Most likely every person got up on the first day of the new year expecting 2020 to be a great one. We all held the belief that we could do our work the same way had been doing it until the end of time with just the occasional adjustment. This would’ve been mostly true but unbeknownst to the world a big problem was quietly brewing. Today we are all aware that a highly infectious virus know has COVID-19 has sent a large majority of people into a panic. The virus itself has had very little affect on people’s job’s but the way we are forced to now operate is causing serious ramifications for workers around the globe. The good news is this too shall pass. However the way we work is not ever going to be the same again.
How We Will Work Going Forward
The vast majority of people including myself got up each morning and went to work at either an office, factory, farm, or retail store. These brick and mortar locations were a good way to setup shop but also a place for individuals to utilize their skills which provided them with a steady income. All that is fine and good until social distancing is implemented by the government. Now both employees and customers alike are extremely cautious to get any closer than a six foot radius from one another. So will this affect how we work in the future? The short answer is YES. How we work will never be the same again.
The routine you have grown to enjoy won’t be back. However it is great news for those able to have an open mind about their abilities and how they can add value to their company. If you are sent home right now to work remotely I predict that only about 60% of us will actually ever be back at our place of employment. Why you ask? Well it is simple. They just don’t physically need you in the office anymore. You can thank the pandemic for bringing that to light. This is not a direct reflection on the worker at all. This change might be a huge benefit for the worker. I believe most every employee will be moved toward a ROWE or Results Oriented Work Environment. This concept was first introduced to me in a book titled Work Sucks and How To Fix It. For the record I do not think work sucks but I personally believe uninspired and inefficient work does indeed not only suck but hurts us all. Ever deal with an uninspired worker at a restaurant or retail store? If so, then you know exactly why inspiration matters. In the book the fantastic authors layout a game plan that work should and can be done either in a brick and mortar location or remotely. The most important factor is simple. Get the work done. It is up to the worker how, when, and where. The manager or boss no longer needs to micro manage for this new work system to be successful so they will have more free time to focus on how to grow the company. This new way of working relies on the employee being self disciplined enough to achieve their task. This can prove very difficult if suddenly you are forced to work from home because of new government regulations. Especially when the kids are running around, spouse or partner is home, you don’t have a home “office” yet, and you don’t feel you have the needed skills to work remotely. Just writing about this makes me miss my office and office pals!
“All things are difficult before they are easy.”Thomas Fuller
Where we will work
If you are reading this chances are you want to be working from your Airstream or RV in a beautiful setting with an outdoor office. The good news for us is that it is entirely possible to work from other locations besides an office. It’s just going to take a new outlook and a plan to get yourself there. If you are employed right now be truly thankful for your job no matter where you are having to “social distance” work from. Your company is going to continue to need your services they just may need you to work from home indefinitely with the occasional in office meeting. This is great news! If you have read this far you are someone who is being proactive to stay ahead of the changing work location curve. Let’s look at a few possible work locations for you in the future.
There are some people who must be in the office full time. You may be the owner of your own business. Or perhaps meeting with clients daily or weekly is imperative. Think doctors, nurses, CEOs, advisors, diehards, etc. This group will either through choice or lack of alternative options will continue business as usual. This is completely fine. If you are worker in this group I would just consider creating multiple sources of income for yourself which I will talk about in a later post. The office is and always will be a place where people will come together, work together, build relationships, solve problems and add value to the marketplace. They just won’t be working exactly as they were before. Expect more and more “in and out” of the office operations.
Office + Home
This group is mostly like the person who has been sent home during the “shutdown”. You were once a full time office worker but now have been forced to be a remote worker. According to Fundera.com 3.7 million workers in the US worked from home at least half of the time in 2017. Now perhaps you will be working from a kitchen table or if you are lucky you already have a home office setup. If you haven’t already setup a home office ( remember boundaries are important ) now would be good time to convert that underutilized area of your home to an official home office. You will possibly be going back into the office but it is doubtful that will come anytime soon. When you do go back your manager or boss will most likely discuss you working from home as part of your continued employment. This will be due to the fact that an economic slow down will force most businesses to reconsider their physical foot print. Less Square Footage = Less Room For in Office Workers
Coral Nafie has written a simple yet wonderful article with tips about how to setup a workable home office. Check it out —-> https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-set-up-a-workable-home-office-1977403
In 2017 the US Census reported that 5.2% or 8 million American workers worked full time from home. Clearly this is not the majority ( yet ) but the 2017 number was a 5% increase in home workers from the previous year. Will more people elect to run their business from home? Some will make this choice. They will enjoy the freedom to work when they want to. There will be obstacles but for those who are able it might allow them a more “balanced” life. Let me say I don’t think balance should be the goal for anyone who wants to achieve great things. If you are at home make sure to keep a regular work routine which should include a daily schedule, work attire, and a check in with an accountability partner.
A remote office can be located anywhere in the world. You are not tied to any physical location. As long as you have internet access you can be producing work. This is the ultimate goal for many. Full Time rv folks know the importance of being able to go remote. Being able to change your office location anytime you want is amazing. However each remote worker knows it comes with challenges. Staying connected to the internet while camping, boondocking, or in a foreign country can be very challenging. Also finding remote work can be somewhat difficult. If you don’t own your own business have no fear there are lots of great companies who will let you work remotely. In a recent email I received from James Hu CEO and Founder of Jobscan had this to say about working remotely in 2020…
Become a digital nomad? Now may be a good time
I agree with James that now might be a great time to become a digital nomad. Start small with your idea and grow it as a side hustle while you still have a 9-5 job. If you don’t have a job decide if now is the time to begin your digital nomad journey or not. I personally advocate for everyone to start their side hustle gig while still having steady income. Becoming a remote worker will be a challenge but the current disruptions in the world may just be the push you need to get going!
Check out @tinyshinyhome for this simple self made standing desk idea. So cool!
Those who refuse to ride the wave of change will get pulled under.
Where Do We Go From Here
Each one of us will have a different journey toward our new work. The one thing we all should have in common is that we all must have a vision. We need the upmost clarity of where you want to go. Write down how you want to be working and where you want to do your work. I like to say “Do what you must until you can do what you want.” If your dream is to live a mobile life, work for yourself, and be successful you are going to have to work harder than you have been. However when you know why you are working the work becomes much easier. You begin to find ways each day to do more and do it more efficiently. The world needs you to live your best life not only for yourself but for the rest of us. An inspired person puts more good out into the world than an uninspired person ever will. In a future post I will talk about some of the tools and services that will help you along as you move toward working remotely. Remember that the person who thinks they can and the person who thinks he can’t are both usually right! Now let’s all get to work on our goals nobody where your office may be at the moment.