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Returning to Work – Remote Working Habits to Keep and Kick

Photo by Autumn Theodore Photography

Whew. It’s been a year – a whole year since Covid-19 upended our work lives. And in this year, we have learned a lot about how we work, live, and communicate with each other.

During this past year, we have been forced to experiment and execute different models when it comes to working. We now have traditional on-site working, working from home (WFH), remote working/working from anywhere, and hybrids of all of these.

So while things continue to transition, what are some habits we’ve gained from this past year that are worthy of keeping, and what are habits to kick? Let’s take a look.

Keep – Options for Remote Working

Alright, let’s lay down some ground rules before we move on: When it comes to deciding on the most ideal working model, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. There just isn’t!  There are a lot of different personal preferences that come into play when wanting to increase worker’s productivity and job satisfaction.

If you line up a bunch of people, each of them will have their own preferences for how they do their best work:

  • Some like listening to music, while others need complete silence.

  • Some people are early birds, while others are night owls.

  • Some like listening to their favorite podcast during their commute, while others prefer a quick walk to their home office.

  • Some love the solitude of their at-home office, while others like having company.

  • Etc. etc. etc.

So what we can take away from this is that if a company is able to accommodate it, offering employees flexible options is the best way to go.

“According to a State of Remote Work report (2020)…half of survey respondents said they would not return to a job that did not allow them the option to work remote.” – Source

Initiated by the company Dropbox, many companies are starting a new work model that is called “virtual first.” In this model, the company offers core blocks of time for colleagues to work together, have meetings, and embrace their work community. But the rest of the time is “flextime,” where staff can work remotely on independent work in a setting that works best for them and their families’ needs.

Keep – Trust Between Manager and Employee

Did you know that remote working has led to an increase in trust between manager and employee, according to a recent study? Yes, “remote work has broken down ‘closed door’ barriers across company organizations, improving trust between managers and employees.” – Source.

So moving forward, what can we do to continue that level of transparency, trust, and autonomy in the workplace?

A great option is for the manager to have accountability check-ins, but otherwise, trust that staff will do their best quality work when not under a microscope.

Keep – Attention to Cleanliness and Sanitation

Between quarantining, social distancing, and increased sanitation standards across the board, many have noticed that typical things, like common colds and the annual flu, have not been as rampant this past year.

Many feel that continuing to routinely clean and sanitize common areas, like bathrooms and kitchens, should be an ongoing habit.  Also, while they are already there, might as well leave the sanitation stations and the signs advising to thoroughly wash your hands.

Keep – Staying Home When Sick

Remember when coming to work when sick used to be a badge of honor? But now in 2021, if you are in public with some sort of sniffle or sore throat, you better be sure people will treat you like a vampire! Stay away, stay away!

Wherever possible, companies allowing more flexibility around sick time will overall help the cleanliness, and therefore health, of the rest of the team. If an employee has come down with something, having them stay home just might make everyone feel better.

Kick – Long Meetings

Does that meeting haaaaaave to last two and half hours, or could it be done in, say, 30 minutes?

According to a recent study, 80% of workers wanted one day a week of absolutely no meetings. And 70% of workers wanted one day of absolutely no video meetings. – Source

With an increase in screen time and what is being called “Zoom Burnout,” many are finding ways to shorten meeting times…and people are liking it.

By keeping meeting times quick and to the point, it can help streamline communication, increase productivity, save time, and conserve energy for other tasks.

Kick – Unnecessary, Uncomfortable Work Attire

Different professions call for specific attire and levels of protection and professionalism.

Depending on the industry and setting, perhaps the typical standards of attire could be reassessed. After a year of choosing comfort, many may not want to go back to pants that dig into the stomach when you sit down, painful heels, and stiff, hard-to-move-in shirts.  Perhaps glorifying being uncomfortable for the sake the style may not be as important as it once was to our society?

Instead of Casual Friday, how about Everyday Casual? Any takers?! Anyone? Anyone?

Kick – Long Commutes

“According to the report, early data from June and July 2020 showed that 1 in 5 Americans relocated due to COVID. Additionally, workers have taken the opportunity to work from home as a way to ditch their long commutes, now saving an average of 40 minutes per day.” – Source

If companies allow more remote working opportunities, they may entice and maintain more great talent! It would allow workers to save time and energy commuting, and it may help workers live where they actually want to live!

Overall, employees’ expectations are changing, and the workplace is going to have to embrace it.

How can workers benefit from these worth-keeping habits?

Now experiencing what we have experienced, and knowing what we now know…how can we implement this information to create a better work-life?

If you are someone who is granted the flexibility of working remotely or from home, joining a coworking space might be a way to make the best of your work-life. Let’s take a look at how.

  • Joining a coworking space can help prevent WFH burnout.

  • Joining a coworking space can help prevent feelings of isolation when working remotely.

  • Coworking spaces, such as Haven Collective, offer different settings depending on your preferences and mood!

  • One of our locations is next to a park – perfect for walks and mid-day breaks!

  • Access to sitting and STANDING workspaces – let’s switch it up!

  • Community, community, support, and community.

Click here to learn how Haven Collective can help you make the best of working remotely!

By April Warner

Sources: Allwork, Lifesize, Harvard Business Review, LinkedIn, Greater Good Science Center

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