Everyone in the world, even the most traditional of workers have been pushed into a new world…. The world of Working Remotely! This has caused many to figure out as many innovative ways as possible of staying connected to the various stakeholders they are typically connected to. From clients, colleagues, board members and more!
The future of work/future trends have predicted for a while now that in years not too far from now, we will have more people working remotely than going to a physical office. I daresay the Covid19 Pandemic has accelerated those predictions. Many organizations & individuals have been catapulted into Digital Transformation. Even the local shopping markets are finding ways to reach their clients digitally!
If there was ever a time to take the phrase Disrupt Yourself seriously, that time is now (see my previous article Disrupt Yourself here)!
The first thing we all need to do is accept that going forward, our world is going to get more connected and there will be a huge increase in interactions with Virtual Tools. No matter what industry or space you are in, you can use this phase to test and transition as much as possible.
For businesses without contingency plans for these types of scenarios, this is the time to create the plans and test them well.
Ultimately, we all have to adapt because things need to get done!
To the main topic, Working from Home aka Working Remotely. This actually requires a whole lot of discipline and I will share some of my personal tips in this article.
For those who are working remotely, below are some tips for you:
Create a schedule for your work-day. Build in times for meetings and have some of them with the video on so that you can see people face-to-face. What are your work hours? How often will you take stretch breaks and more. If you have children or are a caregiver, create a schedule for them as well.
As noted in “The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People,” “People who construct their goals in concrete terms are 50 percent more likely to feel confident they will attain their goals and 32 percent more likely to feel in control of their lives.”
A place you will work from daily, hopefully somewhere quiet without much distractions. If you cannot find a quiet place, please use headphones and play music that helps you work well. I like smooth jazz and I know some people like white noise in their background. All these are available on YouTube.
The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace study showed that people who work in spaces with natural features reported 15% higher levels of overall wellbeing. Furthermore, the respondents expressed feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work.
Tip: DO NOT work from your bed! It doesn’t help your body or your brain.
Depending on your living situation, make sure you communicate with those at home and work. Communicate with your family to drive time discipline, you need it.
4. Stay Connected
Communicate with your key stakeholders, call people to check up on them. Stay Visible at work, speak with your team-mates. Genuinely ask after them and show that you care.
Set Boundaries and consequences for breaking the boundary rules. For instance if you have children, discuss the boundaries while you are working and set consequences for when the rules are broken. Let them know how to communicate with you if there is an emergency.
I have a box that my children communicate with me when they see me working, they drop notes in the box and I read them when I can.
One analysis showed that the blurring of work-family boundaries causes remote workers to associate their homes with their work roles as work obligations repeatedly intrude upon family time (Eddleston, K.A., & Mulki, J., Group & Organization Management, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2017). Remote workers also appear to work more. A 2013 Gallup poll found that Remote workers log an extra four hours per week on average compared with their counterparts in the office.
Since you will not be driving to and from the office, create some form of transition from home to work and vice versa. This will help you mentally transition. For instance, at the end of your work day, you can play games or do something to decompress.
Focus tip: If you must, go on Airplane mode with your phone for a while and tune in your Focus, please do.
For those who aren’t working remotely for any reason, don’t take this time as a full-time holiday, find the time to rest and decompress but please also LEARN & re-invent your business & yourself to the best of your ability. The world as we know it has changed and its best you stay ahead.
No matter which of these categories you fit into, please remember the following:
Don’t feel unnecessary pressure to do the most in this time. We are all in different life seasons and what we find important is different.
2. BOND with loved ones
This is a great time to bond with your family, make sure you deliberately create the time to do so.
Be aware of what is happening in your community, these are very hard times for those who rely on their daily work for their livelihood. Help where and when you can.
4. Mental Awareness
Please be very aware of how this period of Social Distancing may be affecting you mentally. Be Socially Distant but don’t Disconnect Socially from others. Use all the available platforms for as many video & phone calls as you are able to afford and do.
5. Manage the information that comes into your mind
Beyond the Pandemic itself, we also have a serious case of Infodemics! Do not overload on information.
YouTube/Instagram workout sessions. Hangout with friends via WhatsApp, House Party.
Udemy, Coursera, edX, LinkedIn Learning and more all have courses at this time with huge discounts, take this time to learn what you have not had the time to.
- 8. Innovate
Whatever space of field you are in, realise that the world as you know it has changed. Research what those in your industry in other countries are doing to remain in business. Think about different ways you can transform your business, your career and/or yourself for the better!