Over three months ago, as restrictions in Ireland due to the Coronavirus began to tighten, we were thrown right in the deep end and told to work from home for ‘the foreseeable future’. No return date, no indication on how long ‘lockdown’ would go on for. And while most restrictions have now been lifted, the change does not stop here, and it is now time to make the most of both working from home and the office.
Adjusting to the Government’s restrictions and the reality of the pandemic
So far, it has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, highs and lows. Fortunately for us at Hopscotch Europe, everyone was secure, however, that was not the case for a number of companies across the globe that had to let staff go. Many people had been separated from family members and suffered losses. Nobody could have predicted the change we were about to experience.
It has taken some getting used to, but with the reopening of society, slowly but surely, the change doesn’t stop now. As we make our way out of the pandemic and as the restrictions begin to lift, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. As of this week, we are now welcome to return to the office, if we like. However, we are still asking many questions. What happens next? When will our usual Monday to Friday resume? Will it ever, is the big question.
The ‘New Normal’… whatever that may be!
Things are going to be different, but this is not a bad thing. For the days that we will be in the office, there will be no big meetings, no eating together in the kitchen, no client meetings. Meeting one on one will be normal and usual team meetings or huddles may entail walking outdoors. We will need to learn how to handle a mix of what we are now used to, what was familiar before, and what we still need to get accustomed to.
At Hopscotch Europe, we work with international clients who are spread across the globe, which in a way, already prepared us slightly for ‘working from home’ as we are very experienced in working with our client communications virtually. However, it was the lack of human contact with colleagues that we were not prepared for.
We must now learn to balance both working from home and working in the office. For some people, working remotely may improve performance due to being in a more comfortable location with a routine and enjoy personal space. For others, working from home may not be as easy, especially for those who suffer from poor mental and physical health and who find working from home quite difficult. During the pandemic, people may have suffered with concentration and being easily distracted. Others may have found it impossible to make decisions and found themselves less interested in day-to-day activities. In times of uncertainty, people feel overwhelmed by things and find themselves tired with a lack of energy. In fact, most of us have experienced some of these points recently.
Moving forward as the country reopens
While many things remain outside of our own personal control, our mindsets are key to coping with difficult circumstances and facing the unknown. Reintroducing social interaction in our work environment is a very positive step forward and one we must be very grateful for. Social interaction is vital to reduce many of the negative signs we see when working in isolation, especially for those who may live alone. We now need to get used to both working remotely and, in the office, and ensure we get a good measure of both.
As we now open the office it is important not to lose the routine we had established at home. It is vital to keep to a confined workspace where we have learned to concentrate properly. Even though going to the office has restrictions, it is a good idea to go and meet up with people who you work with. Try setting a specific day or two a week where you know you have fewer calls or meetings so that when you are in the office you can dedicate time to meet team members and discuss the essential items face to face. It is now more critical than ever to maintain a schedule and a balance so that you do not lose track of things, and yourself!
For more information or to learn more about Hopscotch Europe, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.