From what I hear, most of my colleagues been working from home recently.
Working from home has been rather challenging for me. Decided to Reach-out to five of my ex-colleagues who are well acclimated to remote working style in global corps. out of Boston, New York, California, London & Paris.
Taking onboard and sharing their experiences and few wise words I was able to garner.
After all, our years or even decades of ordinary routine of duties and occupations will be/have been disturbed by this rather sudden change dictated by this non-office working environment.
Just Take a few minutes here and rewind how day goes from home to office.
Every morning, we kiss goodbye our kid(s) and life partner and embark on our work journey of the day.
We reach office after a more or less long commute.
And there, our psyche switches to office mode. Well, you definitely not going to kiss goodbye your colleagues as you would do with your family members, right?
We say good morning to our colleagues, we share a coffee with some of them, have lunch with others, may have an after-work drink with some others. 7 to 9 hours of our day are spent with our colleagues, involving numerous interactions either face to face, over the phone or via email.
These interactions are of different nature to those we usually have with our family members.
Suddenly, here you are at home, in your PJs trying to get your laptop back on-line and start your day “at work” when you hear: “mummy! where are you?” Or “honey, have you seen my keys?”
You gently try to help everyone out and get them out of the way to get to your emails!
Great! One email is out!
Just going through a long report that you need to analyse and “shrink into” an email before deadline, when a suspicious noise from the backyard catches your attention, it’s done! You lost focus! Well, it’s your responsibility to sort out what’s going on in the backyard. Fortunately, nothing serious, the cat had jumped and knocked over the stack of pot plants you put aside last night. Oh, yes, that project you have been planning to complete if one day you had a bit of time at home.
Where the H. was I in this report? Let start all over!
And the day goes on with its myriads of changes of focus and pace dictated by your new working environment.
Well, the first few weeks will feel soooo great for most of us new-style-workers!
It’s obviously such a great opportunity to be around your kid(s) during the day, and discussing your plans for your next holidays with your life partner instead of emailing him/her your ideas, isn’t?
It’s also great to be able to lazy around a bit in the morning, instead of stressing out to catch the train, bus or driving in the traffic jam.
As weeks go by, (we may be in this for months!), some people may feel confronted with solitude and a sense of helplessness.
Conversely, some may experience lack of privacy after a while at home, and feel the need to be isolated from family members overcrowding their space!
Family relationships may be put in test.
Incidentally, those who retire at the same time find themselves confronted with similar awkward situation at home. Suddenly, after 30 years, they find themselves around their life partner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, putting strain on relationship.
Words of wisdom, from those who have been there, will hopefully be of some help, before it’s too late:
1-Replicate your office environment at home. Set aside a room or a corner in a room where you set up your desk and a comfortable chair, as well as laptop, monitor, printer, mobile phone, all at an arm’s length. Keep this space out of reach of family members, this is The Office you will be going to every morning from now on.
2-Clearly communicate with your family members and establish boundaries.
3-Be proactive, identify and establish remote work practices that suit best you and your Executive’s working style. As a result of remote working, a whole Dimension of our communication with our Executive is simply Removed: Body Language, Facial expressions, Tone of voice are the Unconscious & Intuitive non-verbal communication cues that provide us with substantial information when communicating with our Execs, resulting in more efficiency in prioritizing, relating to a context, decision-making, execution.
4-No PJs! Get dressed, hair, make-up, etc, exactly as if you were going to office. Wear shoes, comfy but not slippers!
5-Set reminders on your Outlook calendar to get prompted to a coffee/tea /lunch or even toilet break.
6-Start work and end work at the same times you would at office.
7-Establish a definite break between your work day and home life. Do not come back to “home-office” during the weekend or outside working hours!
This my week 2 working from home, let’s hope I will be able to pass point 6!
Maybe you are faster than me and already at point 7?
Doing our best Keeping our sanity on the long run, don’t we?