Everyone is familiar with having a deadline. When you have no choice but to work while outside your comfort zone, through your lunch break, a little earlier than usual, sometimes working well into the night. It was, at one time, considered overtime. OT. An extra amount of hours, outside of your standard work week requirements.
Well the times, they are always a-changin’. Working remotely has been normalized, but not all the work habits have been accepted yet. Working from nine in the morning until five at night has become as archaic as tying a windsor knot before heading into the office. Habits and practices have evolved, regardless if we acknowledge them or not. And we can’t pick and choose which parts of this new workspace we like and disregard the rest.
Casual wear is a new dress code. Pajamas are worn later in the day than we care to admit. There also isn’t a commute anymore, at least not on most days. Some co-workers may never meet face to face. There is a bevvy of perks to include, however the other side of the coin is also worth noticing. With the technology to allow a remote workspace, it means you can always be contacted. Mandated work phones, work laptops, company-specific Slack workspaces to add to those you already use throughout the day. And through the weekend. Status updates track if you’re idle or still working on a project while most of the world sleeps.
Keeping a client happy has always remained the golden standard, but what happens when your client lives across the country and has a three hour head start on your day? What if they live in Australia? What if they’re just a workaholic and are messaging you at all hours? What happens is, your nine to five is a thing of the past. We may have evolved as workers, but the customer will always be right.
It’s not to say we have to keep up an 18 hour work day. Nobody can keep up with that kind of pace, despite the expectation. Balancing your work and play will always be an issue, it’s just taken a new form. The amount of flexibility we now have has come at a price.
So we respond to those messages during dinnertime, we work through the night when needed, and get up a little early to finish a report, all in luxury of casual sweatpants. The work-from-home world is very different from what we were once used to, but it’s our approach to the whole picture that will determine how well we can remain productive. Take all the good with all the bad. We’re going to be just fine, just make sure to remain presentable when sharing your screen.