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Experiential Lessons from Working Remotely

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“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently whether they are at their desk or in the kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of office and never will.”

Richard Branson.

Light years ago, it was inconceivable that an employee would work remotely. How would messages and reports have been sent? What about team deliberations and meetings? There was no way they would have been conducted flawlessly at the time. All that changed with the internet. Mobile phones, laptops and other communication gadgets enabled people to connect with base and get the job done even when they were on businesses or other trips. That was then. The ability and acceptance were limited.

This is now. And now is the future.

COVID has pushed us to the future. Remote work is the future, and we are there already.

Businesses and government-run corporations are surviving because of remote work. The pandemic has left no one with any other choice. For those still skirting around it and wishing it would go away, they might not have seen enough of it. Post COVID, when we regain our lives and options with it, we would find out that there would be an exponential growth in the number of employees and employers who will choose remote work over regular office work.

So, it is time to embrace remote work and make the most of it.

Transforming your home into workspace means making some adjustments in your life. But continue to connect, practice exercising and having a clear boundary between personal and work time.

For someone that has worked remotely for over five years, the host of The Immigrant Life Podcast, Dapo Bankole shares some of the tips that have worked for him:

  • Practice active communication. Because remote work is isolation-driven. You are also prone to being misunderstood especially because emotions can be misconstrued in written materials. A greater percentage of communication is not limited to what you say but how you say it. So, use your voice every now and again rather than just send emails. Pick up the phone. Go beyond slack, SMS, email, etc.
  • Getting friendly makes social distancing more tolerable. You can, for example, decide to go for a virtual lunch date with a colleague at lunch hour. It will engender connection to people. It will foster relationships and help you attach a face or voice to a name.
  • Good diet takes you through each day more energized. Watch your carbs. Cut down on junk. Take more proteins and multivitamins. Take lots of fluid to stay hydrated. Don’t be in a haste to pop corn or chocolate into your mouth every minute you get.
  • Stretch as much as possible. Don’t be inactive. Don’t sit in front of the computer all day. Alternate between dance and fitness routines. Use every ergonomic tool out there to reduce being inactive.
  • Be respectful of your spouse’s schedule. Don’t barge into their schedule. Be less demanding of your spouse and respect each other’s space. Because you are both working from home does not mean you should expect to have undivided attention from him or her.
  • Stay in a brightly-lit place. Being socially distant from people is draining on its own but when you stay in a bright spot, it energizes the mind and brain for productivity. Sit also in the sun. It refreshes you in no small way.
  • Avoid extraneous noise from your immediate environment. Make sure you use an appropriate noise cancellation headphone. When on a call, you don’t want extraneous noise to have an incursion into your conversation.
  • You want to blend your work with your daily life? By all means, go for it. For instance, you can combine laundry work with your office work, and be happy doing it. Just be sure you are accessible to your work mates and you deliver on targets.
  • Rest more. Nothing more to be said.
  • Learn to disengage from your work environment daily even if it’s for 3 or 4 hours. Do whatever gets you relaxed after long hours of work. You can even use it as a treat to do something more enjoyable after the day’s work. A massage?

The list is by no means exhaustive.

Feel free to add yours and send to us at: thrive@immigrantlife.ca You can also share with us in the community at https://immigrantlife.ca/community

Listen to Episode 119 of The Immigrant Life Podcast.

Written by Yinka Bakare

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