While one would think that working from home would be less stressful, the state of the world given the pandemic and the damage lockdowns are doing to economies are surely countering the greatness of working in your PJs.

For many lockdown meant having to adapt to a new way of working, changing long standing habits on a hairpin.

While many have adapted, many more employees and employers are holding on to the eight hour work day and measuring success by how many hours you’re spent working.

But is that the right measure of success or work in general?

Chief executive officer at Euphoria Telecom, John Woollam, argues that output should be measured and not how long an employee is online.

“Time behind a desk isn’t necessarily productive time, and managers need to critically analyse what constitutes delivery to an acceptable level, and ensure their teams know what the expectation is,” explains Woollam.

So rather than asking employees to sit in place for eight hours a day and balance remote work, remote schooling and their own mental state, consider looking at other milestones for employees to meet during a work day or week.

Building off of that is the concept of time and how long it takes to do things. For example, at Hypertext we make use of Slack to chat to one another throughout the day. While the platform is instant, sometimes one of us is off making lunch or on a phone call. While replies might not be instant, we are aware that the person will reply.

As such, things that could usually take a few seconds can take a few minutes but adjusting for that delay has made our entire workflow, flow a bit easier.

Interaction is something that often gets left by the wayside when working from home but Woollam suggests incorporating social events into working from home.

“Face to face time is critical for remote workforces, where it is very easy for people to feel lonely and isolated. Scheduling virtual work drinks, or quiz nights, or even just a morning coffee once a week is critical to keep relationships thriving, and your teams working productively,” suggests the CEO.

Even if you aren’t socialising, Woollam highly recommends checking in with your teams via a call or video conference. While work is important, so is the mental state of a team.

As I outlined a few months ago, burn out when working from home can come up behind you quickly and knock you out. If you feel like things are closing in and feel a bit much, reach out to a manager or a colleague and have an earnest conversation about what you’re dealing with.

There is no knowing how long COVID-19 will plague us nor how long businesses will have to operate remotely. Perhaps then the least we could do is be a bit kinder and adapt to changing circumstances rather than hold onto old habits.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.