Remember when you were new at something, everything seemed so complex. Now remember after that, once you excelled at your craft and everything seemed so simple. I was at that point; I had helped a young company grow and had just accepted a new role at a larger company to start a new division. I had mastered my craft and this was my reward. Day 1 I knew it all, by day 30 all I knew was that I didn't know much of anything. Today, the one thing I do know is that I will never know it all. I will always gain new knowledge from the experience’s life brings, both professionally and personally.
Even though I understand I will always be learning, I was caught off guard by this recent lesson. I have worked remotely for over a decade, a combination of working on the road, at my home office, and occasionally at corporate offices. When the company decided to have employees safely work from remote locations, I thought I wouldn’t notice a change. Oh, I was so wrong!!! Here are some of the things that changed for me, an experienced remote worker, and how I am addressing them.
Working from home is different from working from your home office! Normally, my office is a quiet and focused place. My own little haven of productivity with music barely loud enough to hear, a scheduled routine of prospecting, calling blocks, research, and meetings, broken only by tea and lunch breaks. Now, it seems the wife and three kids always find a reason to poke their heads into the office. Luckily my kids are all teenagers, so the interruptions are brief but still focus breaking. It has brought the normal hectic nature of busy people at home to the home office. Closing the door, talking with the kids about time frames, and teaching them the difference between urgent and important have all helped, but it is still a challenge.
My lovely wife is a teacher and currently going through her own learning process of teaching remotely. This has equaled much later nights of planning and grading. Between the later hours and not having her one-hour commute to work, she stretched her sleeping time to 8:00 am plus snooze 1, 2,3… This makes my 6:00 am wake up a challenge. It seems little, but tipping toeing around changes the energy to the start of the day, almost taking more time to “kick into gear.” I have started to leave the house for a run to get the blood flowing and hopefully counter a few of these quarantine LBS.
Enjoying lunch out multiple times a week allowed for some face to face interactions during the day. Being a social person, it was an essential part of my mental health. There is no replacing the banter you have when you are face to face, not even my drastic increase in video conferences.Couple that with no travel for face to face meetings, and I had a distinctive lull in my typically perky optimistic personality. I have started reading some of my old sales and motivation books and dedicating 15 mins to motivational exercises each morning, which has helped as of late.
It may not be a direct reflection of working from a home office, but working remotely does take discipline, the right personality, and the right environment. You need a productive sanctuary and a corporate office that provides the proper support.
How has working remotely been? Do you want to continue to work from home?
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