13 Nov A chance to change
We live in a world that embraces the technological era as it evolves within its own rapid evolution. Every day, we find ourselves fighting to find our place and pace within this new world, and it stamps its authority within the business world – it’s the axis that rotates any economy. With technology being the DNA of business, it demands productivity and efficiencies that translate to the power of reaction from our fingertips 24/7. The question that bodes is do we know when to switch off? I am sure that at the start of every new year, we set our resolutions with the intention to change this behaviour.
When we celebrated the turn of this new decade, no one would have predicted just how much 2020 would change our lives. However, through the turmoil, I have had the appreciation of accepting that some of the changes have forced me to enjoy the simple pleasures that I had once deemed a far distant wish. It is hard to believe that working from home has granted me this wish.
I am a believer that freedom is the true measure of discipline and that discipline is the foundation for which all goals need to be achieved. Working from home will attest to this theory, as I elaborate on the points that I am about to mention.
Being in a safe, relaxed environment
The office environment sometimes infringes on your space. With the challenges of ‘competitors’ who would welcome the opportunity to find reasons why you don’t belong in the position that you hold and that ‘they can do it better’. This can form the battleground in the fight to climb the corporate ladder. Being at home gives me the confidence in who I am, within a relaxed environment as I work. It eliminates the defences and allows me to work in a space that brings out the passion in what I do, drawing me to the essence of why I do what I do. This enlightenment brings out the best in me and takes my productivity to a whole new level. There was also a sense of clarity in that each member has to focus their attention on their own areas of responsibility, ultimately enhancing business objectives.
At the office, I always seem to find myself in a predicament with staff encountering difficulties as they go about their tasks, giving me the feeling that most tasks cannot be completed without my intervention or involvement. I have noticed that working from home, staff become more empowered in making decisions and finding ways to achieve their outcomes. It comes across as though my presence prevents their creativity within their efficiencies. Me being ‘out of sight’ takes me ‘out of mind’ thus encouraging the team to go on. Interestingly at the beginning of lockdown, I was not readily available due to the high volume of calls that I fielded. But that soon faded and so did the number of calls that I received. This has allowed me to be productive and efficient at my own responsibilities. The result of my efficiencies has enabled me to focus and have the opportunity to plan ahead and regarding the implementation of new strategies for the future of our business, rather than being caught up in the constantly putting out fires.
Me-time is more accessible
With my newfound powers in increased productivity and efficiency, I have found that I developed the ability to run some of my personal errands whilst still keeping abreast with my daily tasks. Being at work, I have always sacrificed errands by prioritising the fire fighting and in doing this I have always been stressed at my poor planning with my personal life.
Working from home has saved me a lot on the usual running expenses of getting to work, such as fuel, e-tolls and work attire. The pandemic has also had companies looking at creating new ways of retaining their customers, such as the insurance companies that afford you a reduced premium due to the reduced usage of your vehicle. I have capitalised on this opportunity.
A reminder of the discipline comment mentioned earlier. My morning at the office started at 06:30 in order to ‘stay ahead’ and then I would leave the office after 19:00 on most days. I am no health freak, but I tried desperately to find time for a simple run to keep a healthy mind and body. A good way to deal with the stresses. I am now able to start working from 08:00 at home and complete an evening run by 19:30. I have also found that I have made time to have healthy snacks to avoid binge eating, as opposed to not having a chance to have lunch at the office. I have the bliss of helping my wife by getting supper going while she is on her way home, as opposed to arriving home at ± 20:00 and only having supper at about 21:00. We used to have frequent take-out as a pure matter of convenience.