Proekspert remote work diary: week 2
The second week of our company-wide remote work is complete. Whether you live alone or with someone, this experience presents its own challenges and takeaways.
Remote work is not new for our employees and has been commonly practiced in Proekspert for many years already. However, remote work in times of a national state of emergency in connection with the coronavirus pandemic differs in nature.
Our employees were asked to answer a few questions about their second week’s experience of company-wide remote work. If you’re still struggling to adapt, try some of the tips we’ve accumulated from our in-house experience, and perhaps some will work for you.
Be realistic when planning your day
Sometimes we may be too optimistic and not realistically assess how much time certain tasks and distractions will take. We cannot plan our day assuming that we will have eight hours of uninterrupted work, while in reality, we keep getting distracted by other commitments or unexpected scenarios. This results in a great deal of anxiety, as we fail to execute our planned tasks on time. This, in turn, results in unmet expectations for both you and your team.
To avoid this, plan realistically, counting the time you need to dedicate to your loved ones throughout your day.
In the morning, you have to plan your daily meals for the next week. Otherwise, it may happen that you’ll budget one hour for lunch only to discover that you don’t have anything to eat. It takes more time to prepare.
Plan your day, but also plan everything outside of work: when you’ll homeschool your kids, play with your dog, meditate, etc.
Give yourself time to get used to the situation. See what works best for you. Accept the situation as normal: it’s okay to temporarily be chaotic and be unproductive. We are all getting used to being at home all the time, doing everything at home, so take your time. If something doesn’t work, then experiment with it. Be flexible.Tiina, Chief Culture Officer; and Liis, HR Lead
Sometimes my lunch takes longer because I have to cook, so I cook a lot of food to avoid having to cook everyday.Sírius, iOS Developer
My day is iterations of sleep, work, eat, work, workout, work, eat and sleep.Mariam, Software Engineer
Communicate with your team and your family
Transparency with all parties is important. It’s important to communicate, set priorities, establish boundaries both with your team and with your loved ones. Take time to understand the norms of being effective working from home, and at home. Speak up and don’t assume that what worked in a different reality can and will continue working now. Invent new ways to preserve old routines.
If you don’t live alone, divide chores and obligations so that one person is not doing everything. If you have kids, plan their day and communicate the plan to them. Experiment and find what is best for you. If the kids are able, let them plan their day themselves. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn how to be in charge of their own time.Tiina, Chief Culture Officer and Liis, HR Lead
My team has its daily standup meeting daily at 10 a.m. Our communication is pretty good through Slack. Since my whole family is in Brazil, I use Whatsapp as usual to contact them, and I keep scaring them with bad news, hoping that they’ll stay inside.Sírius, iOS Developer
Microsoft Teams is good. The funny thing is that this quarantine has made me realize that I have been isolating myself for years.Mariam, Software Engineer
I speak with my network every day. We not only share what’s going on at work but also talk on other topics. Sharing your thoughts, good and bad things, helps to keep up the good vibes. We share our thoughts and worries and talk about what we did during the day at dinner time with family, as has always been our practice.Liis, HR Lead
I’ve always wanted to use my home office for work more often, but I was afraid that people would think I’m lazy or something. Now I can do it without any guilt. There are huge benefits for me: more time to sleep, less money spent on gasoline, less water consumption (no need to shower every day), more flexible hours, more time to be with family.Marko, ETL Developer
I’ve started to feel the effects of home office life, and need to work harder on my motivation to get moving. On an ideal day, I try to do some online training (one of my dance teachers does a class online and many gyms do the same). After work, we go walking and do geocaching with my daughter. I’m starting to miss people a lot, so we make a lot of video calls right now.Helen, Accountant
Take care of yourself
We now play many roles in very limited physical space. We shouldn’t forget the role of being ourselves. Taking the time to treat yourself, unwind and just be by yourself is essential to maintain your mental and physical health, which correlates to how effective and efficient you are in all your other roles. Play the role of being yourself first, and all the other ones will follow.
Be kind to yourself and remain flexible. Have honest discussions. If another adult is present, ask them to take the kids while you practice self-care. Taking time for yourself is a basic human need and right. If you’re feeling guilty, just remind yourself that you are you. Everything eventually gets done. If things are not getting done, maybe you are doing too much.
Run, walk, or get yourself out of the house. Be alone away from home. If you have a garden, get out there and get your hands dirty.
It’s obligatory for kids to go outside if possible. It eases anxiety. Take a walk in nature. The more stressed and anxious you are, the more stressed your kids will be.Tiina, Chief Culture Officer and Liis, HR Lead
I drink a lot of water, so very often I’m going to the kitchen to fill my water bottle (and to the bathroom). That helps me stretch a bit and not sit the whole day in front of the computer – and hopefully I avoid new kidney stones.Sírius, iOS Developer
I ordered new blankets and pillows and sheets for the bed. Also, to keep sane I try to work out every day and go for a walk in the park with the dog. I also found some great lectures on the web from major universities, so now when work frustrates me I can listen to lectures. The best quarantine buddy to have is a dog!Mariam, Software Engineer
Walk in the mornings and evenings. Have at least one physical training per day — it’s amazing how many cool classes are offered online for free at the moment. Take time only for yourself to do mindfulness practices, appreciate the moment, and be friends with yourself.Liis, HR Lead
Cleaning your hands when going outside and coming in is always important, but it’s especially so now.Marko, ETL Developer
Proekspert remote work diary: week 1
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