Releasing Guilt in Work From Home (WFH)

by Lisa PicardMar 24th, 2020

This post originally appeared on Medium.

I have a really talented, committed and loyal workforce of nearly 200 people working at EQ Office. We service over 400 organizations with a physical place to foster the development and/or delivery of their products and services.  Last week we fully migrated to a Work From Home (WFH) platform (except for some of us that enable business continuity). I felt it was critical to communicate, early and often and release people from thinking they need to act as “business as usual.”

The following message might be useful to others who lead teams, run companies and advise leaders. Feel free to lift, use, take what you need from my message if you find it useful. And please comment if you have ways to make it better.

All the best…

Lisa Picard

Photo Credit: Emma Matthews, via Unsplash.com

Our WFH Culture

Message from the CEO

Wow.

Seriously, whoever thought we’d be here so fast; an entire workforce mandated to work from home, to isolate in for days.

Clearly there are huge impacts on the economy, society, and life at home.

Yes, we zoomed into meetings from spare bedrooms, kitchens, or any place we could find a moment of peace (or not). Many of us missed routines, workouts, creating further stress and tension. Others discovered their best commute ever from their bed to their desk (or dining table)… able to re-work, re-write, and re-assess building processes, spreadsheets, or memos to perfection.

Yes, we are working through an unprecedented time in our nation’s history, where the culture of work and home merge. This means our expectations around the workday is morphing. Next week we do not return to “business-as-usual,” but continue to evolve and adapt. Some things I believe we all want to consider:

1) Get Outside — your commute has likely reduced to 100 steps between rooms each day without a gasp of fresh air. Light and air is necessary and very grounding. We are now looking at screens longer and relief is critical.

2) Change Your Definition of a “Work Day” — it certainly will not look like the timeline you had at the office; it likely gets pushed around between day and night and your week (i.e. making 8 hours each day difficult). Workouts might be a run at 2pm because it’s when it’s sunny and warm and you have an opening in your day. Accept the new norm is not normal at all, and go with it!

3) Have More Zoom Meetings — if you have young ones at home and get pulled away from concentrated work, sometimes zoom meetings will keep you more engaged. And if you’re furry pals or little ones want to photobomb, let them. We all need some comic relief.  

4) Communicate Needs and Changing Obligations — Note that when grandparents are quarantined and daycares and schools are closed, some parents are left to figure out any way to keep their kids occupied and get work done. In other words, it’s not possible. Be flexible with coworkers and communicate personal obligations and work needs.

5) Practice Self Care — The media coverage and market changes will create some intensity. Be sure to take time for yourself, eat, sleep and exercise. Using tools like Headspace (more on that to come!) can give you a moment to settle and get grounded.

6) Learn Something New — exercising the brain is key in times of change. Get out that jigsaw puzzle, lose yourself for a few in that book that has sat on your night table for months, whatever it is, embrace the small ways you can exercise new channels for your mind.

We all have huge pride and strong commitments to our work. I am encouraging all of you to take the amount of care with yourself that you are taking with your teammates and properties. This week I have seen unparalleled engagement, uber-responsiveness, and amazing effort and teamwork. I am proud and I am thankful… so please take care of yourselves and your families.