This article was originally posted on Chip’s LinkedIn here.
A full week of remote work in the books! How did you do? We’re in uncharted territory, no one knows for sure what’s ahead, but each day forward is a step closer to getting through it. Here are a few quick thoughts and observations from week one of my own remote work experience:
- Embrace it. This global remote work experiment doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s going to be different, but different can be good. Different can even be better than what we’re accustomed to in some instances. Embrace this new way of working because it’s what we’ve got. Navigating the unknown still ahead of us won’t be as intimidating if you do.
- Don’t forget to move. I find that running is a suitable commute alternative. I also require constant reminders to find time for it. It’s easy to sit in front of your computer motionless for 12 hours. Don’t do it. Go for a run.
- Get all the sunlight you can. A little natural light goes a long way toward making one feel normal.
- Be human. We’re all in this together and we don’t know what’s to come. That’s a lot to deal with by yourself; Take a moment to ask others how they’re doing. While we may be practicing social distancing, that just means we need to wave and say “hello” a bit louder when we see people in our community (at a safe distance).
- You can strengthen bonds with others even while physically separated. In normal circumstances, I gather most of my energy from the human element of my work in communications. Being together, collaborating, problem-solving with my colleagues – that’s the good stuff. Guess what? I’ve seen more faces from more corners of the globe in the past five days than I had in months. The human connection, even if only via technology, keeps me going.
- Respect boundaries. Here’s the funny thing about our newly formed remote workforce: Those of us stepping out of our routine can adopt bad habits quickly. Don’t work around the clock. Don’t expect others to work around the clock. When work and home are one and the same, it’s important to establish boundaries and respect the boundaries of others when it’s time to end one chapter and begin the next.
- Accept the unexpected video interlopers. That important client video conference? I’m pretty sure my five-year-old is going to make a guest appearance. It’s usually quick, it’s only mildly distracting, and apparently, it’s just a part of my work day now and one I’ll have to accept. Also, she’s cute and she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up. A paleontologist!
- Call your mom. It’s time. She’s worried about you.
Be well, stay healthy!