Is there going to be significant change in the way we work beyond COVID-19, if this has not already happened? I believe that for most of us the answer will be yes. When I run groups or meet with clients I see that we are becoming accustomed (reluctantly or voluntarily) to working very differently at home to when we are ‘in the office’.
We have been confronting a series of challenges such as zoom conferencing, managing staff remotely, setting up at home, internet issues, balancing work with family needs (especially kids learning from home), lack of socialisation and incidental exercise, discipline and productivity. And you might have noticed that no matter how much you try to keep to a routine, it is very difficult to do so. No matter how productive you try to be, there are many distractions that impact.
So how is your ‘9-5’ going, and is it ok if it is slightly adjusted?
How are you planning your day? Are you saving time commuting and if so, are you filling in that time doing something else? Is your day the same as when you were in the office? How do you manage communication with your colleagues? How do you work when your kids are trying to attend classes at home and they aren’t behaving? Or you attend zoom meetings, the connection is not reliable and the meeting takes that much longer; you miss the coffees in the office and the walks at lunch so you now have breaks at different times. And at the end of the day you feel like you have not achieved much – which adds self imposed pressure to be more productive and meet deadlines.
With all that we have experienced a new ‘9-5’ might look like this: You start work at 8.30am after that virtual pilates lesson or a sleep in. You take a 2 hour break from 12-2 to have lunch, go shopping, walk the dogs, help the kids or visit elderly relatives. So you work later in the evening (or start earlier in the morning) to compensate for those hours ‘lost’. Or you might do a couple of hours on Saturday.
The new ‘9-5’ might be a permanent change for a lot of us. In fact, the new world of business could look very different. And who knows, it may be exactly what is needed.