The world is definitely in the midst of a massive shift in the economy. While disruption is always part of the equation, Covid-19 has proven itself to be a disruptor with a magnitude we’ve not seen in recent history. The effects it’s having in the economy are being felt in almost all sectors and verticals of the world. How can you transition to the new normal?
It’s certainly a challenge. Many workers have almost overnight had to transition from the bustling morning of getting ready to go to work in an office setting, to a slower, less stressful routine. In this post, I’ll share how someone can successfully transition into the new normal.
Before the Coronavirus hit, we were accustomed to the routine of waking up, eating breakfast, getting the children ready, getting a small workout in, and heading out the door with coffee in hand, laptop bag on our shoulder, and keys to the car ready to brave the morning traffic on our commute to the office.
Enter the Coronavirus, a novel virus that has changed the world. Where we used to make the morning commute to our office, we now stay at home with the children, in a new way. What do we do?
Create a new routine
The first thing you should do is create for yourself new routines. There are probably four you should create:
- Your Morning Routine
- Your Workday Startup
- Your Workday Shutdown
- Your Evening Routine
You probably have already a version of your routines that you do when you go to work. Now your challenge is to create new routines for yourself. Routines have the power to help us make sense of our day and set us up for success. What would a new routine look like for you?
For your routine you should think, how do I want to set myself up for success for the day personally and professionally?
Create a new space
By now, you’ve weathered the storm of quarantine and not being able to actually go to your office. It’s probably been months since you really went to your office. In the new normal, perhaps you should consider creating a new space for your work to occur.
Do you have a spare bedroom or corner of your home to develop into an office space? Consider making yourself a new office space, sanctuary, work zone for you to call your new office.
Your new office should include the minimum:
- Desk (either a sitting desk, standing desk, or one that you can raise and lower)
- The Best Office chair you can afford
- Technology (Computer, copier, scanner, etc.)
- Office accessories (Whiteboard, desk accessories)
For some you might want some greenery, potted plants, and framed art. This space should be inviting and a welcome place to “go” to work.
Invest in new Technology
Since what we are all asking ourselves to do is embrace the new normal of remote work, there are certain technologies that you should consider getting onboard with. There are really three areas that you should focus on: collaboration and communication and task management.
Collaboration and Communication Tools
Collaboration tools most likely through this era are meant to allow us to still keep us connected to our coworkers. In the remote work era you don’t have the opportunity to head to the kitchen or break room, grab a coffee or tea or soda, and chat with your fellow workers.
What you can do is be intentional about connecting with your coworkers with technology. Enter Zoom.us, Microsoft Teams, GoTo Meeting, WebEx, et. al.
One such company I follow schedules team-wide Zoom calls where they spend the first 50 minutes of the hour working, head down, just getting stuff done. When the 50 minutes are over, they then spend the next 10 minutes chatting with each other. It’s their way of keeping that “in office” feel. And, with the benefit of knowing other people are watching you work, you might find yourself as productive if not more so productive at home!
Other tools you might consider using is Slack for asynchronous communication. Lots of remote teams are using this tool as a de facto chat room. It’s not video, but it still helps to keep you connected.
The biggest part of remote work is keeping track of tasks and projects that need to be moved forward to meet goals and deadlines. When you don’t have meetings in person or the in-office work experience sometimes that feeling of knowing who is doing what is lost.
Consider adopting a task management application like Asana to track tasks, projects, and deadlines.
Any task manager will do, but the key here is that you know what you need to do for your work, how you fit into the bigger picture, and a way to know how work is progressing.
What you don’t want to do is adopt more email communications between you and your team. Email will suck you into a vortex of talking about work and not working on the task at hand. Transitioning from Email to Asana will help you stay focused and productive even while working from home.
The novel Coronavirus has been one of the biggest disruptors in the global economy that has shaken up the normal way we have experienced the world. For workers we have the unique challenge of adjusting to a new way to work from home and in new situations. We should create for ourselves new routines, create for ourselves a new space for our work, and adopt new technology like Slack, Zoom, and Asana.
Now it’s your turn, what have you done, or seen others do to adjust to the new normal of remote work? Let us all know in the comments below.