Tips and Perspective

Two recent articles in the New York Times speak about Productivity during these extraordinary days of Covid 19. David Gelles wrote a piece June 23, 2020 titled Are Companies More Productive in a Pandemic? Julie Weed had an article published on June 21, 2020 titled How to Succeed in Your Office Job When There Is No Office.

Company Executives interviewed for the Gelles piece suggest that (as of June 23, 2020) for the most part, workplace productivity seems to be status quo and, in some instances, accelerating. At least at the onset of the Virus, workers were very diligent in getting their jobs done, even with the freedom of working from home. Industry segments that have always relied on collaboration seem to be the most impacted by the distancing factors. Call centers are booming but creative departments are feeling the isolation. 

Mr. Gelles’ article elicited a variety of responses from his readers that mirror the productivity analysis from Corporate headquarters.  Each person’s unique job role, learning style and home situation have made a difference in adaptability and output. Many of the comments from Gelles’ readers echoed concerns that the continued isolation weighs heavily on humans who seek and need contact. Those working from home without children are having the easier time, though even for the childless, isolation can take its toll on one’s daily outlook. 

A particularly interesting comment speaks to a perspective many others might relate to: “I am a newly remote worker. My productivity is up, and I am hoping that will save my job. However, I hardly sleep, cry more frequently than ever before, and have started experiencing panic attacks regularly for the first time in my life. I am exhausted and burnt out. But boy oh boy am I productive”. 

While another reader says, “The WFH Covid experiment has given time back. Covid is a real stress no doubt, but the pressure of trying to squeeze everything into every day was somewhat relieved. I’m certainly lucky to be employed in a mostly WFH job. I’m finding I can focus better at it. Employers take note”. Several articles have been written about those close to Retirement seeing the benefits of a more relaxed work commute and office environment and those folks might decide to reset their exit date.

What is your level of Productivity from home? Are you still finding that the vacation from commuting and flexibility of time is giving you the motivation to be more productive? Is your Productivity impacted by your mental state?

If you are finding yourself struggling, some of the pointers in Weed’s article are helpful and in line with tips I have shared throughout the course of this new not so normal. The main take away from How to Succeed in Your office Job When There is Not Office relates to Boundary Setting. Weed emphasizes it is critical to understand your needs for time blocks so that you can get your work done without distractions and when you are the most focused. 

Other tips offered by Weed and my previous blog posts include:

  1. Make sure others in your home know when interruptions are not permitted.
  2. Block time during the day when you have your highest energy level to do the work that needs your most concentration.
  3. Let your superiors or colleagues know if something is off, missing or lagging as soon as you feel conflicted.  Weed says to speak up quickly if something is not working.
  4. Find ways to virtually connect with important collaborators. Weed suggests this is crucial.
  5. Seek out colleagues who nurture your efforts. Call, FaceTime, or Zoom with people who feed your soul.
  6. Some people find it useful to get dressed as if you were going into the office– others are content with a more casual look.
  7. Weed reminds you to use the skill sets that have always served you well and recognize what can best serve you in the current situation. I have added additional links in the Productivity chain.
    1. Prioritizing
    2. Communicating
    3. Planning
    4. Task Management
    5. Delegation

If you need some coaching so you can get back on track, contact me for a free consult to see how I can help you get your mojo back in working order with a renewed perspective. Call 678-294-7813.