the hardest things to cope with during the coronacrisis.

Like a lot of people who are fortunate enough to be able to, I work almost entirely from home now. Last week I wrote a script for an upcoming Food Processing video about pumps. It’s customary for the editor who writes these things to do the voiceover.

But that has to be done on a professional-grade microphone, which means I would need to come to the office and work in close proximity to the person who would have to set up the mic and run the sound editing software. I wouldn’t even be able to wear a mask, at least not while I was reading the script. So I took our video editor up on his generous offer to do the voiceover himself.

Does this mean I’m a wuss? Very likely, but that’s not quite the point. The point is that if I’m spooked at the prospect of being infected by, or of infecting, one person, how much more anxiety must be suffered by food industry workers who have no choice but to work elbow-to-elbow with a rotating cast of coworkers, every day.

That’s why, when I see polls where 40% of food industry execs say their employees are afraid to come to work, I think: The other 60% are kidding themselves.

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