Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fifteen Minutes At A Time






  I have established that, at best, while working from home, that I can work for a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes at a time.

  It's not that I lack the concentration or focus to enable me to perform for several hours.  It's the needless distractions that have to be attended to which limit my output, to fifteen minutes at a time.

  Today, I woke and sat down at my desk. Booted up the computer and during the morning email review, checked on the elderly parent that I care for. Thus endeth the first fifteen minutes.

  The dogs barked fifteen minutes later. Check and verify that they are barking at the wind.

  The cat started bitching about something. Get up and verify that the cat is just bitching about nothing.

  The landline telephone rings, it's a scam caller, so naturally, the elderly parent answers it.

  That's the first hour. I've risen four times for outside distractions, broken the train of thought and been distracted from my work.

  The second hour. The dogs again. Fifteen minutes later there's a truck driving by that makes a loud sound; and the dogs go apeshit. The usual swearing and cursing at the dogs hastens their retreat to the elderly parents lap. I no sooner return and the elderly parent is moving about in the kitchen - investigation required. Fifteen minutes later, there's a door slam inside the house - elderly parent has taken to their bathroom.

  While the current health situation has put a lot more people to work in their residency, there are a couple of thoughts about this. If we can work from home during a health issue, why can't we work from home after the health issue? The roads would be freer, the commute time would be reduced, people would still be earning an income.

  And then the dogs bark again, this time at a leaf falling...three miles away.

  And now I know why people go to their corporate office.  It's not so they can accomplish any additional work, it's so they are not working fifteen minutes at a time distracted by ridiculous home matters.  Far better to be distracted at work every fifteen minutes by the phone and loose two hours of your day in the commute back and forth, than to stay at home and complete the same volume distracted by..leaves falling every fifteen minutes. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

How To Work From Home in a Pandemic





  Across the United States, employees are being told to "work from home" as an attempt to stem the flow of the Corona Virus, CoVid-19. As people do so, they are some techniques that can be employed to ensure that you actually accomplish "work" while at home.

GET DRESSED
  You wouldn't report to workplace in your pajamas, nor should you report to your home work station in the same clothes you slept in. While you may not exercise the same dress standard as the work place, getting dressed is a psychological tool to differentiate between being at work, and working from home.

HAVE A PLACE TO WORK
  Even if you have to clear a spot at the dinning room table, have a dedicated work station. Sturdy chair, flat surface, lighting and ventilation are the hallmarks of establishing the invisible boundary from home and work. Coaches, beds, and floor space are not work stations.

KEEP A SCHEDULE
  Your mind functions better if it maintains a schedule of events. If you are an office worker with office hours, maintain that schedule while you work from home. Your employer will still need to reach you, your co workers will need to collaborate with you and your subordinates will still need to report to you. While you may no longer have to clock in and clock out to the minute, don't be the guy who misses the video conference because you weren't "at work".

MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS
  This is, in my opinion, the most important. The access to you by other family members may be taken for granted, or that movie you haven't seen may be starting in ten minutes. When you are "working from home" you're no longer available to attend to the domestic chores or ask, and a television should never be on in your work space. It is too tempting to be distracted b the comforts of the home when you should be working.

EXERCISE
  In the workplace, you walk between offices, the lunchroom, maybe tour the facility in order to get your steps in, or to stretch out from your work station. Maintain this approach and ensure that during your "work day". that you try to maintain the same level of physical activity. Walk the dog, leave the car in the garage if you have to go outside, but make allowances that let you continue to exercise. Long hours sitting at your desk and hen flopping into bed is counter productive.

   There's a method to how I work from home. I maintain the same schedule: rise, breakfast dress and report to my work station prior to 7am. Email are no more than 15 minutes as it's too easy to be distracted. I break for lunch at noon every day and return about 30 minutes later. Around 1.30pm I get up and walk the dogs, come hail, rain or shine. Returning about 2pm, I check emails one more time and write till about 4.30pm. There is no television near my work station, although I have a CD player I occasionally put on low volume.

  Jacob, the cat, is my sole co worker at home, and I often engage in workplace conversations with him. Though working from home can be a solitary assignment, there is no reason why you have to be "alone".