I am back at the office for two weeks already. You know how they say you never miss a thing until you don’t have it anymore? That’s my relationship with my office now, as unusual as it might sounds.
I spent around two months in lockdown, working from home. And yes, it was challenging both in a good and in a not-so-good way. But if you are able to learn something from it I suppose it will have a good outcome in the end. So this is what happened, here it is what I learned.
1. You don’t need to be at the office daily, with a timed schedule;
Hopefully a lot of people will understand this now, that sitting in front of a laptop 8 hours per day is not the most productive way of working. You shouldn’t spend your day looking at the clock and waiting for lunch break and the time you are finally able to go back home, just to start all over tomorrow. There are a lot of things that may be done from home if you think you are able to do them right. There are a lot of things that may be done in the middle of the night if that’s when your creativity strikes. Just need to be aware of your tasks and manage your time in a right way.
2. But you need a professional environment to be productive;
No matter how much you might consider you can do everything from the comfort of your couch there is nothing to replace a proper office space. Staying at home might be fun for a day or two, but afterwards you’ll start chosing to ignore your duties and “play just one episode on Netflix”, “take a short nap” or “cooking something fast”. So in the end you’ll feel guilty that you didn’t do much. Better learn how to split your professional tasks from everything else if you want to find a balance.
3. I had the time to be more creative;
I heared this quote in a marketing podcast I was following during lockdown, saying that if you consider yourself a creative person but you did not come up with anything creative those last months, maybe you should stop consider yourself being creative. So one of the first thing I did, together with my colleagues, was to brainstorm a bit about what should we do from now on. I spent a lot of time with myself in the past two months just to put together some ideas which might help both short and long-term. And I would like to keep doing that even if we’re going back to our old lifestyle.
4. An online presence is mandatory;
I was always telling people how important it is both for them, as a personal branding, and the organization they are representing to have an online presence. To let people know who you are and what you have to offer. I know a lot of stories about people starting to realize that only too late, in lockdown, so they were obliged to start building their social media channels. But you need to do it in time, with a long term strategy, because you will never know what’s going to happen. That’s why we tried using this period of social distancing to bring together our community online, so we can start growing in an offline envirnoment later on.
5. You need to give yourself tasks and put deadlines.
To be honest, the hardest thing to do, but the most important as well, was developing thing “entrepreneur mentality”. I always enjoyed the idea of giving tasks to myself and putting my own deadlines because I know best what I can do and when I can finish it. If there is a day I feel I don’t have anything to do I start asking myself what can I do more; and be creative at the same time (as I said above). It’s the only way you can improve your own set of skills and the organization you are working for. It’s also a great opportunity to show them you are valuable and proactive.