5.2% of us work from home but this could rise to 25% over the coming months due to Coronavirus. (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
When I first created Courageous Success, I went from working in an office of 3000 people to working alone at home. A big change! We now have an amazing office but working from home regularly has great advantages.
In this first of a series of blogs, we’ll help you with the challenges that you may face with the virus, including dealing with isolation, having to cope with stress, needing to be efficient if you can’t work at home and others are absent and maintaining connections with global and local teams. Many of you share this blog and I encourage you to widen this so that you can help as many people as possible.
In whatever way you are affected, every moment is an opportunity to choose a perspective that catapults the future for you and the organisation that you work for.
The media coverage can highlight the changes afoot as a scary situation, however, we can shift our perspective and mindset and see this as an opportunity to be more productive and effective whilst working from home. It is also an opportunity to challenge some of our usual working habits and patterns that may not be the most effective way to work. We are all social animals, so more alone time can be a challenge for many of us. To work in the isolation of home without the buzz of the workplace environment, the ability to connect and bounce ideas, can affect our mood and our energy.
My first challenge to you is to question how much you are using the energy of other people to bolster yours? This is a very frequent pattern causing volatility of mood and swings in motivation, all affecting your happiness and effectiveness. Building your own resilience from an energy perspective means being the barometer and boiler of your own motivation, irrelevant of what’s going on around you. So top tip number one? Focus on your inner world with a positive lens and stop relying on others to bolster you.
Second tip is to up your planning. Focusing on more than one thing decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points, (Harvard Business Review). Here’s an opportunity to focus on one thing at a time and maintain or even increase your IQ. You’ll naturally have less interruptions at home. Enjoy the calm, buzz inside and create a great plan, then excitedly get to it.
I remember meeting a coach that got up every morning, put on his suit and tie and started his work – from home. When he finished his workday, on went his jeans. Act as if you were going to work, perhaps without the tie, but you get the gist. Maintaining your normal morning routine, setting your alarm etc. will get you focused.
Structure your day – you won’t have as many normal workplace routines around meetings and breaks, so create some structure for yourself. Put the meetings in as calls or ideally webinars. Use facetime. Great for dropping any false work masks – although pyjamas and hair standing on end may be pushing it too far lol.
Be normal. I once had a conference call with a few people working from home and could hear one person emptying the dishwasher whilst brainstorming – I am a firm believer that creativity comes when we make the workplace less formal. It’s the same with walk and talk meetings. Letting go and being normal often unlocks fresh thinking. Use the opportunity to be creative and get things done at the same time!
How about using the time to stretch yourself to impact more positively at work!
- Take responsibility for your own mind-set and environment. Be conscious of your energy levels and listen for when you need to take a break to recharge, a change of room can really help. Pace the lounge on a call! Do that work out video first thing before you start work instead of your commute!
- Ask yourself: what is the most valuable way for me to use my time right now? Get cracking. Think blue sky, strategy, making a difference.
- If I was being my most courageous self at work – where might it take me, what can I do now to take the first steps?
- How can I generate new ideas or ways of doing things that can be shared & implemented?
- What would I love to challenge or change in my workplace?
- Identify what difference you really want to make in your role, in the company. Make this happen. Regularly review how you’re doing to get that positive feedback loop.
- Reflect on a purpose of being. How do I want to be as a co-worker, team member, and leader?