How Remote Work Actually
Almost overnight it seems, the world of work drastically changed. People and businesses are pivoting fast in order to service a growing need: supporting remote workers.
Some companies are set up for remote work but most are not because, let’s face it, no one saw a global pandemic coming. But with working from home as the new normal, we have to find strategic ways to bridge the physical and emotional gap that comes with distance.
Nothing is business as usual these days. Although we find ourselves in a global crisis, we are each experiencing the crisis individually. Everyone is quickly shifting to digital, and upscaling their skills in order to approach work as effectively as possible.
The shift to remote work has also forced us to stop and think about how and why we do what we do. We are realizing that productivity is not all about getting work done. It is about how we approach our work in order to reach our potential. It is now more important than ever that people feel connected, valued and supported. Times have changed us, and so businesses have no choice but to evolve as well, and that means finding learning strategies that really work to both reach and connect people.
Let’s think about just some of what’s happening for people who suddenly find themselves working from home.
- Relational dynamics are heightened, maybe even blowing up. Expect domestic violence and divorce rates to spike now that couples have to spend all their time together.
- Members of households are negotiating the boundaries of shared space without hating each other. Shutting people out so you can get to work is hard especially if kids are around.
- People are feeling all the emotions. Living in isolation, they are scared, irritable, distracted, bored, frustrated, anxious and depressed. They need virtual support in order to stay connected to teammates, engaged in learning, and able to maintain a positive outlook.
The fear of the future feels overwhelming right now, but at least we live in an age where we can learn from anywhere. With e-learning in place, we can log on and start to self-reflect about where we are and what we need, and we can upgrade our skills and learn new ways of interacting.
As trying as remote work may feel right now, we are still in the early days. It is predicted that after COVID-19 becomes one for the history books, working from home will be the new normal. In the meantime, this is a valuable opportunity to take the time and space we need to focus on personal and interpersonal growth both at work and at home.
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By Randi Chapnik Myers, LL.B., LL.M., Partner, Workright Inc.
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