The traditional workday has gone kaput and we’ve started a new era of working from home. For some, remote working might be a gift from the heavens. Others may feel like it's a prison of videoconferencing and Google hangouts. The Dude WFH Survival Guide is for seasoned veterans of telecommuting and first time newbs alike.
BUILD THE ERGONOMIC STRONGHOLD
Don't be cocky and take on the Coronavirus work revolution without a home office area. Tossing your computer on a lousy plywood desk isn't going to cut it. A 2011 study from UiTM found, "Indoor environments in an office have a great influence on employees' attitudes, behaviors, satisfaction and work performance."
So make your environment a work from home dojo. Buy some sweet plants to clean the air. Consider eye friendly light bulbs. Design the layout of your workspace with an eye functionality and heady Feng Shui vibes. Make it a space that’s inviting to work in for 40+ hours a week.
Avoid spending work time in social areas of the home. This isn't always possible and a dedicated work space is a luxury. But you don't want to be the roommate, parent or loved one that has turned the living room into a cubicle. For noise, a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones can make all the difference with shared sound environments. Avoid the trendy brands and cheap crap.
RITUALIZE THE ROUTINE
In 2018, Benjamin Spall of the New York Times interviewed 300 "high achievers" ranging from business leaders, university presidents and Olympians. What did they all have in common? Routines set in stone. Working from home will change the standard work schedule. Commutes are gone and traditional break times are in the past.
Isolation and deterioration of work-life balance are the greatest risks for remote workers. During the design of your WFH routine, leave time to catch some fresh air. Humans need in-person interactions so even a small walk to a nearby store will do wonders.
All the high achievers had a form of exercise built into their routines. Gyms will be slow to open as long as the pandemic remains. This isn't an excuse. We get it, you miss clanging the 225lb bar like you are in the NFL combine, but body weight exercises can be more functional. Try yoga, buy a bike or check out our prison workout plan.
There are activities to avoid during routine creation and implementation. Browsing social media obviously won't boost project management abilities. Searching through the 11th page of Amazon's Deals of the Day can't make employee of the month material. Podcasts are enlightening but spending the morning solving murder mysteries isn't productive. The same goes for binging your ninth episode of Frasier on Netflix.
RAGE AGAINST THE INTERNET PROVIDER MACHINE
Internet providers are run like the mafia and they have us all right where they want us. But now is the time to upgrade from that basic package.
Tiers of wi-fi speed pricing are steep with no middle-ground. If an upgrade is necessary, you must go on the offensive. The trick is simple but requires patience and using techniques perfected by the Karens of the world.
Step 1: Call your internet provider. Go through the purposely long and repeating security verifications. Avoid small talk. Push for a cancellation for the lack of an affordable high-speed option.
Step 2: Now, the employee on the line will read you the company's price points and may offer a discount. Do not take this. Carry on and do not waver. Ask to speak to a manager about cancelling so you can move to an alternative provider.
Step 3: The tables have turned. They will send an offer at a lower price than advertised. Remember, providers do not lose money giving you the boosted power. It's all about keeping the payments coming in. Thank them and proceed with a new contract. Make sure your current modem can handle the updated speed.
MASTER THE TECHNOLOGY
The sheer madness of additions to our vocabulary is overwhelming. Zoom, Trello, Slack, Trept, and Skype to name a few. The fourth one is fake...but did you notice? New apps and technologies are springing up everyday. The designs support remote working, organization and more.
Sure, video conferences can be awkward but are they worse than sitting in a stuffy conference room with too many people for two hours? Conference calls will always suck but at least you can play with your dog at home.
Take the time to become efficient with new technology. Constantly entering a video chat with IT will not make you the most popular with team members. Yet, it's important to remember that co-workers will be experiencing the same difficulties.
Offices will eventually return in an altered state but working from home is here to stay. It has its perks and so does the office. The ideal future will be the adaptation of work habitats that fit each employee. Personal time is incredibly important and working from home can provide more of it.