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I heard it said that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal: a moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.
In some homes, a sole occupant faces endless loneliness. In others, family members are getting peace, rest, and time with each other — while in still others, quarantine means an increased danger due to domestic violence.
With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment, some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk, and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
Some have experienced the near-death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.Unknown.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.
An inspiration to take to heart when working with others, especially when you are trying to help. You might be working with someone facing challenges you are not and this may have an effect on them.
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Perhaps more a timely phrase with the current work environments being seen at the time of this writing although ultimately this really holds true no matter the case.
“Everything will be OK”
When working remotely or just providing support in general, one of the key elements you should be striving for is having your customer feel that all is well and things are just going to work out.
This also applies to yourself. You are your first customer of the day every day. You need to make certain you are in a good headspace to do your work. Remember, a smile goes a long way to helping someone feel better about their current concerns.
Start every conversation with a smile on your face and treat the conversation as though it was the first one of the day. This shows through to the customer, this also lets you shake off the earlier events of the day and give your best efforts towards the customer you are currently working with.
Vive les Québécois for this reminder.
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Although it may be important to set boundaries, it’s just as important to take breaks, too!
If you are working from home, you should take advantage of your own personal support system. Take breaks to spend time with your family… if you are coming from working in an office environment this would have been difficult to do. Use the flexibility of remote working to get in some extra quality time with your family, take your dog for an extra walk, or just spend some quiet time to yourself and enjoy that new tea you found!
Taking a break during the day will help keep you from burning out. It’s a healthy work habit to keep — or create if necessary.
Just like you should be getting up from your desk “in the office”, do the same in your remote work space… and take advantage of the extra benefits of spending more time with your family or slipping in that quick exercise routine… whatever it is, just make sure to take breaks for your own well-being.
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Often when working remotely, it is important to have a dedicated workspace… or, at least a dedicated work schedule.
The key is to be able to ensure you can focus on your work when you need to and having a dedicated space where others know you are remote working; or, an explicit work schedule to let others know when you are working. Both of these create a sense of respectable boundaries where you can feel comfortable you will not be easily disrupted by some outside influence.
Sure, make a comfortable bed for your best four-footed friend to hang out while you work; let the “kids” know they need to try to be respectfully quieter during “working hours”; and, let your partner know that although your schedule does offer some great flexibility when remote working the whole point is you still need to be working and meeting those expectations.
Setting boundaries helps everyone that is affected by remote working, especially when first entering that type of environment. Try to make sure they are clear while also being respectful of others and you should be good to go… and remember to follow those “rules” yourself — the beach isn’t going anywhere.
Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash