“1 in 4 Americans are working remotely in 2021.”
According to Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Pulse Report, 1 in 4 Americans will be working remotely in 2021.*
As more people become vaccinated, and the world gets back to some normalcy, will companies continue a flexible “work from home” schedule? How many working parents are aching to get back to their commutes, in-person meetings and back to an office environment? Seeing colleagues, having your own space, going to lunches, all sounds good but how many of us are ready to jump back in?
Yes, Covid was the key factor to forcibly move to a work from home environment (for those that could) but how many companies and businesses are maintaining this format on a go forward? And to name just some of the tradeoffs: increased productivity, comforts of home, less time commuting = more downtime with kids, pets, loved ones, etc. As there are pros, there are some cons, including increased screen time (blue light glasses anyone?), technical issues, lack of interpersonal communication, digital deadlines, etc. I can only imagine the stress of my daughter’s dedicated teachers where they are teaching half the students two days a week and Ground Hog day’ing the other half with the same curriculum each week.
Although not ideal, we’ve all made adjustments where Covid-19 may have forced many of us to ‘work from home’ but have the pros outweighed the cons? And have companies come to realize that workers, employees are happier, more efficient resulting in better productivity? How many of us will want to maintain this work at home lifestyle over having to go back to an office? Will there be some flexibility or an all or nothing approach?
And what about the commute? Some take trains, planes and automobiles to get to their jobs and let’s not forget about “getting ready”. Excluding daily hygiene, not having to do everything else to be presentable – from our hair and makeup to what to wear… this is cut by 50% (at least) so we’re “zoom ready” where it’s business at the top and party (or loungewear) on the bottom.
I know this does not apply to everyone’s work situation but if you continue to WFH (work from home), here are Svn (7) helpful tips:
- Acceptance – what the foreseeable future looks like as more and more companies establish WFH guidelines.
“In Upwork’s report, by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels, the study revealed.”
You should have now gotten over the “guilt” of being at home. Integrity and work ethic follow you anywhere and for employers, get over the “fear” that employees are not working as hard or giving it their all. Acceptance on both sides allows one less thing to worry about and focus on the priorities and goals at hand.
- Quiet Time – easier said than done with newborns or young children (or needy pets). Allot yourself and plan the ‘quiet’ time you need during critical meetings, zoom calls or when you require deep concentration. When there are less distractions, plan work meetings around that especially when your kids are sleeping, playing or have their own quiet time. Minimize the distractions.
- Environment – create an ideal space (from furniture including a proper desk, a comfortable chair to your surroundings). A clean space to declutter the mind and fill your space with “living things” like a plant or even a fish tank. Little refreshes here and there or incorporating some Feng Shui in your office or bedroom. Practicing the art of Feng Shui is the concept of linking the destiny of women and men to their environment with the goal that they live in harmony with their surroundings. Yes, it’s our destiny, harmony, balance, and purpose to live with nature… 😉
- Technology – How’s your internet speed? Slow speed = less efficient (and increased frustration). Also, keep things charged and be kind to yourself (and others) when things are “glitchy” or there are technical challenges. Or missed a deadline? Blame the internet!
- Take some CBD – Remember the above line where it’s our destiny to live with nature? There are going to be stressful situations, online presentations, technical glitches, lack of communication — take a little CBD (without the drowsiness). I often hear, “I don’t want to get tired” or “have my head in the clouds”, not realizing that CBD products have no THC (intoxicating effects) and products are tailored to specific needs. Taking a CBD Oil to calm nerves without feeling drowsy or even adding CBD to your drink can take some of the ‘edge off’.
Here are Svn (7) CBD products I’ve tried myself and highly recommend:
AND if you do need to meet face to face, wear a Hemp Black Face Mask. Hemp fabric is antimicrobial, breathable https://hempblack.com/products/hemp-black-fusion-face-mask
- Mini Selfcare Breaks – Take walks, nap, hydrate your skin and do some movement to move the body and wake up your mind. Have you tried the CALM app? Digital reminders that judge you, just kidding that remind you to take a breath, meditate or get up and walk around. Little self care luxuries you couldn’t do in an office environment as you could do now in the comfort of your own home (and in sweats).
- Don’t lunch alone – Human interaction is important, sparking conversation, and the art of listening — all integral in our daily lives and applies to how we engage with others. Try to have lunch with your child, a pet, loved one, friend, or even a plant — some living thing with some level of engagement. My palm fronds thanks me for it and the power of speaking to our plants can be witnessed here.
The pros (at least for me) outweigh the cons. I do miss the social interactions with peers but nothing a phone call or lunch date can’t fix. However, being in the presence of my family (and pets) and observing the little things I would normally miss being gone 9-10 hours a day, have far outweighed the cons.
Cutting out the things that take time from commuting to getting ready has also been instrumental in using my time wisely. Work smarter not harder right?
Remember when it comes to our health and well-being, what price would you pay to be healthy and happy? Embrace this WFH shift and make the most of it and when you’re on, you’re on but when it’s time to shut off, set those mental and physical boundaries.
Lastly, always remember to lock the door before any meeting starts 😉