HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the living room of her Foster Village house, special education teacher Nicola Nakama-Ching sits on the floor at a foldout table, staring at her laptop and cell phone.
Like so many others in Hawaii’s workforce she’s now working at home.
“We have scheduled meetings, virtual meetings," she said.
“I have a constant text group message with my co-workers.”
She’s taught in the public school system for 17 years but never under these separated circumstances. “It’s definitely different. I’m such a social person,” she said.
Besides work responsibilities, Nakama-Ching is a single mom. Her son and daughter are also adjusting to being apart from classmates and friends.
“I miss them a lot. I’m bored around here. There’s no one to talk to,” said her daughter, Alea.
"My son loves games so it's going to be interesting to get him on a schedule and get him off his Xbox," Nakama-Ching said.
Census estimates show just 5% of us worked from home full-time in 2017. That’s skyrocketed under the state’s orders to shelter-in-place and maintain social distance because of the coronavirus.
“I’ve been working from home for with my kids for about a year now off and on,” work strategist Kuulani Keohokalole said. She owns a consulting business called People Strategies Hawaii and has produced vlogs about remote work.
"You really want to create some sort of boundary between your work and personal time," she said. "That way when you leave your space you're either taking a break or you're leaving work."
She said you should have a designated work area and a set schedule.
For Nakama-Ching, home work is a big adjustment. She misses face-to-face interaction with her students.
“I would love to get back to school, but the health and safety of my family and my students is more important,” she said. She knows she’ll be working from home at least through April but it may be longer.