It’s a crazy, crazy time to be alive right now. Things change pretty much every hour.
What’s happening our world feels eerily similar to 9/11. Of course, we didn’t have warning back then and I didn’t run a business nor have people’s livelihoods dependent on me. But the eerie feeling of everything stopping is very much the same.
If you aren’t used to working at home, let alone with kids around, we’re going to spend today talking about how to do it, how to make your life easier, and what to do when your cognitive energy is taxed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29 percent of Americans can work from home, including one in 20 service workers and more than half of information workers. So while servers are still manning the restaurants—at least as of this recording—the technology sector has effectively gone remote.
Even before the pandemic struck, remote work was accelerating in the U.S. The share of the labor force that works from home tripled in the past 15 years, according to the Federal Reserve.
Two of the accelerants are obvious: living costs in metros with the highest density of knowledge workers, and technology, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, that moves collaboration and gossip online.
Work from Home Recommendations
Here are two recommendations to make working from home easier and more productive:
- Schedule specified working hours: at the end of your work day, shut off your computer and walk away;
- Designate an area to use only for work: it should not be in your bedroom or in front of the TV.
Two tools that facilitate working at home are Slack and Zoom. Use Slack to communicate and to share information, to check in, and to recreate the water cooler.
Videoconferencing with Zoom can replace face-to-face meetings, though not the same, they come pretty close.
There also are some practical ways to incorporate both tools into your daily work from home routine, as well as how to mitigate common challenges.
You’ll also find your stress level decreases—at least it will as far as work goes. It may not with what’s happening in the world and we all will need to fill our cognitive energy reserves when this is all said and done. But the mere fact that you don’t have to commute into an office is going to reduce your stress level.
You’ll get things done. You’ll be far more productive. And you’ll get results. Outside of needing human interaction, I’m willing to bet most organizations will create, at the very least, a flexible work schedule after all of this. That’s how productive everyone will be.
Have Your Say
Do you have more questions or comments about working at home? Share them in the Spin Sucks Community.