Working from Home — Some Ideas, Pointers, Questions for Further Thinking and Taking Positive Action.
Or do I go with the flow?
Oh no, not another 10-point list of the dos and don’ts of working from home.
Trust you are toiling well; working up a sweat doing those HIIT sessions. Able to check the blood pressure through emotional expression and showing you are human with a tear or two.
Invariably these are buzz numbers reflecting the way our brains work — 3, the magic trilogy. Too short for the list of things to do working from home. 5, getting there, key points can count on one hand while sipping the coffee brewed in the kitchen? 10? The decimal number. Getting predictable so people gone back to Imperial, 6 apps to help you concentrate. 4 points to consider; the play on 3 + 1 Winston Churchill used so effectively with ‘Blood, toil, tear and sweat’.
No Numbered List, you know how to count, and let us see if we, together, can pick on the good and bad points. Accentuate the positives, replace the moments detracting from work, undermining proper social time with your loved ones. Some points to act on if you feel the calls to action will add value to you, those you want to be around and those you need to be in contact with.
Dress to impress — Yourself as much as to others consciously and subconsciously.
We are all seeing the inevitable YouTube postings, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcgGeQv8dGY, of the guy who thinks he can log in to the team meet naked or woman who thinks it is OK to go to the toilet with the video still running as she does her personal business. We laugh at the moment; what do we really think longer term? They are disrespectful to everyone else? Would you trust them in your team to deliver for the boss? Would require review for sure and some explanations as to how adept colleagues are at social and technical relations.
Going back 40 years, I had the pleasure to be the sorcerer’s apprentice running sales and marketing courses. Working with a gentleman who made people think by telling them how he wore a suit, collar and tie when doing ‘cold calling’ from home. He explained and everyone agreed, yes, we do not trust a bank person who is scruffy, we expect our salesperson to have some decorum if not deference to the customer. We feel better in ourselves by being dressed to impress.
If you feel business-like, the first step is made to being in business and you will be ready for business. Some people scoff at this, I can get my mind around anything; really? Why do you always change into your gym clothes when going for a workout? Listen to your answer and think again about how you are dressing to impressing when going to work.
OK, so you are working from home — already feel the change in mindset? Home — where you used to commute from and to in order to get to and from work.
How has the commute changed?
Inane question or a fundamental piece of thinking as to what are we doing with the travel time?
The manner we differentiate work from home?
Think again on the points above and how your ‘commute’ is now being used to offer fresh perspectives and innovations in how you do things, how you are, will be, perceived by others who share your new commute.
Prepare to adapt and adopt
Depending on your living arrangements, be ready to work to your own rhythms whilst accepting others are not listening to the same drumbeat and melody as you.
An altruism for sure. Do you know your own mental and physical clock and when you are peaking?
You may need to change your hours of working somewhat to accommodate others. Many of us are home schooling and the contrary nature of children’s, teenagers’, asking for a bit of attention is important.
Two elements show through here. Just as with dressing to impressing, work to show focus and set examples is equally as important. You go to work to pay for wider living. Your family know this and now is the time to show how you focus to deliver so they learn not just the subject matter but the approach to inculcating the learning of learning and delivery. Perhaps not quite deliberative practice but great example setting. And a key to relationships as your family and friends become ever more part of the mutual support networks, we, quite possibly, have taken for granted far too much.
Know your network and relationships
To reinforce how you set targets, work to targets, you need to know how you work within yourself and how this style works with others.
Another obvious point? Maybe. We are changing, and because we are part of the changing, it is difficult to sense out how the changes are happening. Contingency, the just once, can become a new form of delivery — because it works.
But is it the best way of delivering? For you, your family and colleagues and customers?
Structures and systems are changing, the shared values of work are possibly confused with the shared values of home. Usually compartmentalised, now cutting across each other. Suddenly partners are finding something intrinsic to their companion at home is not the way they do things at work. Nothing drastic like having an affair, the little things making one question — do I really know this person’s other (work) persona?
Because of reflection and other media refracting what we see, hear and sense of ourselves and colleagues it is no surprise work has changed. Collaborative working changes even more when you are at distance. The demands off the meeting screen cause the person you knew at work to act differently. Priorities shift. Nothing wholly philosophical, although perhaps a few more of us need to think on some? https://medium.com/@crookpaulj/purpose-and-meaning-89a8de347c1d
Relationships change, another altruism, and the way you reinforce these relationships requires work when there are major disruptions from outside your particular sphere of influence.
New ways of working, socialising, engaging, respecting, enduring, trusting and learning about yourself and people around you.
