Almost exactly one year ago, I was invited to join the Akimbo Workshops coach team.
And for the first 11 months or so, I got a lot of questions about what it meant and what it was like to work in asynchronous, global teams of people I’ve never met and may never meet in analog form.
In the past week, of course, working from home has become nearly ubiquitous — and it’s likely to remain so for at least several more weeks.
Having ridden the rollercoaster of an unexpected transition to working from home over the past year, here are some notes on the experience.
- It sounds easy, but it’s not. In an average day at the office, many of us would do anything for a shorter commute, a more flexible schedule, or some additional breathing space. After a week of being cooped up at home, most of us are ready to climb the walls.
- The transition happens in stages. Under the best of circumstances, the first week or so might feel like a snow day. After that, withdrawal symptoms start to show up: from routine, from scheduling, and especially from social interactions.
- The antidotes to withdrawal are connection, collaboration, and compassion. There’s plenty of advice out there already about what to wear and where to work. Most people will figure that out pretty naturally. What might not come so naturally is to see the opportunity to create connections — and to do just that.
Most of all, for workers and especially managers in larger organizations, this is a really, really important time to be mindful, intentional, and flexible about what exactly business continuity is going to look and feel like.
If we’re not careful, “business continuity” sounds like a case for replicating the office experience as closely as possible. Business must and will continue, but this isn’t just a snow day: this is everyone adjusting on the fly to living, working, parenting, teaching, and socializing from home. Different people and organizations and tasks are different, and they’re going to need to be treated differently.
Welcome to the end of the first week. How did it go? How do you want next week to go? And what are you going to do to make that happen?
More (evolving) thoughts here — including a library of helpful, humorous, and healing readings. Please and enjoy and share.
And, most of all, stay healthy and sane out there.