“…remote working alone is not as problematic as the prospect of doing it for an indefinite time. We don’t know what it means for our general life plans and lifestyle, and we’re unable to make key logistical decisions, including where to live, what to expect for our long-term career prospects and employability, and how to manage our personal lives and relationships.” Fast Company article
In the last three months or so, several of my clients have been expressing unease and discomfort with aspects of their work-from-home status. They understand, of course, why it’s necessary, and are totally on board with doing what needs to be done to keep as many people as possible safe and healthy.
But the ambiguity of the situation is wearing on them. How long? And maybe more importantly, what does this new normal really mean in terms of setting boundaries between work and home?
In March, we all jumped into action. We rose to the occasion, helping our workplaces in whatever way was necessary. We stayed home, we took on extra projects, we spent all day on Zoom (even for calls and meetings that would have been held on the phone just weeks earlier.) And for a few months that seemed fine. Surely we would be back in our offices soon.
Then, as the country failed to get the epidemic under control, a new phase set in. The extra work was bleeding into nights and weekends, and my clients felt unable to set limits on when their managers could call on them. One person in particular never has a day off—even when he is “off,” he has to respond to email, track certain key metrics, and update a company website. Even though these tasks only take an hour or so, they prevent him from completely relaxing into a day away from work.
Leaders need to assess the current situation from a human perspective. If we have to sustain this operating model for another six, eight, twelve months, what should that really look like? How can we take care of staff so that they have what they need—a paycheck, yes, but also time away from the computer, reasonable boundaries, and the feeling of being on a team that is moving with intention, not reaction, through this global upheaval.
Check out the whole article here.