Since the quarantine started, even I have learned a few things about how to improve the working-from-home experience.
1) Teach Outlook to stop asking you to enter a location for every single meeting, which are now virtual. We don’t need yet another reminder from the robots about how lonely we are.
2) Use Snap Camera to present your filtered gorgeousness and arrive fresh faced (or pickle-faced) to every meeting. Yes you can install this Snap app on your PC or Mac and even make your own filters! Some of the subtle makeup looks just give you an even complexion, where others give a dramatic effect. Why waste time that men don’t seeking to ensure you have a consistent skin tone or perfect lashes? Just do it virtually, and have fun too sometimes.
3) Channel Dr. Birx and employ creative use of scarves or jewelry. It’s a low-key way to look put together and it can hide your sweatshirt underneath. Your legs shouldn’t be the only ones luxuriating in comfort during these times. Consider investing in some high quality socks, slippers, leggings and other comfortable gear. Also… try an undershirt rather than a bra if you want. Go crazy.
4) Blame everything bad your housemates do on your annoying imaginary co-worker. We have named ours Cheryl, and she really hears it from me when I discover her empty mugs, trash, or other disturbing work habits getting on my nerves. This way we still have someone to hate on at work and blame everything on.
5) Leave the house sometimes. Remember how you used to leave the house? You used to drive from one place to the other for the purposes of working. I don’t miss the traffic, but I do miss that transition time to adjust between home and work. So just schedule an errand or get out of the house to go buy a coffee. You are worth it. Yes, you can even do this in the middle of the day! You can even just go outside for a walk to enjoy nature, or your yard, or the little birdies.
6) Be a boundary ninja. Manage how you want to structure your working day, schedule time to be offline and get some work and thinking done, and intentionally prune down the apps that you allow to notify you when things happen. Give yourself the peace to be productive or to be focused. Prune like you have never pruned before. Say no to distraction.
- Don’t want to know each time your colleague sends an instant message on Teams about their toxically positive reaction to something mundane? Customize your slack, WebEx Teams, MS Teams, or other chat alert settings.
- Don’t want websites to ask you if they can notify you? Turn them off.
- Don’t want every social media app emailing you to tell you someone uploaded a picture? Turn it off.
- Turn off notifications on your phone for instant messaging, games and other apps that distract.
- Turn off mail notifications on your phone for work and personal email.
If you have recently watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix, you’ll understand that the social media platforms have been designed and tuned via AI to essentially entrap you into staying on the platform, in addition to exposing you to the material most likely to elicit a response or interaction (positive or negative). In “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains,” author Nicholas Carr discusses how malleable our brains actually are in their capacity to adjust and change the actual structure of our neural tissue in response to how we train our brains and learn. For example, taxi drivers have been shown to have advanced geospatial awareness, due to the immense amount of time they spend navigating the city. As we spend more and more time on the Internet, we are similarly training our brains to be highly distractable and overly aware of irrelevant stimuli on the page, for example advertisements and notifications. We are training ourselves to lose our ability to focus, consume long form content, or even be with ourselves without stimulation.
The Net’s interactivity gives us powerful new tools for finding information, expressing ourselves, and conversing with others. It also turns us into lab rats constantly pressing levers to get tiny pellets of social or intellectual nourishment.Nicholas G. Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
I hope you enjoy my expert tips on winning from home! Please do let the readers know your top tips to thriving in the corporate digiverse.