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Quick Fixes to Make Working From Home Hurt Less. Part 2.

Steelcase, has researchers who’ve spent years learning how people do their best work — not only can they explain why we’re so tired, but they can give us ideas about what to do about it. So, they invited a panel of experts to join them on an webinar named: Making Distance Work: How to keep your body, mind and emotions healthy when you’re suddenly remote.

We have divided this webinar into three parts for you and in this is the second part, where we will get important suggestions from Patricia Kammer, Principal Researcher, Steelcase WorkSpace Futures, regarded to “our minds” in times of remote work.

Our Minds

Suggestions from Patricia Kammer,
Principal Researcher, Steelcase WorkSpace Futures

 

Consider new rituals, habits and practices

Remote work is disrupting the three C’s of collaboration: communication, cadence and connection.

The fix: Talk to your team about how to establish new communication practices now that you’re remote. Consider channels for formal and informal communication. Use digital tools to make thinking visible across team members to keep everyone aware of what’s happening. While reconsidering cadence, try out a quick stand up video meeting each day to create alignment. Finally, think about connection. Many people are leveraging video conferencing, but find it can be exhausting. When you use video conferencing, you tend to have a formal posture, be tethered to one spot and have a singular focus where your eyes don’t get a break. So, consider which meetings need to have video connections and which do not.

Maintain focus by establishing boundaries

We tend to think about noise and what’s going on around us as distractions that prevent focus. But, anxiety and high levels of stress can also significantly impact your cognitive load. The Coronavirus pandemic is likely impacting your ability to pay attention.

The fix: Take a cue from people who practice meditation. Commit to moments of mindfulness throughout the day — even five minutes can make a difference — and recenter yourself to help regulate your emotions. Also, find ways to establish new routines and set clear boundaries for when you’re “on” versus “off” work. Use your status updates to communicate to team members when you are free to interrupt.

When we think of serendipity, we tend to think of it happening informally, but now that we’re remote, we have to build in more formal structures to connect this way.

Enhance remote serendipitous interactions

Serendipitous encounters we normally have in our work environment don’t happen when we’re remote. But, there are a variety of ways to creatively cultivate those social bonds.

The fix: When we think of serendipity, we tend to think of it happening informally, but now that we’re remote, we have to build in more formal structures to connect this way. Block the first ten minutes of team meetings to catch up to enable interactions and a quick dialogue with team members. And be broad in your thinking about what a social interaction looks like — send a joke, a funny meme or share a personal photo to create that social bond.

*Conclusions from Steelcase webinar “Making Distance Work: How to keep your body, mind and emotions healthy when you’re suddenly remote.

 

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