Digital Nomads and the Cardamom coffee
8 misconceptions that prevent remote working
If you have only a minute of a coffee break time for this article, then just read point 6 (and of course the cardamom coffee at the end).
What hasn't been said on this topic in the last 2 years?
Well, not much.
However, based on my own and my client's experiences in the past, it has been clarified what we need to make changes.
The emphasis is on the human factor.
By now, who stays in the office and works from home or in hybrid has been established. In this post, I deal with the home part of remote work.
Human beings are very disciplined, and rational, especially when they have to independently allocate their time, plan their days, and set and complete their tasks.
Oh no, that is not true!
We'd rather get lost in the details, we'll check the favorite blog post before we get down to business, - “when is the deadline? ...Oh I still have plenty of time!” - we reassure ourselves. All this creates immeasurable frustration in us, which we do not even notice because the causes of the symptoms do not reach an awareness. We only feel the increasing tension in ourselves and our family also feels it in us.
Of course, some people were born to work remotely, they have no problem with scheduling, or maintaining focus, they are disciplined, at the end of the day, all the planned tasks are ticked off and they are calmly sipping their tea in the sunset, children playing balls and a dog wagging its tail in the background.
Well, that's only in the advertisements which promote the latest digital gadgets and apps.
I don't believe in the self-improvement books which are overwhelming us nowadays, - "everyone works the same way" and "I can heal everyone with 3 magic words", as well as "the path to a happy and successful life is buying my book" - which are suggesting simple solutions.
However, I believe that our basic attitude can be changed and that this is not based on common sense. If it would be, we would all be functioning like the perfect exceptions above.
A change in attitude can only be achieved through emotions. Basic emotions such as joy, anger, sadness, fear, envy, and disgust. As we know, these work very well in advertising. They manipulate us without noticing, - they achieve a behavior change, they make us buy this instead of that - leverage our emotions.
Those who choose to work remotely, either out of compulsion or of their own volition, have to achieve a kind of behavioral change, and the hardest part of this is that they are alone. Since COVID, we have been inundated with more and more new products that help efficient operation in remote work, but for now, there are no emotions attached to the change.
In this situation, the first and most important task is awareness.
If we already know what is not working for us and have also accepted that it is okay, then we can start to change.
And here comes the emotions!
In the following, I will list the most common misconceptions that are the basis of our challenges and failures in remote work. I try to offer solutions and practices to resolve them from my own and my client's experiences.
I emphasize that the same story rarely happens; everyone has their emotional switch somewhere else, but it can help start awareness.
1. It's just like in the office.
Of course not! Ideally, we have our desk in the office with a comfortable office chair. That's our territory. We are surrounded by familiar objects mostly related to work and focus. Colleagues invite us for coffee and lunch at relatively equal intervals. These invisible frames are very important tools for our regularity and even surprisingly help us focus.
Let's not underestimate the importance of the time we spend commuting to and from work. This seems like a useless time, and it is in many ways (it's also polluting the environment, and all that...) but it helps to reset our brains and adopt a different kind of mindset, which is necessary to focus on our work. Even though it works the same backward, it is important to let go of work so that we can move on to the events that await us at home.
So if we know that these frameworks help us, then let's create such a rhythm.
Suppose we designate lead-in and lead-out exercises in advance. In that case, our brain will recognize them and we will more successfully transition to the usual office focus even in the home office.
These can be, for example, a morning walk with or without a dog. The same at the end of the work (Because it should end!).
Applications that help focus, which warn about breaks in the absence of colleagues. Let's get up, drink coffee or tea or eat something in such cases.
Snacks should not be within reach while working.
2. We can multitask
It would be good! Like robots. Research proves that multitasking does not exist. Dividing attention leads to a loss of efficiency. Although we don't drive a car in a home office, - so our own or other people's lives don't depend on it, if we fill out the Excel spreadsheet during a conference call, which is due tomorrow, or check the child's homework, or, God forbid, count the likes on our social media page, - but we still cannot direct our attention in two or more directions at the same time.
Imagine when you are driving a car and talking to someone. It seems to have no problem watching the traffic, controlling the car, and keeping the chat high. As long as something unexpected does not happe