Alone Together: Work Life

Different ways work life changed in 2020. From remote to work to digital fatigue, and how private and professional are blending.

Table of Contents

Work Life

Global work life significantly changed for most people in 2020. From remote to work to digital fatigue, and how private and professional are blending.

Remote Work

Work life is changing, not only because of remote work. It was incredible to see how fast things can change. Shops and supermarkets changed over night, with hand sanitizers, Plexiglas at the check out, and markers to indicate distance.

In hinesight it’s still remarkable how fast companies could adjust their  internal digital strategies to include Zoom, G Suite and other video call solutions.

I can imagine that the volume of different onboarding processes people went through, will functions as a disruption in that industry. You can already see this in how swiftly different services were improved for how the users needed to work.

The mass change of internal processes, may have worked as a disadvantage at first, as often is the case for groups of people. The net gain will substantial, in my opinion, because I believe in the power of these tools.

Initially I was very skeptical, but now I’m mostly curious to see what can be learned from this.

Tips for when you’re working remotely.

  • Dress in work attire and find a dedicated work space.
  • Schedule work blocks and take breaks.
  • Plan a schedule for activities with all in your house, and communicate available time with your work team.
  • Not every call has to be a video call.
  • It’s okay to slow down.
  • Be okay with work and life becoming more intertwined. Set your own rituals to transition from work, to private, to family, etc.
  • Set boundaries, but continue exploring. 

The Essential Workers

But as many of us went home, and worked from there, the so-called “essential workers” were praised, but still felt they had to put themselves in harms way daily. One story I heard on, if I recall correctly, “This American Life”, told the story of a metro worker. She worked with fewer coworkers as time pandemic progressed, and eventually worked in a Plexiglas box by herself.

There’s also the stories from teachers, in both “The Daily” and “Death, Sex and Money” podcasts. How they work through teaching over Zoom, or how possibly class rooms have to change to be considered save to guidelines. The idea of this evokes such loneliness. And some of these teachers find a spark of hope, but others reconsider continuing their job in this way.

Record Unemployment

Others lost their jobs. Countries such as the US reported record unemployment in the early pandemic. As of August 2021 many jobs have returned, but not all businesses survived a blow to their industry.

We’re all having to be a little more creative, and that’s hard. Let’s be kind, and listen to each other. 

Resources

An ode to unsung heroes - TED playlist

These talks honor the selfless and overall wonderful human beings who help us every day.

EU Circular Economy Action Plan

A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe.

Google Hangouts Meet

Free access to our advanced Google Meet video-conferencing capabilities for some G Suite customers.

How Science Can Fix Remote Work - WorkLife with Adam Grant

Remote work was a trend that some companies and gig workers were trying out, even as others resisted.

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity - TED

What's the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance?

Why we need to move toward an economy that can regenerate itself - TED

The old take-make-use-lose model of industrial design has depleted resources and dumped waste into the environment.

Updates

Anything missing? I’m working on adding more. If you have any suggestions for things that have really helped you, I would really like to hear about it. Stay safe, and take care <3

Originally posted: April 17, 2020.

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