WFH

How Do I Work From Home

Around the world in the last few weeks significantly large elements of the work force have been mandated, either by their employers, or by legislation, or both, to stay at home and work remotely.

Working from Home is the dream of many but not of all and even for those of us who have a strong desire to be able to do so, do we really have a clear understanding and have we really thought about “how do I work from home?”

A New Normal?

I am predicting that when the ‘zombie apocalypse’ finally subsides, and we go back to normal, that we will be going back to a quite different normal than was the case previously. While working from home (WFH) has been a normal feature for some businesses in the last decade, I suspect that this experience will deliver some interesting statistics about productivity and running costs (overheads on New Normallarge and permanent premises), that I further surmise will give rise to a major rethink about new ways of working (NWOW), for our future workplace landscape

However regardless of whether you we are old hands at the WFH gig, or reluctant, or perhaps joyful forced convertees to the concept, there are some common aspects to consider, in ensuring that we can be productive in WFH mode.

Many will find themselves working from home for the first time, and may be struggling to find ways of remaining on task, in an environment potentially full of home distractions. But there are well proven, tried and tested, things that we can all do, which range from consideration of a dedicated workspace, to the way we think and communicate, as well as how we organise our work routines.

Good Communication Is Key

Whether working for ourselves, managing a team, or being managed by someone else, having a really clear-set of expectations, for communications day to day, is essential to understand what we are doing, what progress is being made and what help, assistance, or guidance, is required to remain on track.

Those who are more used to working in close proximity to the boss and their work colleagues are, in theory, used to easy and mostly effortless communication. A radical rethink is needed when WFH, particularly for those who come from a workplace situation where remote working is unusual.Communications
Managers may not be used to managing at distance or with dispersed teams, the tools that support remote working may not be readily available, or when pressed into service may intimidate and unsettle people.

But even those who regularly WFH or who have been doing so for an extended period, have reported that it can, if not well-prepared, organised and planned, be unstructured and isolating. Research studies have shown that loneliness is the second most reported challenge in WFH. This is equally true of employees or those who are self-employed WFH practitioners. Whether we find ourselves in a position of self-employed WFH, working with customers or clients, a manager, or leader of others, or being managed by someone else, the research shows, that where possible, the richer the communications media, the better for maintaining healthy contact and productivity; so where possible the use of video and shared collaboration tools should be pressed into service.

A real JobHave a Real Job Mindset

Attitude and environment play equal parts in creating the ‘real job’ mindset necessary to stay focused and remain productive. There are a number of mental and environmental measure that can easily be put in place and which I have discussed elsewhere in these Blog pages in Things To Think About Working From Home. I won’t go into these in great detail here, because you can jump to the link above and get the detail when convenient, but in essence the things to consider are grouped into 3 mains areas:

Environment

  • Applications and Productivity T
    ools
  • Office space
  • Dress For Work
  • Organised Workspace

Connectivity

  • Internet
  • Phone
  • Human Networks

Attitude

  • Specific Work Times
  • Expectation Management
  • Perseverance
  • Distance and Separation

Guard Against the Perception of Isolation

We are, by nature, predominantly social animals. So even when equipped with appropriate tools and having created, for ourselves a purpose environment some of us will still struggle to get accustomed to the ‘new normal’ of WFH.

Nicholas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University in California a seasoned TED Talker On the subject of remote working, has recognised two distinct types of WFH patterns: short-term or occasional WFH, and permanent or full-time WFH. Says Bloom “It is kind of like comparing light exercise to marathon training,”. Bloom tells us in his TED talk that no more than 5% of the US workforce, confess to being full-time remote workers.

I understand Bloom’s analogy because for the last few years I have worked from home 2-3 time a month and indeed I have found myself to be very productive on those days. This is because I have a plan and I am not being distracted or Isolationinterrupted as I am often in the open-plan office environment that I am generally used to. However, the concentrated period of driving my whole business unit from my home office has been quite a different experience altogether and I have had to adjust quickly to develop new leadership techniques, adapt my
communications style and channels, and reorder my day to accommodate considerably more remote meetings to stay situationally aware and connected to my colleagues

As I plan to retire in about 13 months and work for myself as a full time consultant and commercial Blogger from home, I have been thinking about what lessons I can take away from this experience, to ensure my own productivity when that time comes.

