Posted-on November 2020 By Amy Bates
Currently, we are in the midst of the biggest working from home experiment! Most companies have now, at least part of their workforce working remotely, so we are being able to understand a lot about the effects it has on productivity, morale, overall satisfaction and employee engagement.
You’ve been working from home for more than six months now, and most likely some of the novelty has worn off. You may love the absence of a long commute and the need to present a professional appearance. But you are likely missing the easy camaraderie of daily contact with co-workers, the ability to pop into someone’s office and immediately resolve a problem, and the business-like atmosphere of a formal workplace.
So how can you stay positive and focused as working remotely becomes more established as a normal practice? The importance of creating the right setting is one thing that everyone seems to agree on. While it's tempting to just grab your laptop and set up shop on your couch (or even in bed), at the end of the day, that can be detrimental to both your job and your ability to relax. Our brains draw strong links and patterns between where we work and our places of relaxation, so it is essential for us to be strategic about where we work, so that we can create patterns that promote our ability to think and work at home effectively.
First, you need to make sure you concentrate on what you can influence and control and how you can do it. It can be overwhelming for most people to manage the responsibilities of home life, especially with childcare / schooling. It's important to find ways and develop a routine that works effectively.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
You know it's not a good idea to take your job home with you, but when work is already at home, that can be hard. Stress begins to build up when the line between work and home becomes blurred, which can lead to problems with focus, productivity, and relationships, both at home and at the office. Scheduling times throughout the day to address any concerns at home and maintaining a fixed-yet-flexible work schedule can help you avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Make learning a priority.
This is a great time to take on new things to learn, even about yourself. Something as small as finding out what hours of the day you work best or where you work best and feel most inspired can help you to develop successful habits to move forward. Some businesses have in place training programmes that you can access remotely. If not, ask for what you need. Keeping our brains stimulated by new learning also helps to increase our mood, energy, and capacity for thinking while we work remotely.
If you feel confused about which areas of growth you want to fulfil, consider the current opportunity to expand your technology skills. The last thing you need when working from home, is the internet to be down right before an important virtual meeting, or to be late to a call because you're unsure of how to dial in. No matter your age or tech ability, if you work from home, find creative ways to effectively use and troubleshoot these tools. YouTube has a lot of tutorials that can help you in a variety of areas.
How do you want to emerge from this experience?
In the short term, it's easy to be flexible and positive, but we can all benefit from choosing who we want to be in the midst of continued challenges. Determination and perseverance for the long-term benefit of ourselves, our families and our companies. You may find, through this uninvited experiment, that what you learn about yourself, your work ethic, and your ability to deliver, will take you beyond what you anticipated, not only in your career, but also in other areas of your life.