WFH: A new normal?
Off to work? For the last two months, this has meant rolling out of bed, wandering over to my makeshift work desk, and firing up my laptop. No busy morning commutes, business attire or the friendly team chitchat to start the day.
Whilst I’ve been fortunate to be part of an organisation that has fully embraced and supported the notion of working from home periodically, little had prepared me (correction: everyone) for what to expect from the total, remote working over the past 8 weeks.
Remote working may or may not work for many people for various reasons. Most of us are working from home for the very first time and are most likely experiencing something very different from what we have at the office and even what we imagined WFH would be like.
During this period, I have encountered many lessons and findings along the way, which I thought were worth sharing.
The 4 lessons I’ve learnt during the Covid-19 lockdown that has helped me stay productive, focused and motivated while working from home:
1. Maintaining work/life balance as much as possible
To some, sticking to a 9-5 schedule may prove unrealistic especially if you juggle childcare, elder-care or homecare responsibilities during regular work hours. Being challenged in terms of our personal resources, and maintaining these boundaries at this time, is critical to our overall well-being. This might mean having regular virtual check-ins with your team to manage your workflow and also valuing your right to disconnect at the end of the workday. For most of us, the evening commute provides a natural transition so it’s crucial that we find new ways to adjust, even if it means moving to another spot in your home or getting out for a little exercise and fresh air.
2. Focus on your most important work
It’s not humanly possible to be fully productive for all 8 hours in a workday, so put your focus on the most important tasks and devote your energy to top priority tasks and issues.
3. Balancing efficiency and innovation
Even in these tough times? Yes, it is possible, and all the more important. There are after all only a finite number of productive hours in a day and I am continually discovering new ways of working and incorporating various apps to help me out – most recently with the discovery of Calendly, aka my personal assistant! There are always better ways to do old things and with WFH, we now have the empowerment to take considered risks like never before – how can I creatively engage with my clients and candidates virtually?
4. Schedule a fun activity at the end of the workweek
Whether it’s on Houseparty, diving into a movie marathon, or some virtual drinks, a little fun never killed anyone. I found that -catching up with my friends and colleagues has brought joy and connection after a week of hard work, as much as dedicating some time for self-care (DIY facials and weekend reads) to unwind. It’s fun to find new and creative ways to help and encourage each other in staying connected, big or small.
I’ve also found that leadership plays a huge role in keeping teams engaged and supported, now more so than ever - the culture and values reconfirm what I’m working for and why. It’s amazing to see leaders step up and in, to create more inclusive environments in spite of the remote conditions.
Along with much of the world, as we are learning and unlearning, I would love to hear what others have found to have helped in making successful transitions to the new work environment. Please leave a comment and share your experiences with us!
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