We’ve heard a lot of talk about getting back to normal, but what does that really mean? And is it coming back? As millions of people across the globe prepare themselves to go back to work, what will await them?
A futuristic reality that we’ve seen in movies and on television shows no longer seems far out of the realm of possibility. It’s certainly not as simple, as least not right away, as getting back to normal. Children will continue to “learn from home” while physical schools keep their doors shuttered. Companies are creating new dynamics after having been forced to learn that employees can be just as productive (if not more so, sometimes) working from home.
Clearly the current “work from home” situation is different than one would have imagined the experience to be, given the stress of the pandemic, homeschooling, and the other myriad new realities that COVID-19 has brought us. Imagine if one’s focus during the day was strictly on work, allowing for even greater productivity!
For those who will continue to work from home on a long-term basis, an active commitment will have to be made to stay engaged and connected with co-workers and the work itself. That starts with a suitable work environment. As someone who is accustomed to working from home, I can’t overstate the importance of:
- A space that is meant for work;
- A comfortable desk and chair;
- At least one large monitor in addition to my laptop, so I can actually see what I’m doing;
- The ability to disconnect at the end of the day… It’s much too easy when you work from home to be available 24/7. You must able to “turn off” and focus on your personal life outside working hours.
While it’s wonderful if your company can support your WFH status by providing all the bells and whistles of the office, we know that’s not always feasible. But, at the very least, if you can’t have a separate room for your home office, try to create a dedicated space using furniture solutions that can help define that space. Products like Unika Vaev’s My Hive or the Allermuir Haven take up little space but can provide a sense of place when you need to feel like you’re “at work” and not sitting in the midst of whatever chaos might be happening at home. It can also provide a signal to your family that you need head down time.
For those returning to the office, what does the new workplace look like? And is it here to stay? Or is it only temporary? Are the high-walled cubicles from the eighties coming back? Will there be acrylic shields creating mini fishbowls everywhere? Will anti-microbial surfaces become the latest trend? Stay tuned for our next post to hear our thoughts on the new workplace.