Work-life balance in the age of a novel coronavirus


A US Centers for Disease Control computer rendering of Covid-19, the strand of coronavirus that’s currently wreaking economic havoc around the world

In Italy, bars are marking foot-wide distances for patrons to stand and quaff their favourite tipple.

Google parent company Alphabet has suggested that all of its North America employees work from home through April 10.

At Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., there are signs saying “Keep calm and wash your hands”, presumably for both staff and customers.

In China, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing has turned elevators into taped squares with images of shoes, so that employees know the safe distance to stand from each other. And Oppo, the Shenzhen-based smartphone maker, has linked employees’ face mask-usage to the key performance indicators on which they are evaluated.

The world of work is dealing with coronavirus as best it can. But China does seem to be rather ahead than the rest of the world and that’s not just because it was first infected. Its whole-of-government response to the epidemic appears to be paying off.