For 10 years, we’ve run freshbenies as a remote workplace. It doesn’t mean we didn’t get together consistently and see each other’s faces. It does mean it’s rare that any of us drove in rush-hour traffic.
Before last week, most Americans didn’t even know the term “social distancing” and now, thanks to Coronavirus / COVID-19, millions of people are remote work newbies.
To help, I’m sharing the top 9 trials I’ve had to overcome moving from cubicle to home office…
1. Being productive throughout a FULL workday. This isn’t a “snow day” where you do 2 hours of work and then take off to go sledding. Past the first few days, work will pile up and you’ll need to get back to 8 (or more!) hours of work.
2. Staying focused throughout the FULL workday. This can be a challenge, but let’s admit that some of us had this issue when working in an office, too.
3. Being a slob. You can literally work in your pajamas and go all week without showering (however, this works better with the advent of “social distancing”). No, people can’t tell if you’ve brushed your teeth from a video call but come on!
4. Difficulty unplugging from work. It’s always there – just staring longingly at you.
5. Getting easily distracted. There are so many things tugging at you to get done from what's normally a non-work environment: Netflix, toys, a stocked refrigerator, that pile of laundry, video games, Facebook, a workout…
6. Feeling lonely and isolated. Some personalities are energized by being around real, live humans. Hi, that’s me!
7. Dealing with pets. This could also be under #5. All day long, they need to be loved and they ALWAYS bark RIGHT as you’re closing the big deal.
8. Dealing with a spouse. If your spouse is also working from home, there could be territory wars (um, that was MY home office, sweetheart).
9. Dealing with kids. This one is a newer trial – they’re now ALWAYS at home, no school, no daycare. Our team has never dealt with this before, so we’ll be listening for all your brilliant advice! We had a two-year old meltdown during a client call this week. The good news is EVERYONE “gets it” at this point – and I would hope that all have grace! Let’s remember how endearing this video was from last year’s news.
It’s not easy to look and sound professional with a zoo and your own personal Romper Room in the background – and don’t forget the treadmill / clothing rack background in your video call!
With millions of people living and working in a new normal, I think the next few weeks will have many “authentic” moments. My advice is this: don’t be afraid to point out when something goes haywire, laugh at yourself, and you’ll gain major points from your coworkers and clients.
Now it's your turn! Which of these is your biggest challenge so far? Share an "authentic" misstep on social media so we can join in the fun and assure one another that we're not in this alone!