How to cope with the challenges of working from home.
Covid-19 forced many of us to switch to remote working very quickly. Although this migration may have felt like it went reasonably well, there are a few issues many of us are now facing; digital fatigue, work-life imbalance, missing ‘social’ interactions and lack of a daily routine.
To be successful in the long term when working remotely, ask yourself these four questions;
1 – Do you know your most efficient and productive time of day?
2 – Are you productive or busy?
3 – Have you connected with colleagues today?
4 – Are you mentally going to work each day?
Do you know your most efficient and productive time of day? Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Working remotely will not necessarily mean working regular 9-5 hours. Remote working, usually at home, will require a degree of flexibility from both you and individual team members.
It might mean an early start for some or a night shift for others. It might mean working through lunch to finish early. In these current times, we are all juggling like never before, all trying to do our best. The risk you may face is that of digital fatigue; too much time spent in front of blue light electronics.
Design your optimum working day by factoring in the different dynamics and tensions that working remotely will create. Remember to include sufficient breaks to allow time away from the screen. Eight continuous hours or more without a break is unhealthy for mind, body and soul.
Are you productive or busy?
There is an urban myth which says the more hours you work, the more you will get done. In reality, the more hours you work, the less productive you become. Why? Because we tend to switch to ‘busy mode’ rather than ‘productive mode’, thinking that if we’re busy, surely we’re making progress, right? Wrong. Being busy does not equate to being productive.
It’s tough to switch off completely when technology is to hand, so you need to put in place stricter out of hours work policies for you personally. Ensure you stop logging in at the weekend or when on annual leave are simple changes that can make a significant change in your work-life balance.
In my experience, it is easy to be busy; we can all make ourselves busy. Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Being productive, you have to prioritise and continually reassess what is worthy of your time.
Learn to say ‘NO’ to unimportant things. Time is a precious gift; use it wisely.
Have you connected with your colleagues today?
We are more connected than we have ever been through technology and social media, but are we truly connecting?
Technology is not a replacement for investing time in developing rich, quality relationships. The reverse is true. The investment is required more than ever, due to the limited physical interactions taking place. The challenge to connect with people is becoming a scarce resource.
Here are three things you can do today;
- BE PRESENT; The best gift you can give someone is the gift of your presence. It may be hard to be there in the flesh but be present with your full self-tuned in; it will make all the difference.
- ARE YOU REALLY LISTENING; Many people hear the words, but don’t get the message, only because they are just waiting for their turn to talk. Listening takes concentration and a genuine interest in what the other person is saying.
- REMEMBER THE LITTLE THINGS; Pay attention to the detail. In a world where the big things make little difference, it’s the little things that make a big difference. Remembering colleagues partners and children’s names, birthdays and hobbies will allow you to connect on a personal level and build deeper relationships.
Are you mentally going to work each day?
As we have all been working remotely for quite some time now, you will already know that when working remotely, especially when it’s home working, requires a mindset switch.
The question is … Are you mentally ‘going to work ‘each day?
Even though you are not physically ‘going to work’ each day, you need to make a mental switch from your personal life to your work life even though you are remaining in the same space.
To help you stay efficient when working remotely from home, here is one tip for you… locate a dedicated office space within your home.
You need to create that space so that you can ‘physically’ and mentally go to work every single day. Get dressed as if you were about to go into the office, ensure you turn off as many home distractions as possible.
Through the many uncertainties that we are facing, we have to ensure as a leader working remotely, we are empathetic and looking through our people’s lenses to see their angles and perspectives while remaining focused on productivity and results.
How we set ourselves up to work from home and how we remotely lead our people will be a test of our leadership capability.
Learn my 5/5 framework on how to lead remotely by watching my On Demand Leading Remotely Webinar today. WATCH NOW.