Author: Lee Scorey
Date: 9th May 2020
As a consultant with clients all over the UK and some dotted around Europe, working remotely is a requirement of my day-to-day role. It is part and parcel of our ethos. So, the situation we find ourselves in right now is no different to any other day, right?
Let’s face it, the minute you’re told you can’t have or do something the minute you want it more. The conspiracist within me says this is just a worldwide government effort to deal with global obesity … But what do I know.
So why is this important? In truth this is not just about consultancy, it’s all of us. We are all working from home now (except the key workers). We all; –
– Wake up in the morning (in our house)
– Get ourselves ready for the day (in our house)
– Commute to the dining table – or study if we’re lucky enough (in our house)
– Get on with the days work (in our house)
– Finish the day and retire to … our house
– And then the weekend comes where we get to go to … our house
There is limited distancing from your work environment, not forgetting you are now joined at the hip with other members of your household 24×7 for the next month or two at least. Perhaps we should look to NASAs astronaut training program to see how they are trained to cope in these situations.
Take a break
The thing is we all need a break at times, from tech, from the office and from each other occasionally.
How many of you have ever phoned a helpdesk about a computer problem and been told “turn it off and on again”? Isn’t it even more annoying that the majority of the time it does fix the problem? The impact of daily operations over a period of time eventually cause these devices to slow down. To become unfunctional. To need resetting.
Computers have a nice easy to identify Reset button and we press it fairly often.
Humans don’t. Actually, we do but we all forget to press it every once in a while.
When is the last time you pressed reset on yourself? When did you switch off from the office, from the internet, from the TV. When did you last read a book? A real book, not one on your iPad/kindle, etc.
Do yourself a favour turn the computer, phone tablet and other electronic devices off (yes, even your smart watch). Go out for your daily exercise, leave the devices home. Chill. Breath in the air. Enjoy the silence.
Now, this is the important part. Do not think this is all about you. Maybe your other half is downstairs (while you’re reading this), attempting to make themselves lunch, home-school 2.4 children & manage their own workload and the dog/cat/gerbil. They need a break too, from you and everything around them so give them the same instruction and allow them time & space to find some inner peace.
So where was I going with all this? Ah yes, Working remotely…
1. Don’t be afraid to turn your webcam on from time-to-time, remind others what you look like
2. In reverse, remember to restrict the use of video streaming on all but the most important calls. The demand for video streaming is way above expectations and your local broadband exchange is being saturated with the requirement.
3. Avoid video conferencing between 08:00-10:00 & 15:30-18:00, these are key points in the day when most people are running conferences or streaming video in order to kick-start/end their day so if you are noticing issues during these time periods consider rescheduling to an earlier or time.
4. Make allowances for other not being immediately available as they may be looking after others in the household.
5. During calls encourage others to mute their mike. Although it is still hilarious to hear a child making car noises while their parent attempts to hold a serious business conversation with you.
6. Finally, remember social etiquette and make sure you do still dress for the day ahead – see point 1.
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