Working from home, no matter if in Sydney or in Rome, became very common in the last months. Country level lockdowns, isolation or quarantines influenced significantly the necessity for working from home solution. And not only that, in many cases – where potentially not doable or challenging – it turned “impossible” factor into “i’m possible”.
Remote work is all around us these days: from corporations, tutoring, client services to administration, doctors or therapists, among many. In many places or organizations this will remain as an ongoing trend for a while now. So regardless of the locations, Sydney or Rome, how to give our best and also enjoy working from home?
MY WORKING FROM HOME
I haven’t shared this part of my life with you yet. It has been over 14 years of corporate world for me (check my LinkedIn profile here)! Two main organizations across all this time. What I know for sure: working at international corporations fulfills my professional aspirations and passion for connecting with people. I truly enjoy dynamic, challenging and constantly changing work environment. Always on the go, always with plenty of ideas. If I do something, my heart is in it too!
Home is where I work, and I work everywhere.Alfred Nobel
As you can imagine, corporate world gives (and takes back!) a lot of flexibility options and opportunities. And this includes also working from home. What types of work from home did I experience in the past years?
#1: work from home: actual home location and working hours!
#2: work from home: catching up with work post office hours, sometimes till late late hours
#3: work from home: another part of the globe
#4: work from hotel: business trips or assignments
#5: work from hotel: personal travels
In fact, it is important to highlight that work from home does’t refer only to the first point. And very often that’s our first and initial connotation. I am sure that the total of the other 4 items summed up so far to much higher figure than the standard working from home approach. Plenty of learning and experience: remote work and remote management are for sure two areas that I truly enjoy in my professional work. Just like travels!
THE NEW TREND
2020 has initiated a new trend for working from home concept. Many companies and organizations used to allow this benefit on minimal scale, promoting collaboration as key factor for higher productivity, and as the result better organizational results.
With business continuity plans in place and multiple testings done, no one really thought that the actual scenario can be evaluated in real life: and not only at selected location level but worldwide! 2020 enabled even higher flexibility, adaptability and out of the box thinking – to make things happen. Suddenly gatherings in the meeting rooms converted into successful online meetings, coffee meet ups in office’s kitchen into virtual coffee catch ups and face to face training sessions into interactive online learning opportunities.
This new trend unlocked a new value and future potential for many companies and businesses. Together it brought a lot of benefits for individuals and also some challenges (remember my Lockdown post?). No more hours spent in traffic, less disconnect from the family but on the other hand a bit more disturbance, maybe less adapted work facilities at home. Many individual cases and scenarios.
Remote working includes one more essential element: trust. As employees we need to be trustworthy and act accordingly so that this flexible working model can be successful. At the same time, employers or managers need to assume good intentions and focus on building common trust.
One thing is sure: this trend will continue. so no matter Sydney or Rome, let’s focus on giving our best while having fun working from home!
FREE TO FOCUS
Few months ago I came across “Free to Focus” by Michael Hyatt. Never-ending distractions contribute to challenges in our concentration and ability to fix our attention on what is really required. This book is all I needed. And I recommend it to each of you!
It also relates so well to the current intense working from home scenario. Michael Hyatt’s Free to Focus’s underlying foundation is following: productivity should free you to pursue what’s most important for you. He defines freedom 4 ways.
Freedom to Focus
‘If you want to master your schedule. increase your efficiency and output, and create more margin in your life for the things you care about, you’ve got to learn how to focus.
Think back over the last couple of weeks. How much of your time were you able to focus – truly concentrate – on your work? To sit down and attack one task with absolute attention: no distraction, no calls or texts or emails, nobody dropping in to say hi or to ask you a question about something that really didn’t matter to you? If you’re like most of us, I doubt you’ve had much time like that at all recently. Even when we try to hide by working offsite, whether it’s at home or a coffee shop.’
Freedom to Be Present
‘How many date nights have you spent thinking about, talking about, or worrying about work? How often do you check your work emails or messages when you’re out with family or friends?
The statistics we’ve already seen paint a pretty bleak picture of our ability to unplug from the office and focus on our relationships, health, and personal well-being. Even when we’re not technically working, we still drag all our unresolved tasks around.’
Freedom to Be Spontaneous
‘So many of us have our lives meticulously planned out to the last minute, and we won’t tolerate any interruptions or deviations. That doesn’t sound like an enjoyable way to go through life.
