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Edition 398 – The Commute

I stepped out for coffee early on a weekday. It’s not often I do, but on this day, with an appointment free diary and some prep work to get underway on an upcoming workshop for a group of professionals, I packed up my gear and headed for my local coffee place.

As I’m sitting there, mind mapping the outline of the workshop, a local business owner and entrepreneur calls out “hello” as she wanders in to grab a coffee. We’ve known each other for a while and we support her business regularly.

She wanders back out and asks if I wouldn’t mind sharing the long table that I’m sitting at.

“Of course not, there’s plenty of real estate available” was my reply. She sat down and opened up her laptop.

At some point, each of us must have had the need to look up from our devices and stare into the distance and contemplate the next task. We broke into conversation, and it was only then I find out that this was a daily ritual for her, not merely a one off.

My friend stops for coffee on her way into her business each day. It’s a 20 minute walk from her home and she likes the time over coffee to plan out her day, do some deeper thinking and get on top of some of the larger things that she won’t otherwise get to when she opens the door for trade.

I’ve worked from home for seven years and I’ve often joked the commute is only nine steps. It takes some getting your head around as you need to be as disciplined about your work routine as you are about not allowing your home life to seep into your work life.

If you have staff in this space, or you yourself are, what are you and they doing to:

  1. Mentally prepare for the day.
  2. Decompress from the day.

What’s the separation that you deliberately factor into your home life and your work life, if you are working from home?

What are you doing to encourage your team to also have that separation – so they’re on their “A” game when they’re supposed to be working, and focussing on the other important aspects of their life when they logout at night?

As much as some employers hate the whole “WFH” phenomena, it’s here to stay! I don’t believe it will totally supplant the workplace as, in my observation, you still need that element of in-person collaboration for the business to function at a high level, for each other and for the benefit of your clients.

I get that you can still collaborate over Zoom and other forms of technology. It’s just that I don’t believe you get the full benefit of the relationship. We’re human beings and, as human beings, we’re designed to interact with each other. Which is also why if you or your team are working from home, some form of ritual at the beginning and end of the day is important not only for productivity, but more importantly, for our wellbeing.

This Week’s Tip

“One friend, who starting working from home over 20 years ago, designed a ritual of
walking the perimeter fence of their 5 acre property at the beginning and end of each day,
to get themselves into and out of the work and home mindset..”