More to follow on this in terms of work communication from a practical standpoint of a person who ran projects via High Frequency, HF, radio — principles remain, learning around these principles advanced so much. Realise the manner you are perceiving yourself and how your own (changing) perceptions are projecting and being received by others. Others physically with you. Socially connected with changing social linkages making why we are talking to, and sensing out, each other. Professionally connected and quite probably aware of different elements in colleague’s, collaborators’ even rival’s make up influencing who they are and how they are.
Think on this one:– Who they are separate from how they are.
Make yourself a space alongside the time
Bit of an altruism and worth reinforcing. If space is constrained, get yourself a large, 24 x 36 old money, A1 around the 594 x 841 (check the maths, they do not directly comprehend. But do not go sailing off on the internet to check all paper sizes just yet — https://www.prepressure.com/library/paper-size — testing you and me and everyone else).
Have a workspace and explain to others when you are there, you are there. Focused. Pick off the work and move on. You have extra time as getting to your workspace is, surely, a better commute than before.
For those of us already home office workers, reinforce the good aspects of space and concentration. Look at the work deliverables alongside the family and social needs and wants.
Take time — Reflect and note the refractions and lack of transparency in changing the mediums of work and living
Do not be afraid of taking a second sheet of paper (the first was your office if you do not have a dedicated workspace or have had ‘your’ space invaded by the next generation of code writers) and map out what is going on, what needs to be going on and what you would like to be going on. Mindmaps are great — here is one of many, many, online — https://miro.com/mind-map-software/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=S%7CALPHA%7CALL%7CMindMapping-worldwide&utm_term=mind%20map&utm_content=424767860393&xuid=Cj0KCQjw4dr0BRCxARIsAKUNjWTC1QnScRHl9Y6IUMgoq2UCZyxDuR06vS7Yb_Vf2iGnqGzTbMNuNK8aAlWcEALw_wcB&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4dr0BRCxARIsAKUNjWTC1QnScRHl9Y6IUMgoq2UCZyxDuR06vS7Yb_Vf2iGnqGzTbMNuNK8aAlWcEALw_wcB Be prepared to ditch the tech for a time and use a pencil on the paper. You will be surprised how your thought processes change using pencil and paper rather than mouse or tracer finger. Give it a try.
We are all easily distracted when there are multiple tasks and extra family pressures very apparent. Even when you are on your own, the draws of other tasks, are apparent. Use this to advantage to have different tasks ongoing as there will be frustrations in any process. Be assured, 5 tasks happening, 2 will be held up because a colleague not completed their piece, 1, the customer changed their requirements, 1, you just cannot get your head around today. The 5th? Yes, progress will be mine!
But, remember, THE CUSTOMER is KEY — You are dressed to impress, you have explained to family or house mates when you will be connected to the boss, the buyer of your product or service. The colleague who tell tales to the boss as friendly rivalry becomes pitched battle for next month’s mortgage payment as rumours of restructuring start to circulate.
Decide who is your customer in your day/weekly/monthly schedules:-
It will change
From the report you are producing early morning for your supervisor.
To your children as they get up and prepare for distance learning with their online class and teacher.
To your boss who will lead a meeting and may yet castigate your supervisor for the quality of work being done.
Your partner who may want to change all the routine around tomorrow, next week, as they have feedback from their supervisor or boss.
Make sure you are totally together on communicating with the children and ensuring those coffee cups do not pile up in the sink — there ain’t no cleaner miraculously appearing come the evening when you commute home. Home? Leave the office?
Customer? What the bleep is this guy talking about? Take a moment, even if you are pleasing yourself, you must think about customer satisfaction. Do not simply spill out of bed, pull on clothes and think you are pleasing yourself. Are you? Really?
Purpose and Meaning
Now is the time to start to shape who you want to be. Want to be, not need to be, want to be. As we realise how we fulfil our purpose in the incentives we work for, ie paying the bills for what we need: food, a roof over our heads. The meaning is more centred on what motivates you. What you want: a holiday, a wine or beer with the food on the table. Doing work you are motivated to leap from bed to do.
How about bit of folklore to conclude this time: -
Bad habits are easily slipped in to. Like weeds, they grow when you are not doing maintenance.
Good habits require cultivating, plant the seeds, nurture them, weed out the things trying to strangle your new-found growth.
And you will enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Online interactions — from a person who ran 6 figure (US dollars as well as UK pounds sterling) projects via radio.
Do you really need to clean the cupboard now? From a person with a messy desk and (almost) tidy shelves
How vulnerable are you? Are you feeling Expedient endeavour or entrepreneurial spirit