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Working from Home Series

Chapter One:  Your Dog will Bark during your Meeting

If you’re a person who spent your pre-pandemic work life in a cubicle or office, right now is a good time to throw yourself into looking on the bright side. Working from home is what you dreamed about every morning and evening when you were stuck in traffic or jammed onto a crowded bus or subway car.  Yes, it’s all terrifying and apocalyptic right now — but you can sit in your pajamas all day. You can hang out with your dog. You can make a snack anytime you want, and you can eat it with the TV on in the background.

As companies adjust to the “new normal” of remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining a strong culture and engaging employees is critical.  Embracing remote-work opportunities can deliver positive changes to business metrics, including reduced expenses and increased productivity, but requires a willing and motivated shift in perspective from management and staff.

The effectiveness of working from home has been a debated topic for decades. Only about a quarter of the US workforce works from home on a consistent basis. Concerns around productivity, collaboration, connectivity and distractions have all been cited as reasons working from home is not effective.

However, it has taken a pandemic to force a distributed workforce to come together and use online collaboration and technology tools to their full potential. An estimated 900 million people around the world are now working remotely to slow down the spread of the virus. Tools like Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams are being rediscovered for their value in supporting video, messaging, conferencing, document sharing, virtual white boarding and many other features.

As we begin to better understand the real potential of working from home, we could now be looking at the future of work. In this new business model, offices may become a fixture of the past and relegated to an occasional pit stop to greet colleagues and process administrative tasks.

The result? Work is actually getting done remotely! And benefits around flexibility and reduced commute times may actually increase productivity and effectiveness.  In fact, those of us who work from home often find ourselves overworking.  We tether ourselves to our desks and stress ourselves out more at home that we do at work.  That’s why it’s important to make sure we take care of ourselves and don’t burn out while working remotely.

During this time, stay connected with friends and build in healthy distractions.  Keep perspective and give yourself permission to prioritize information flow.  Focus on others and keep moving.  Today’s challenges will shift and we will return to a new normal with plenty of new learning and expanded adaptability.

At Kechie™, we can see a shift in how the coronavirus pandemic will permanently change the way business will be done in the future.  Our belief is that working from home will become a permanent aspect for many of us.  Employers, who were previously reluctant to allow work from home, may also observe the productivity benefits.  We will have more to share on this topic in the coming weeks.  Until then, please take care of yourselves, follow all the guidelines, and do your best to remain healthy.