The notion of the working week is a relatively new construct, only with us since the Victorian times. With new workers entering the home office, what does the working week look like?
In the agrarian society prior to the industrial revolution, work was seasonal, and there was work to be done on every day of the week. Mill owners in England who had attempted to get workers to work long hours every day, eventually England caved and the 5 (and a half) day working week come into existence. The idea of ‘office hours’ is an even newer concept to ensure people were able to work together in the same location at the same time.
In the information age, and especially in the current crisis that coronavirus has put us in. How reasonable is it to accept these norms whilst working from home. With all the distractions of home life affecting our productivity.
How productive are you?
At work how much productive work do you really do? Between lunch, and coffee breaks, deskside chats about non-work-related topics, reading (and answering) unimportant emails, slack and other messages. Most office workers are at the office for 40 hours a week. Let’s be optimistic and assume that you are really productive for 35 of those – the figure is probably much less 😊. Working from home can make you more productive if you do not confine yourself to these boundaries.
Just manage your work accordingly.
Spread the Joy.
Let’s face it, in lockdown, everyday feels pretty much the same anyway – have you asked yourself ‘what day is it today?’ yet – why not treat it this way! Spread your work over the entire 7 days if you want, or can.
But the kids are home, you just can’t get stuff done, especially if you haven’t got a dedicated workspace. So why not break up the 9 to 5?
What’s your work?
There is work that you can do on your own. Find a time in the morning or evening – whenever you work best, to complete those tasks. Not everyone works best during office hours, this is your time to shine. The downside to this is that if you have been loafing in the office for years, you are likely to be found out.
A bonus of this can be avoiding the noise of unimportant stuff that comes your way – emails, slack messages, Lync chats etc. It also gives yourself time to think about if what you are asking others is truly important, are you the one generating the noise
Collaborate as required
Make yourself available when you need to be available to allow for collaboration. Large group sessions are likely to remain during ‘office hours’, and those with suppliers and partners outside of your organisation that are not open to similar working – its’ avoidable, but can be minimised!
For one on one (or one to few) sessions ask the following question, ‘Is there a more convenient time for everyone to meet?’ Perhaps they have distractions that they want to avoid as well. Don’t let an unasked question be the cause of anxiety for the group.
Keep family time sacred.
Close your laptop, pause mobile notifications on work related messaging. Be present for your family, you might (read WILL) need them. Android users google had created some apps specifically for this.
You might find that you can actually enjoy yourself