Welcome to 2021. More than for any other year, the start to this one feels like it is bearing a lot of weight; of anticipation and of change. The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways great and small, but most notably in the way we work.
Even those of us who already worked from home occasionally had to learn how to do it full-time, and deal with the effects of social isolation. We had to adopt new technologies and adapt the way we communicate. While it was a struggle initially, it became clear there were aspects of the way we worked traditionally that are not essential, and some of the upsides of working from home can be permanent.
Video conferencing; private VPNs; cloud-based file storage, practice management, book-keeping – can all be used to allow us more flexibility in where we work. The range of options out there also give us options on how we work.
Obviously working from home comes with its own set of challenges, especially the constant distraction of other family members. But this challenge can be reframed; how do we get the most out of flexible working arrangements and mitigate the downsides?
We need to ask ourselves the right questions, which may include:
These aren’t abstract questions for me. In late 2020 my wife and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our lives. Both my wife and I work from home, and now that work is starting to pick up pace again, we are having to co-ordinate our work meetings (i.e. zoom conferences). This meant sharing our work calendars with each other so when one of us is indisposed, the other can take care of baby. It doesn’t matter that we are with each other almost around the clock, we still need a system to make sure we can both manage our time effectively. We can’t inform each other of every appointment we get booked for, nor can we remember all of each other’s engagements. We needed to build each other into our time management systems. (NB: If you’re wondering why my wife is back at work so soon after giving birth, we discuss it in the latest episode of our joint business/parenthood YouTube channel Little Mirrors).
The list of questions above is not exhaustive, it’s just catalyst to help you push further with a process you have already started.
If you would like to bounce any ideas off me, feel free to reach out. I’d be more than happy to help you integrate your work life in the new reality.