Uncertainty. I think we can all relate to this definition right now.
We’ve all got our schedule; we wake up, go through a routine. Maybe you’re a gym person in the morning, or get out and enjoy nature for a few miles. Maybe you really enjoy that first cup of coffee and the newspaper. Maybe it’s breakfast with friends once a week.
For the majority of us, our lives are thrown into a level of disarray we weren’t prepared for. Working from home when we’ve never set ourselves up for that. School/Daycare closures and our kids are now at home all week. Business and restaurant closures, etc, etc.
Technology can help us adapt quickly. Whether it’s remote-work through a VDI or VPN solution enabling us to do our jobs, or online schooling allowing kids to continue their education, or online ordering through our favorite grocery store. Technology can help us get through the tasks.
But past technology, how do we adapt to our changing situation. How do we still remain productive at work? How do we still ensure our personal health is being met? For me, it comes down to 2 key topics:
Finding Your Normal and Redefining Your Schedule
I had the opportunity this past week to join a roundtable on the Nutanix Community podcast to talk about working from home and supporting customers, which was an enriching experience, to hear from folks around the world about their experience and how they were finding their own normal.
You can listen to the podcast here (also available anywhere you download podcasts).
Finding Your Normal
One thing I believe is that even during this time of uncertainty, you have to be able to find a level of normal. With business closings, your morning workout at your Gym might be canceled, can’t sit in Starbucks or Panera and knock out a few morning projects, or even happy hour events with co-workers.
Being able to find what your new normal is will help you continue to be productive at work, keep relationships strong, and keep yourself mentally healthy.
Can’t go to the gym? Grab a backpack and add some weight to it, and do some at-home workouts in your garage, living room or driveway. Do 100 each of air squats, pushups, and situps. Go for a run or a walk. At our gym we’re providing In-Home workouts for our members daily, with programming we’ve written for folks to do at home, minimal equipment needed!
Can’t get together with friends/family for lunch or dinner, fire up FaceTime/Zoom/Webex/Teams, etc and enjoy the conversation and seeing somebody. Get out and talk to neighbors (albeit from a distance), don’t forget to interact with people.
Do the same thing with co-workers, get together for a happy hour virtually.
Family trips canceled? Nature is still free (well, there might be a parking fee).
Date Night? Get dressed up, get takeout or delivery, light some candles and enjoy each other’s company.
Find your level of normal, what your ideal day looks like in a crappy situation.
Redefining Your Schedule
When you first start working from home, you’re going to learn what you like and dislike about working in an office setting. With kids at home and needing to get through online learning, many parents are now spending more time helping kids that they aren’t used to.
Maybe your work schedule needs to evolve to working earlier for a few hours, take a break, do lunch, work a few more hours, take a break, and work a few more hours. Find a schedule that allows you to still be productive at work, but that still allows customers/employees to know you’re there working for them.
Maybe your team meetings need to evolve as well to a more dynamic, quick video touchpoint, but after hours.
Shifting work schedules as an employer will allow your employees to remain productive while alleviating the stress of working from home. I can’t stress enough as leaders, we must believe in our employees that they will not take working from home as a vacation, but as an opportunity to continue productivity, if not more. Sure, there will be those that need help along the way, but providing the ability to allow employees to define their schedule will help overall productivity.
Work isn’t where you do it, but what and how you do it.
What Comes Next
After going through the podcast, I realized I don’t have it figured out, and it was great to hear the other folks share their experience. Having worked from home for many years now, I feel fortunate that the COVID-19 outcomes haven’t affected my schedule too much. Sure, it’s affected my travel to work with customers, but now it’s time to do whatever we can to make sure our customers can continue to be successful for the near future and beyond. For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed through this time, use it to become more productive and more valuable
Finally, having to spend more time at home doesn’t mean you’re stuck at home. Make the best of it. Find a new hobby, learn a new skill. Re-engage with your family, with your spouse, with yourself. Don’t forget to step back and take a breath for yourself. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Our motto at eGroup is #WeGroup, and I believe that’s pretty perfect right now. We’ll make it through this, and we’ll get back to what was normal. As Red Green said on the Tv show: