Do It Yourself: The World's Best Work From Home Tips
Coronavirus causes global crisis. People are forced to work from home. Everyone's struggling. Kids are at home too. Bla bla bla. You know the drill. It's how almost all articles start these days. This post is different. It's what I'd like to call a ‘do it yourself blog post’ - consisting of tips from all of you - based on your real and recent experiences. Here we go...
The biggest workplace experiment on the planet
This whole ‘work from home’ experiment is undoubtably the largest workplace experiment ever. Billions of us are in a ‘research project’. The ‘why’ is terrible. The ‘how’ is really an experiment in how we cope. Could there be any positive side effects?
Progressive companies we’ve visited focus strongly on ‘experiment and adapt’. They constantly search for better ways to work. Now, everyone is forced to follow their lead. Unfortunately, this experiment is far from ideal. There was no time for proper preparation. No clear hypothesis to test. No clear metrics in place. And the fact that kids are also at home makes it at least 10x more difficult (I assume)!
However far-from-ideal this is, it is better than to never experiment at all. Let’s reflect on the experiment so far. Let’s help each other to get better at this 'work from home' stuff.
Luctor et emergo
Joost and I grew up in the Zeeland province in The Netherlands. The motto there is luctor et emergo (Latin for "I struggle and emerge"). Struggling (and hopefully emerging) is what many people are doing in this new reality. To support the struggle and help you emerge, this post is about all of you – the community – sharing insights and lessons about how to make ‘work from home’ work. So, here we go.
Crowdsourcing working from home tips
Drop your tips, recommendations, learnings, do’s, don’ts, failures, and essentials in the comment section below. Whether they are about technology, rituals, dog-walking or cat-feeding, kids, team dynamics, meetings, information sharing or decision-making, share what you’ve learned and inspire others.
Do It Yourself: The Best Work From Home Tips
Let’s crowdsource as many practical tips directly from those in trenches - you. Drop your comments below, and we’ll join in with our team as well.
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Personally I take one room a week and clean it with a friend, cause pair cleaning is much easier than getting stuck on my own. Yesterday we started with the garage ( 90 minutes spent, half of the wast thrown away, and aprox. 2 more sessions to go ). When I get three weeks experience I will courage to clean up the team backlog as well - with or without the product owner :)
Just before corona, I started my own regular one day per week working-from-home experiment.
Traveling to and from the office takes me about two hours. And although I really enjoy being there with Pim, Joost, and Bram, I wanted to make more use of freedom. By working from home more often I could use the mornings to go to the gym etc. Well, that experiment was taken to a whole new level when we got back from a team vacation in Sankt Anton. From a changed perspective of once working from home once a week to an uninterrupted period here of eight weeks, here is what I do:
- Start my day with a check-in with Pim. After setting my own goals on Trello for the day I discuss with Pim.
- Embrace the fact that I can go for a run whenever I feel like it.
- Embrace the fact that my productivity is different from when I am at the office.
- Store away my home office on Friday. As we do not have a separate office space it feels good to clear it all away to enjoy the weekend.
I'm starting new habits that are helping me a lot
1. Wake-up, take a shower, get dressed, and make-up. Even if I'm at home, I love the feeling: I'm beautiful :)
2. I'm trying to set a work schedule to avoid long working hours
3. I'm doing exercise 3 times per week after work: Some virtual classes with other people and exercises routines in YouTube
4. I stopped listening to news about COVID. The counting about how many new contagious and died are not good for my mind
5. I try to do video calls with my family every day. That recharge me a lot.
Social capital and social networks are becoming increasingly important in today’s economy at large, and for individuals within organisations. For my MSc dissertation in Organisational Psychology, I researched how newcomers transition into a self-managing organisation (Lee & Edmondson, 2017), an organisation where authority is decentralised and classic manager-subordinate relationships are absent.
It’s all about your people. Now more than ever. But in knee-jerk reactions to the coronavirus many companies are laying off large numbers. I want to shout out to the shareholder-value managers driven by their spreadsheets: “This is not only inhumane. It is bad for your business!”. Why? It will harm your company. Companies that treat their people best in bad times emerged as winners in the past.
"Nothing reveals character like a crisis." We wrote this recently and, as predicted, during the Corona crisis, companies revealed their true colors. Recently, we highlighted the bad. So let's turn to the good, and highlight organizations that not only talk about putting people first, but also walk their talk. Let's applaud those that put their money where their mouth is in difficult times.