Thoughts On Working Virtually in Today's World
There is no, one right way to work virtually. This may not be a surprise to folks that were forced into this mode by the recent Corona Virus situation. Of course, you can do a Google search and get thousands of "Ten things to make working from home easier" or "Increase your productivity working from home."
You could literally spend the next ten years surfing these links, but I would argue that you would see marginal improvements at best and waste tons of time and money. So why do I know this, and what should you do?
First, I have been working virtually for six years. Over that time, I lived in a two-bedroom apartment, many hotel rooms, and a three-bedroom house with a dedicated office. I have worked virtually on the road from airports, coffee shops, co-working facilities, and baseball stadiums. So I have experience. The second question is, what should you do? My short answer is, "get to work!" Let us first explore the non-virtual workspace, better known as the office. Offices are basically factories for knowledge workers. Spaces are designed for efficiency with team members located close to each other. Conference rooms, bathrooms, and snack areas are centrally located to allow for quick use. Organizations design office space to increase productivity and minimize cost. Variation is the enemy of a well-designed office.
Your virtual workspace is designed by you. It can be a space designated as a home office, a lawn chair on your back deck, a couch in the family room, a kitchen table, or a seat at a baseball stadium. The sky is the limit, and the variation is infinite! That is both good and bad news. After all of those years, not having to think about the space where you work now, you have choices. To say this might be a little overwhelming is an understatement. Where do you start?
I would recommend just start with what you have. You have a kitchen table, use it. A dedicated room for a home office, use it. You just need to start working. As you work over the next few days and weeks, you will begin to make observations. Perhaps your kitchen chair is uncomfortable after one hour sitting in it. Put any observations you make on a list either on paper or electronically. After one month, review your list. Then develop a list of ideas to mitigate your negatively impactful comments. You can list buying something to make things better, and I also challenge you to list ways to fix things by not spending money. For example, that uncomfortable kitchen chair, obviously you could buy a pad for the chair or perhaps a new, more comfortable chair. You could also get up and walk around the room every 45 minutes and take a break or change locations completely.
Every person's experience working in the virtual environment is going to be different. There is no kit that organizations can send all of their team members to work efficiently virtually. Therefore sending all team members a standing desk is not going to create a great work environment for everyone. There is too much variation in team member's virtual spaces (i.e., house, coffee shop, co-working facility, etc.) to create a one size fits all solution. You must discover what works for you, and that takes time.
Interested in learning more? You can check out our recent webinar series on Working Virtually here.
Walt is our Director of Analytics Capabilities at CANA Advisors. To find more content on working virtually, continue to visit our CANA Connection.
You can contact Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org
CANA Advisors is a veteran-owned, woman-owned, equal opportunity company based out of Gainesville, Virginia in the United States of America.