Working remotely comes with many perks, from setting your own hours to cutting down on your commute. But, where do the extra hours go? Many of us are constantly connected and forget to make space for our own health and wellness as a result.
We recently hosted a panel with speakers John Occhipinti, CEO at Naturebox, and Diana Marchese, Head of People Experience at Snyk, to discuss strategies on creating space between your work and home life for greater overall wellbeing. Check out our webinar recording here:
For many teams, the transition from in-office work to remote work was sudden and comprehensive. At Naturebox, the entire team went remote when the lockdown struck. To more effectively allocate funds, Naturebox then terminated its traditional office space lease. The funds previously put towards rent were redirected to flexible workspace options like OnePiece Work.
This thoughtful shift enabled the Naturebox team to maintain productivity while working remotely. But, this required an adjustment: the leadership team focused on maintaining team engagement with longer daily standup meetings to check in on team members, asking questions like “How’s your day going?”, “How are you feeling?”, and “How are the kids?”. These meetings helped replace some of the in-office interactions that were lost in the transition to online work.
“We need to learn how to take the analog world to the digital and continue to be creative.” - John Occhipinti | CEO at Naturebox
At Snyk, the switch to online work prompted the leadership team to focus on transparency. The leaders informed the rest of the team what to expect so that everyone was on the same page. The pandemic brought about intense uncertainty. By communicating information on travel lockdowns and office plans in a consistent manner, Snyk was able to reassure it’s teams and relieve some anxiety.
Studies have shown that habits develop after 30 days of consistent repetition, remote workers have developed their own work and family habits from home by now. With nine months of repetition, these habits are ingrained.
When teams return to the office, employees will likely be more productive in a hybrid-work model. Research proves that 37% of all jobs can be done remotely, meaning that a hybrid-work model will not only be possible but will be favorable for many occupations.
Another effect of the pandemic that will likely linger is work accessibility from any location. Previously, some jobs were inaccessible due to zip code. With the option of remote work, accessibility to various positions will improve for employees across the country.
There are many strategies that leadership teams can implement to build a culture that respects work-life balance. When workers are constantly on-camera in a Zoom meeting, it unconsciously triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response. This produces unnecessary stress that can diminish one’s sense of work-life balance.
In a video call, the natural nuances of a conversation are absent. To appear engaged in a conversation, one must be staring at a screen. To amend this issue, leaders can encourage calls off-camera. Snyk, for example, has implemented “walking 1-on-1s”, in which employees are encouraged to take their phone calls outside - not over Zoom.
While every home is different, encouraging workers to find a designated workspace will help clarify the boundary between work and home life. The home workspace needs to be well-defined and daily schedules need to be well-structured. Spending time with the kids, taking time away from the desk, and practicing mental wellness are all examples of activities that workers can incorporate into their schedules for a positive work/home balance.
The ideal work environment won’t be the same for every worker. For some, moving between a home office, kitchen table, and other home environments will allow for optimal productivity. But, more importantly, each worker needs to be aware of their own wellness. Each individual experiences and handles stress differently. Team members need to take breaks as necessary, especially when the body is reacting negatively to the environment. After taking a break, one can get back into a healthy state of mind and return to the flow of work. Awareness of when to stop is essential to burnout prevention, as well as personal wellness.
For all companies dealing with hardships due to COVID-19 and other stressors, returning to your core values is the answer. Demonstrating these values and communicating them to the rest of the team will lead your company through any hardship.
Listening to team members’ needs is a key improvement to post-pandemic workplaces. By being flexible and accommodating, leaders can make their teams feel recognized and appreciated. The ability to work from home is a privilege - by supporting communities and those who can’t work remotely, companies can bring people together amidst overwhelming challenges.
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