Instead, imagine being able to drop whatever you’re doing if your kids or grand-kids walked in to say hello. That kind of spontaneity only happens when you create margin in your life, and that is the byproduct of real productivity. ‘
Freedom to Do Nothing
‘We’re always on, and we consider it a virtue. But as we’ll see, our always-on culture actually undermines our productivity. It also undermines our joy. (…) Our brains aren’t designed to run nonstop. When we drop things into neutral, ideas flow on their own, memories sort themselves out, and we give ourselves a chance to rest.
If you think about it, most of your breakthrough ideas in your business or personal life come when you’re relaxed enough to let your mind wander. Creativity depends on times of disengagement, which means doing nothing from time to time is a competitive advantage.’
ENJOY WORKING FROM HOME
Interestingly enough, thinking about working from home, we always think first about… work! We are all so pulled into the work goals and deliveries that we are often misled by our true core values. Shouldn’t we think about home first? About our family or style of life?
We should design our lives first and then tailor our work to meet our lifestyle objectives.Michael Hyatt
To enjoy truly working from home: focus first on recharging your own energy and dedicating enough – if not double – time & energy – to people around you. Your family and your colleagues. Just like in remote working, more effort is needed but the result might just over-shine your initial expectations!
You can do your work better, faster, and more enjoyably than you ever imagined.
#1: Sleep well
Nightly rejuvenation is the foundation for our well-being. Squeezing additional two meetings late at night or early in the morning won’t give you the energy you need for long term run, sleep can. If you struggle with it, consider adding short power naps during your daily schedule and don’t feel guilty for it.
Missing your office canteen food? For sure, suddenly it seems there is more cooking going on. This is one of the things we have enjoyed a lot last months: home made food. No one can replace it, no one can spoil your taste buds more than yummy food made at home. Be the master-chef, enjoy it!
#3: COFFEE connect TIME
I know, this is what I miss about office a lot, just like you. Coffee breaks, coffee chit-chats. So… prepare yourself a nice coffee or maybe order one home from a nearby cafe place and ping your colleagues. If needed, send an advance calendar hit and connect together with a virtual coffee cup! It is a great opportunity to build connection and discuss any work items. 2 in 1. What is important: virtual relations require double amount of our focus and energy, it is an investment – very profitable one!
#4: Celebrate & Play
Have fun: with your colleagues and family members. Office environment enables easier common fun activities. However, thoughtful ideas give more joy and show more care to others. Why not to send a chocolate box or flowers when your team member is celebrating an important occasion? Celebrating and playing virtually can be so much fun! And… don’t forget about your family or maybe pets! Use your work breaks to smile also with your dear ones around you.
#5: don’t stop moving
Exercises are the best energizer! Physical activities don’t just strengthen body, they strengthen mind as well. Ben Opipari in Washington Post wrote: “A single workout can immediately boost higher-order thinking skills, making you more productive and efficient as you slog through your workday. When you exercise your legs, you also exercise your brain (…). Below you can find some useful apps! 7 Minute Workout or Pocket Yoga, based on your preference.
Disconnect and unplug. And not only at 10 pm. Wrap up your work as if you were in office, don’t extend feeling guilty again for having one hour family lunch. Michael Hyatt recommends to do something that will ensure you: don’t think about work, don’t do any work, don’t talk about work and don’t read about work. And how about unplugging for an hour also during the day? Challenge yourself! Your are at home, enjoy your day!
10 APPS to remove wfh traps
Time Buddy – Clock & Converter
A popular visual time converter, scheduler and world clock. Perfect for scheduling meetings and dealing with time across multiple time zones!
Fabulous: Daily Planner & Self-Care Habit Tracker
Self-care app to help you build healthy habits and achieve your goals in 30 days. Excellent for working from home challenges!
Todoist: To-Do List, Tasks & Reminders
Perfect place for tracking your to-dos, by capturing and organizing tasks the moment they pop into your head. Plus many more cool features!
Missing cafes atmosphere? Something helpful to recreate the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.
Seven: 7 Minute Workout
Less time for exercise? Seven workouts are based on scientific studies to give you the maximum benefits of exercise with only 7-minutes a day.
Keep up with your practice at your own pace in the comforts of your own home. Ideal for work breaks!
Krisp: Noise Cancelling
Working from home? Mute background noise in any communication app!
Focus@Will: Control Your ADD
Thousands of hours of unique brain music to help you control your ADD (attention deficit disorder). Very useful if you are facing new unexpected challenges trying to work from home.
Daywise: Schedule Notifications. Be calm & focused
A smart post box for your notifications: see only important notifications instantly, view the rest later on your time.
Forest: Stay focused
Simply: stay focused with the cutest gamified timer!
Moments that matter, no matter Sydney nor Rome.
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