'How Can I Explain': Internet Delights at Traveler's Work-From-Home Dilemma

A popular TikTok creator sparked a sea of laughing-crying emojis after every employee's worst work-from-home nightmare suddenly became his reality.

In a short video posted on July 5, TikTok user @rodericks.world shows himself seated on an airplane, presumably getting ready to take off for a much-needed vacation.

However, as Lauryn Hill's 1998 hit "Ex-Factor" plays in the background, @rodericks.world reveals his unfortunate dilemma in overlaying text reading: "When you are working remote and your manager randomly adds a meeting to your calendar in 30 minutes."

With a concerned look, the TikToker shows the seats around him and the tarmac outside while Hill cooly wonders, "How can I explain myself?" in the background.

Posted with the sarcastic caption, "I'm taking an extended lunch," the video has racked up more than 82,000 likes and has been viewed nearly one million times.

When COVID-19 pushed employees from office buildings to home offices, dining room tables or any other laptop sized space in early 2020, the idea of what work is supposed to look like was transformed forever.

Earlier this year, data collected by Pew Research Center revealed that in the United States, roughly 60 percent of workers who can work from home are doing just that.

But while a majority of these remote employees were initially sent packing by a worsening pandemic, many still working from home are there because they want to be.

Despite early pandemic data which showed that 64 percent of employees were working remotely because their employer's office was closed, current data shows that 61 percent of employees now work from home under their own volition, with 44 percent reporting greater efficiency at work.

Greater efficiency, however, does not always mean that employees are more focused.

Along with economical advantages like eliminated commute costs and fewer expensive, takeout lunches, remote work also allows employees to work wherever they please. Unlike the first months of the pandemic, fewer travel restrictions have birthed a new trend: working vacations.

In January, Propmodo reported that a huge number of remote employees are traveling to vacation spots with intentions to both work and play. Last year, The New York Times provided readers with a list of possible destinations tailor made for poolside Zoom meetings and hottub conference calls.

Computer set up for work from home
TikTok users were tickled by one viral video showing a vacation bound man who was just informed he had a work meeting in 30 minutes. Andrei Iakhniuk/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral video, users responding to @rodericks.world delighted at the TikToker's working vacation conundrum and offered advice for any similar endeavors.

"Airline Wi-Fi to the rescue," @xGhostKeyzx quipped, adding a crying-laughing emoji.

"Man this happened to me....I got that go go inflight [Wi-Fi] quick," @sweetteatennessee chimed in, tacking on four more laughing-crying emojis.

TikTok user @bomccormick77, whose comment has been liked nearly 1,000 times, offered a potential solution for those working while on the go.

"You need a portable green screen," they advised. "Set it up right and anywhere can be 'home.'"

"Stomach issues can't talk..works every time," @forevalori chimed in, pitching another strategy. "They don't ask for no details."

In a separate comment, TikTok user @travelwithjason presented a different, more laid back perspective.

"Decline, order a double and just relax," they wrote.

Newsweek reached out to @rodericks.world for comment.