The gig economy is here – how employees can adapt to remote work
Last year I wrote about the gig economy and being prepared for more flexible working arrangements. That time is now!
With COVID-19 shutdowns and changed business environments now happening, most companies are being forced to change the rules on how they work. The status quo is very different as many of us adjust to new technology, tools and ways of communicating.
We are all being pushed out of our comfort zone and the good news is that there is where growth and success comes from.
If you are an employee of a law, finance or accounting firm, here are some tips to help you adjust.
NB: I will have a similar article for employers available soon.
How can you adapt to this change?
Unless you are used to working remotely, it can be challenging to move to 100% remote work. The team dynamics, socialisation and potential use of different technology can be a little overwhelming. That is normal with any sort of change, so you need to get comfortable with this.
- MINDSET – Your mindset and how you approach this time will help greatly in minimising anxiety and stress during the change. Have a positive mindset and remember not only is this a short-term issue but you are also learning new skills during the process. Always look for the positives, even through the most challenging days. Even just smiling at your home office desk can make you feel better. Mindset makes a difference and it is 100% within your control.
- COMMUNICATION – now more than over, your communication is vital. We are relying on the online world to help us offline. Developing processes for communication with your managers and other team members will allow you to remain productive and focused on your projects.
Talk to your managers if you are feeling anxious or stressed and ask them to help you through it. Open and honest communication with other team members who might also be feeling a similar way is also important.
We all need to be talking to each other. Phone, email, online chat, Skype …. Whatever the method, remember to talk to each other and communicate as you would in the office.
- MENTAL HEALTH – no matter how resilient, adaptable to change or mentally strong you think you are, you will have moments of anxiety, overwhelm and uncertainty. It is called being human. Recognise that it is OK to feel that way and be mindful of your mental health as we all adapt to this changed business environment.
Talk to people, listen to music, exercise, eat healthy food, sit in the sun, read, walk or play with your dog, watch a funny video…. Find ways to break up the monotony and remain mentally happy.
- ESTABLISH A ROUTINE – where possible keep as much of your normal routine as possible. If you go to the gym normally, you can exercise at home. Even working from home, you might find it comforting to wear the same clothes, do your hair and make up as normal and adhere to the same working hours. Use the travel time you have saved to learn a new skill, listen to a podcast or read a book. Use this time to your advantage and work it.
- MUSIC – when you are used to chatter and banter amongst your team, it can be hard to work in silence. Create a playlist in Spotify, turn on the radio or have some background noise to help break the silence. TIP: Create a staff Spotify playlist to stay connected during your time away from the office.
- STAY CONNECTED – have regular Skype of Zoom calls with your boss and co-workers. Encourage them to keep meetings, events, knock off drinks in place and just do them virtually. We have the technology to be able to do this.
Have virtual lunches with your co-workers. Laugh, share and keep the status quo of the day to day as much as you can.
The gig economy is no longer a choice and you have the choice to embrace the change. This is about evolution as people and employees. Remember this is short term. Look for the opportunities, embrace the change to your normal routine and have a positive mindset and you might find that you come out of this fitter, and stronger than ever.