Let me talk a little about this working from home (WfH) trend which is likely to become the norm for the majority of the population and organisations moving forward.
I specifically want to talk about work patterns and old habits. I think now is the time for all of us to review our work patterns and habits learnt over the years before we embark on the next era. Otherwise we may be at risk of undoing all the hard work we’ve put in to achieve Work, Life, Balance.
Ergonomics of WfH
For many returning to work, WfH should not be business as usual. Simply because, you need a period of adaptation and induction and work patterns that you should go through in your new working environment (your home).
Previously the odd WfH on a 15inch laptop was tolerated by many people. Especially those without underlying problems e.g. sight. But to continuously stare at a 15inch screen, 7.5hrs a day, 5 days a week while sitting awkwardly, can only lead to serious long term conditions.
That established, there is a greater need now to ensure that we all have a structure for WfH (physically and mentally) and we all need to adjust to fit within the new normal. It is your responsibility to find out from your employer the support they offer for WfH.
Whose idea was it anyway
In terms of work habits, I never quite understood the logic of the 7am breakfast meetings. I mean whose bright idea was that anyway. During this lockdown I’ve heard some meetings have been scheduled for 8.30am start. I’m sure those attending such meetings are made to feel important. We are not talking about scheduling a meeting across international boarders. But organisations within the same time zone. The Corona virus has obviously made it clear the most important jobs are actually in healthcare and support services.
I would like to dispel the myth that WFH means working ungodly hours from home. Unless working a shift pattern, others could start much later. Before the onset of the recent lockdown, I deliberately chose to start work (office or home) anytime from around 10am. Having said this, I have attended one or two early morning meetings when I had to… but I would prefer if its not a daily occurrence.
A change in behaviour
So, there are many office work ethics or behaviours that need to change as the world has changed. Habits people do out of observing others, learnt behaviour. Saying this, some companies are ahead of the game I.e. google, Twitter. Others are playing catch-up.
Time for change
Not so long ago office workers had a habit of carrying newspaper to and from work. A commute to work was often marked by faces buried in the pages of a newspaper. Then along came the reading of novels and books. Followed eagerly now by social media interactions and movie watchers on portable android phones. Now-a-days very few people sit idle on a commuter train🤣🤣🤣🤣
It is important that following this recent pandemic and lockdown that we all embarrass new ways of working rid ourselves of unnecessary habits and behaviours. People should not simply transfer their habits from their physical office to their virtual space.
A chat with a few friends who have been WfH has revealed the anxiety of working from home. This is because some have not adapted the right equipment, habit, set boundary and structure for WfH. A few are now suffering from back pain. The list goes on.
Make your pattern known
Personally I intend to make my work pattern known to my team and others. Use your signature strip to inform the general public of your working hours.…
Lunch for me is flexible and often determined by when I get hungry or when my meetings is scheduled. But generally, when I’m hungry the kitchen is only 16 steps away🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