Ways of Working: Adaptability Is the Key

I wrote recently about methods and tools when it comes to ways of working to fit our Agile world, and the impact that COVID-19 has had on all of our work environments. I touched on attitude, and I’m going to look at that again today.

The word that many seem to have forgotten is ‘flexible’. When we first started to see examples of people and teams working remotely, we talked about ‘flexible working’. That doesn’t mean doing things how we always did them when we commuted and sat in the same room for 8 hours before heading home.

What ‘flexible working’ means is being adaptable, demonstrating fungibility and changing our attitude to what the working day looks like.

When I work from home, I remind myself that I have a different set of options when it comes to how I am productive. For me, that means that I get up when I usually get up, and I get pretty much straight to work. That means that I’m on the tools early in the day, before most people would be leaving for work, let alone sitting down at their office desk. But it also means that, if I’m not careful, I could spend 13 hours of my day staring at my screen. So, once I’ve got through a set of tasks I’ve allocated to myself to get done first thing, I’ll step away. I’ll walk the dog. I’ll do some prep work in the kitchen for dinner later in the day. Perhaps I’ll head to the gym or go for a run. And I’ll do these things having planned my diary. I’m confident that my colleagues aren’t thinking ‘he’s not really working, he’s just having a slow day’.

To be most productive, embrace the flexibility of working remotely. Trust your colleagues to do the same. You might just find that you get just as much, or more, out of your day than when you lost 2 hours of your day to travel.

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