Adjusting to COVID-19 Work Conditions
By now, it has become clear that the world will no longer be the same. The onset of COVID has changed some fundamental assumptions about how we live and work.
Now, more than before, we must adapt. News is coming at a fast clip and the world develops and seems to spin on the thinnest of margins.
I have no grand insight to share on the pandemic, but I wish to write about the changes to my work since COVID became a thing.
Remote work is huge
For all the companies out there that did not have their ducks in a row, COVID came as a shock. I get it - when you’re a small company, you cut corners and bootstrap quickly. Setting up remote capabilities is a dream for another day; we’re in the business of surviving and thriving. On the other hand, for those who are prepared, COVID is great for business. Working for a consulting company that has a division in setting up remote working capacity for other companies, this COVID era has been a boon.
Not everyone is ready for remote work
Some people love the self/government-imposed isolation and quarantine. Others are crumbling, whether that be through a loss of motivation or routine. Last week, I had to snap out of a funk that I had fallen into because of the change in living situation. To pretend that everything is the same as before would be naïve. Things have changed, but it takes remarkably little to adjust. We are human after all, and we survive because we adapt.
Routines are key
Without an alarm, the daily commute, and the little stopgaps of routine that we’ve fed into our lives, it is easy to feel lost and adrift amidst all the chaos. To help with the adaptation, I have found that establishing a new routine was superbly helpful. Like good habits, a good routine can keep us afloat and buy us time to re-evaluate our new life situation. Read here if you want to learn more about my philosophy on discipline.
Awareness of Time
Of the few occasions where I have worked from home, I have always struggled with a sense of turning off. After my billable hours have been met, I tend to linger and reply to emails and chat longer than I otherwise would have. It’s too easy to continue working. But if we don’t temper ourselves and our work ethic, it is easy to feel trapped by the feelings of work and more work. By properly shutting down and moving away from your workspace (or cleaning it up if you have limited space), a routine is built in your mind. This “routine” clarifies and changes your mood so that you can focus on other important things - like self-care.
I hope that everyone out there is safe (or doing their best to remain safe). We are in troubling times but we will get through it. This, too, shall pass.