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Working from home longer term - will it change how we work?

Community Manager
Community Manager
Earlier this year, a huge number of people moved to working from home as a temporary measure, to help keep as many people safe and healthy as possible. Many assumed it was going to be a week or two before we got back in to the office but for a lot of us, it will be a while before we can go back to normal and it can be hard to keep up momentum when the finish line isn’t clear.  If you need some tips on maintaining a balance while working from, here’s a cheat sheet we created that you can use each day. 
 
A lot of workplaces had been assessing remote work pre-Covid, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment to work from home temporarily. Many companies have been moving towards a flexible way of working, with employees having an option to work remotely, as opposed to having to be in the office every day so had considered the best ways of working when people are dispersed. 
 
Other companies may have had bigger issues to tackle when it comes to working outside of the office. There were, however, companies that had little or no digital infrastructure in place. It’s a lot harder to work when your equipment is in the office and files are on an internal network, so some people just had to wait and see when they could get back in to the office. 
 
Setting up a whole new way of working can be challenging, that’s why we want to make it as easy as possible to create a collaborative way of working for you and your co-workers. Dropbox makes sure that all of our features help to take the extra work out of work - making sure you spend your time focussing on the problems you need to solve, not figuring out how to share files or who has access to documents etc. We’ve created some helpful tips for our Community on how to organize your folders, how to make sure you have access from mobile, making the most of Zoom with your team, or exploring other apps that are integrated with Dropbox to can make your day run a little smoother. There are a host of new distractions at home, so we hope to help to take the distractions out of work.  
 
Whether your workplace was working towards remote working or not, now we are almost 3 months in to a working from home world and almost all offices have adapted in some way but does that mean it’s here to stay?
1w_sunflowers.png

 

  • There will be people who had worked from home before, who don’t want to do it longterm. 
  • There will be people who never worked from home before and now might consider it as a real solution. 
  • Some people who worked from home before may have been fine with an empty household as a peaceful work environment but might be finding the kitchen table a little cramped with kids or roommates sharing their space.
  • People may have invested in their home set up. Others are still stuck on less than ideal chairs. 
  • Some are finding a better work/life balance and others cannot switch off. 
 
The main difference now, is a huge number of people who had never worked from home have experienced it, and made it work or even benefited from it. 
 
Overall, things that were not possible before in some workplaces had to become possible, and now won’t immediately disappear. It is unlikely that every person will return to every office and school - some things can move online and maybe even improve the experience by doing so. Others may find their physical workspace augmented by the additional online support set up over the last few weeks, which we think is very exciting. Either way, working from home has been a longer run than we expected, and that’s the first of many changes. 
 
How have you found working from home? Will you keep it up if possible? Have you found any of our tips and tricks useful?
 
4 Replies 4
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Re: Working from home longer term - will it change how we work?

Collaborator | Level 8

Great post. I've been working remotely (from home) for more than 3 years. Way more productive. I agree with you that investment in good home office furniture is a must - especially the chair. Also fast Internet - fibre if you can. 

 

One must also not forget to take regular breaks. I guess some people think they need to be online all the time but Teams/Zoom/Slack/Whatever can be installed on your mobile device too, so you do not have to stare at your screen all the time. 

 

I find that I do work longer hours than what I would have done in a normal office setting. Not sure why, but it is a fact. I also (still) sometimes make the mistake to take my laptop to bed (lol) but that is not happening very often. 

 

Work/life balance is very important. In a office setting there are tea times, lunch times, break times, etc. At home, one can easily go through the day without eating anything (it happens to me a lot) but then my wife, who is at home all the time, will remind me to take a break and get something to eat. 

 

Many company bosses start to realise now that they can save so much money by letting their employees work from home. Afterall, it is about trust. Why will you hire someone if you cannot trust him/her when they work remotely? I think remote working (in many areas) is here to stay. 

 

Working from home definitely has its advantages. However, some people are more social than others, and might long for the corridor gossip. I for one do not. I prefer to work from home and to use technology to connect to my peers. 

Highlighted

Re: Working from home longer term - will it change how we work?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @ITConsultingAfrica 

 

Thanks for such a considered response! I am definitely one of those people longing for corridor conversations again, but I completely agree that there are a lot of advantages to working from home overall. Once the right systems are in place, along with the trust you mentioned, it can really lead to great things.

 

I think it will be interesting to see how workplaces change over time. I think there is a general hope of getting ‘back to normal’ soon, but once life is back up and running, I wonder if remote working will just be part of the new way we do things. I may need to pick your brain for more working from home tips and tricks in the future!

 

Amy

Highlighted

Re: Working from home longer term - will it change how we work?

Collaborator | Level 8

Hi Amy

 

You are most welcome. 

 

This is the so called "new normal". Yes, some companies may be able to have their staff work from remote (home) locations, but it is also about the mindset of some managers who like to micro-manage their employees - unfortunately. Some sectors (mining, construction, etc. do not have that luxury). 

 

I read an article of some companies implementing measures to make sure that their empployees actually work when they say they do - seriously?! It goes back to the trust thing. Yes, you will get your loafers and so on, but when deadlines are met, you can work 2 hours a day (productively) instead of 8 hours a day (standing at the coffee machine, going to lenghty meetings, I can go on) and still keep the boss happy. 

 

Regards

Highlighted

Re: Working from home longer term - will it change how we work?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Here’s hoping people can find a balance of productivity that works for everyone! I know I’ll be interested to see how different industries do things from now on.

Amy  

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