My colleagues and I on the executive leadership team in my current role have reinvented the working day to revolve around remote meetings, as much as possible utilising face to face channels, as this definitely improves morale. We have even instituted virtual breakfast, virtual coffee, virtual water cooler and the end of the day virtual Pub or beer call.

Above All Maintain Morale

The circumstances under which people have found themselves WFH at short notice, and largely unprepared, will undoubtedly have caused many of us some stressful challenge. This will in no way have been helped any, by the ever present negative headlines, worries about sick or elderly friends and or family, managing at homeschooling and catering for a family, living under the same roof, for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for a month or more.

Answering work emails and staying focused on meetings and objectives in what is still the working day, albeit in a foreign working environment can be challenging. However, the more effort invested in communicating widely, the Moralebetter the chance we have of not feeling isolated, and therefor avoiding classic isolation related depression.

Maximum, online, face-to-face interactions, by video calling, regular manager and team leader casual check-ins, in particular to those employees who live alone, and who might be more susceptible to feelings of isolation, along with regular, ‘no agenda’ meetings, like virtual coffee or water cooler chats helps to ‘normalise the day as much as is possible.

Under these circumstances there is no such thing as too much communication. It is the latter that makes people feel connected and it the latter means by which managers, team leaders, executives and coworkers alike maintain good spirits amongst each other and a happy workforce is generally a productive workforce

WFH Working For Ourselves

Most of the discussion here has been about the challenges faced by those WFH2forced to WFH by the Pandemic situation, but many of the considerations, lessons and lessons learned from this analysis can easily and constructively applied to the situation that for instance I intend and hope to find myself in 13 months time WFH for me with no manager and no team.

What can we all learn as WFH single business owner operators, from the above principles and how we might apply them should we choose to go down that path. I may be Blogging about just that in 18 months time LoL

Like To Find Out The Answer To The Last Question?

If you are in any way curious or serious about building your own WFH opportunity then I recommend you do just one more thing……….

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If you are serious about your own business then you will not be disappointed and what is there to lose when you can have a go for FREE.

What will you do PROCRASTINATE or read this Wealthy Affiliate Review

Here are some more articles that may help you think about your next steps

What is a Good Online Business To Start

Sack The Boss Own Your Time

What is Blog Marketing

Affiliate Marketing A Programme

Thanks for visiting and good luck with WFH folks

Hamish

P.S. If this post has inspired you to become a Blogger yourself, and make money while you do it, you can find out how to do just that, by reading my post on Blogging for Business How To Go About It.

This includes an easy FREE method to get started and FREE hosting of a website upon which to base you Blog

4 thoughts on “How Do I Work From Home”

  1. Hello there thanks for sharing these helpful tips on working from home. There are so many distractions that are encountered when working from home especially in this trying period. I think reading your post on this has actually helped a great deal in trying to maintain a good moral and communication while working.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, I am always glad when people derive value from what I write so you have made me smile today.

      Hamish

      Reply
  2. Perhaps I could not have said it any better myself, but your post identifies many of the “circumstances” and elements of my own arrival to the WFH environment.

    I was “largely unprepared,” when I found myself working from home, it wasn’t a situation where there was “short notice” … there was simply no notice.

    I had never envisioned myself working from home, so I never really had any reason to look into it.

    Likewise, I never considered a career change or having to take on early retirement.  That was the farthest thing from my mind.

    But in a “blink of the eye” what was otherwise an uneventful day, my life changed one day.  I found myself at the ICU having suffered a “ruptured brain-aneurysm” that, but for a miracle from God, I survived.

    Long story short, I stumbled upon an article from a Wealthy Affiliate member, took the plunge, and now I’ve been with WA for a couple of years. 

    At this time when in the U.S.A. and other countries in the world, people are having to hunker down at home with stay-at-home orders from their governments, I am so glad I’m a WA member and feel better prepared to tackle the pandemic by WFH!  🙂

    Reply
    • Great to have validation from one who has walked the path Christie and I am so pleased to hear that it has gone well for you.

      You had a lucky escape my mother was taken by the same kind of episode when she was 45 and she left us only 17 hours afterwards.

      Stay safe and well and thanks for the comment

      Hamish

      Reply

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