Pandemic Remote Working vs Remote Working

Pandemic Remote Working vs Remote Working

With the horrible arrival of COVID-19, everyone who can, has begun remote working.

Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

For a lot of people, this is their first time attempting it.

I am a huge advocate for remote working and this is the worst possible situation to start it. I know this will cause many people to hate the idea of remote working in the future.

There are plenty of articles out there on how to remote work. I am not going to do a top 10 benefits or how to survive working from home.

With months of working like this ahead, I wanted to outline my personal experience of what is was like before the pandemic, versus now.

I am hoping it will give those who are struggling, an idea of what it can be like.

Routine

My average Remote Working routine is below. Usually my day allows me to remain calm and focussed throughout.

Only interruptions are from Slack and I am able to get a lot of work done.

Remote Working

  1. Gym/Exercise Bike
  2. Dog Walk
  3. Shower
  4. School Run
  5. Headphones on and begin focussing
  6. Brief stretch, coffee and back to focussing
  7. Nice healthy lunch and a brisk walk with the dog or meditation
  8. Headphones on and begin focussing
  9. Brief stretch, coffee and back to focussing
  10. Finish for the day, go for a walk as my after work commute

Pandemic Remote Working

  1. Exercise Bike if I have the energy
  2. Walk around the garden
  3. Try and sneak a Shower
  4. Force the kids to get dressed and dragged away from the TV
  5. Headphones on one ear to listen for fights between the kids
  6. Break to spend an hour trying to do some home schooling
  7. Cook for the family, whatever is available in the cupboards
  8. Headphones on one ear to listen for fights between the kids
  9. Break to spend an hour trying to do some home schooling
  10. Headphones on one ear to listen for fights between the kids
  11. Drag the kids out for some fresh air around the fields behind us for our once a day outside exercise

In normal circumstances, I will find myself also doing the following to break up the week.

  • Visiting a coffee shop and working from there
  • Going into the office to be around other co workers
  • Working at a hot desk in a co-working space to be around new people

These are key for me to enjoy Remote Working, but with these options gone, it becomes a lot harder.

Concentration

Currently, you are not able to work to your usual standard. This is okay, it is normal for this to be the case in this situation.

Your family comes first. Always.

So what possible answers are there to coping with these interruptions. Here are a few things that help me at the moment.

All these can help with your normal day to day working, but right now, are especially helpful too.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

This involves trying to set yourself, small bits of time where you can concentrate on one thing.

The steps are

  1. Decide on a single task
  2. Set a timer, usually this is for 25 minutes, but 15 minutes or 45 minutes is fine, it is up to you
  3. Work on this one task
  4. When the timer finishes, stop what you are doing and walk away for a short break
  5. Once you are ready, return to step 1 to continue where you were or start a new task

Turn off communication

Slack and email are wonderful tools. They can however break your concentration. It is another distraction when you are already fighting to find a solid block of time.

When you are about to start some work, mute notifications and close your email client down.

If you can, set aside specific times in the day when you reply to emails, or reply to slack.

This can be hard depending on your company. Where you can, promote asynchronous communication.

Close down tabs in your browser and put your phone on silent

During this pandemic, it is very easy to have news sites and twitter open, watching for new stories coming in. It is important to keep up to date with happenings, but not while you are working.

You already know enough about the situation, you do not need to be updated about it every 5 minutes. Push alerts to your phone about breaking news are not healthy either.

Give your mental health a break and close the sites down for a while.

In your breaks or your lunch, then you can catch up if you want.

Mental Health

Remote Working in normal circumstances can be amazing for your mental health.

With time to exercise, meditate, eat healthy and achieve high quality work, it is without a doubt the best thing I did.

Pandemic Remote Working means you will need a little more self discipline to get through the days. Stay strong, stay focussed.

Use the techniques above as a way to counter act the struggles. Remember, it is natural to be struggling while Pandemic Remote Working. Reach out to those around you for help if you need it.

To finish

The above are issues that we now face while Pandemic Remote Working. Remember, they are all temporary.

Once we are all safe through this, give remote working a chance again.

It is not for everyone, but I hope you will see the health benefits it brings you. To have flexibility and control of your life.

Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.