There were plans to write something about how it feels to work from home. What to do to be productive, despite the change of environment? How to cope, despite the disruption of habits related to everyday work so far? You know, a few tips, pretending to be a specialist, because you’ve read a few articles – this kind of things. Boring. The plans are there to change them. As a product owner I know a little bit about it… I have the impression that there are so many texts about how to cope with working from home that I wouldn’t be able to offer anything revealing. Especially if I write about it in a blunt form – exchanging time-boxing tricks, switching off notifications on the phone and computer or answering emails twice a day. Therefore, I will try to write my thoughts on this issue in a slightly different way. More general, but also more direct, so maybe you can start a discussion or at least some of you will have thoughts that will lead to something positive.
The topic of remote working is suddenly very relevant for many people. For us, as Rocksoft employees, as well. The vast majority of us have worked in „open space” in our office in Ustroń so far. We have seen each others faces every day or at least a few days a week. We could exchange words. We could have lunch together. We could walk to the parking lot together through the park after finishing work. Suddenly, bam – it’s all gone… Who knows, it may even be that we are witnessing the birth of a new era – the era of remote working right now. An interesting issue and it seems that the IT industry may already have a big advantage over others in this matter, but that’s not what I wanted to write about. In short, we, the people of Rocksoft, have had a daily routine:
- a meeting room available to us at any time,
- monitoring our applications on a huge screen,
- raised desks,
- coffee machine at your fingertips,
- a water dispenser just steps away from your desk,
- a few dozen meters walk to the toilet,
- a possibility to have lunch in any restaurant or canteen, i.e. everything from burger, kebab, dumplings, pancakes to a decent two-course dinner,
- Wednesday healthy snacks,
- Friday’s joint breaks organised by one of us,
- many others that I may have gotten so used to, that I’ll only see them gone.
Well, as it turns out, there are a lot of things that we’re all involuntarily getting used to. Each of us has also developed many habits that we are now forced to replace. We have no choice. Well, there’s a lot of interesting things here. For example, we hear on Twitter that some of us working from home feel much more tired, but we can’t figure out why. Interesting. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence, analysis too. What I wanted to emphasise in this text is that this whole situation is not as simple as it is sometimes said about it. Remote working in the „normal” world and remote working in the times of coronavirus are diametrically different issues. Most of us have been thrown into deep water. Remote working is one aspect, and what about the rest of the issues that were so obvious to us that we have partly stopped seeing and appreciating their impact on our mental health? I mean, activities that involve human interaction:
- Family birthday celebrations with grandparents, cousins, etc..,
- Going out into the city or the park,
- Mountain trips with friends,
- A trip to the zoo with children,
- Going to the movies with your wife,
- Going out for ice cream,
- A weekly soccer match with old friends.
It all fell on us very unexpectedly. No one was ready for it. No one. Fortunately, there is a lot of information and advice that can help us to stay healthy – mental and physical in this situation. And that’s mainly what I wanted to encourage myself and all readers of this blog.
„Depression hates moving targets. A little exercise every day helps to keep your mind in the right place.” – Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg)
Depression is a big word these days, but knowing that her tentacles can be closer to us than we think, is a huge advantage. I try to use the knowledge we have and move regularly. Be active. Literally, but figuratively as well. Look for something that will help you to keep the joy of everyday life alive, to get through this period when the world is somehow turned upside down. Read, not „scroll.” Call your family and friends. Exchange experiences and thoughts. Get as much out of this situation as possible, for as the old saying goes, „what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.