Working from Home During COVID-19 – Update
Now we are a few weeks into our new remote working lifestyles we can use a bit of retrospective wisdom and reflect. In our latest blog “Working From Home – The New Normal” we discuss navigating through what didn’t work, arriving at what does work and thinking about what’s next on the horizon.
Working from Home – What Didn’t Work, What Does and What’s Next?
Nearly twelve weeks ago and along with so many others, I packed up my desk, cleared out my shelf in the fridge and said goodbye to my colleagues for an indefinite amount of time. Did I think that indefinite would be three months? Probably not. Was I prepared for the work from home life? Definitely not.
In the first four weeks, it was all about learning what didn’t work for me. Rolling out of bed 15 minutes before my morning meeting only resulted in puffy eyes and hidden yawns, while working in the living room made for relentless interruptions from the Amazon deliveries. These early weeks were all about settling in, finding routine and not being too hard on myself when the days weren’t as productive as I had hoped.
After the initial adjustment had taken place, I began to learn some strategies that helped maximise my efficiency and output. Here’s what worked best for me, and the psychology behind it:
To Do Lists
We all know that time management is harder from home, with systems being slower and there being more interruptions. To do lists are important for self-regulation and managing multiple goals – thinking about an incomplete task is unlikely to interfere with the task at hand if there is a plan to achieve the next goal. It provides us with a method and clear structure for our day, limiting stress and decreasing idle time. Have a read of this article if you’re as intrigued as us in the psychology behind a simple list.
Eat Your Frog
Mark Twain once said that if you eat your frog in the morning, you can go about the rest of your day with the knowledge and satisfaction that eating your frog was probably the worst thing that will happen to you that day. What does this mean? Do your biggest, most important and most dreaded task first. You will never regret it. Read more about eating your frog here.
Pick Up the Phone
In an age of technology and keyboard warriors, it’s imperative that we don’t lose the value of simply making a phone call. Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian found that 38% of a message comes from the rise and fall of the voice, 55% comes from the body language and facial expression while the remaining 7% comes from the words. This shows how hard it is to get the value of your communication across by email and the importance of booking in Zoom calls and making those dials. Have a look here for more detail.
Now in the New Normal stage, I don’t have to put such a conscious effort into managing my working from home experience. It’s now time for me to reflect on the positives.
I save over £120 a month on transport. I have two extra hours in my day to cook fresh food and exercise. I can hang out my washing on my lunch break and soak up the sun in my back garden. I’ve impressed myself with my adaptability and openness to change and I know that when the time comes, I will be ready to go back into the office with a refined approach to work and a newfound gratitude for the simple company of our colleagues.
Take care, stay safe and stay positive!
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