Little did work behaviourist, empowerment coach Fiona Buckley know that her 20,000 word thesis in 2015 on remote work would have such sudden relevance than in the current crisis.
In a 30 minute webinar on ‘How To Win Your Day when Working From Home’ for the ICBE Business Excellence Skillnet Fiona shared insights, tips and approaches from how you can motivate yourself, the importance of understanding your personality type through to tips for working more productively.
Beginning with 15 rapid fire practical tips Fiona suggested that we:
- Get up & Fuel Up
- Daily Goal Setting
- Structure your day like an office day
- Check in with yourself at least 3 times per day to see how you are feeling.
- Take breaks regularly (lunch and mini-breaks)
- Get outside at least once a day (and yes even if it’s raining!)
- Less emails and more face time/Calls/IM
- Track productivity
- Listening to music (if this doesn’t cause you distraction)
- Establish expectations/boundaries with others in the house
- Be mindful of procrastination
- Be aware of your personality type
- Send your manager an end of the week update (if appropriate)
- Set boundaries to power down and close the virtual door of your office
- Continually check-in to see what is working/what is not working and make the necessary amendments and changes.
Discussing productivity tracking in depth Finola explained that our minds cycle through periods of 90-minute blocks of productivity and heightened focus called ultradian cycles. Our brains are most energetic and focused at the start of these cycles and recommended people consider working in 90 minute blocks of tasks.
Fiona also outlined the importance of open dialogue with managers about how they are coping with the stresses of working remotely.
Human personalities types can be roughly broken into introverts, extraverts and ambiverts with remote working influencing each one in different ways.
Remote working can suit some introverts as they tend to like depth v variety, prefer scheduled meetings like space & reflection time, don’t require validation from others, follow a schedule and are self-disciplined. However they need more time to recharge between meetings and are more creative in a quieter space.
Fiona warned that introverts in remote working environment should be cognisant of social/professional isolation, lack of diversity of thought (happy to hear their own thoughts), the dangers of being out of sight out of mind and finally not being vocal enough on remote calls.
Remote calls Fiona reminded the group can tend to include even more interruptions with people talking over each other in greater numbers.
On the other end of the spectrum extrovert prefer variety in tasks, thinking “out loud”, spur-of-the-moment conversations and are often quite fast paced. They can also often require more validation and are energised by small talk and meetings. Opposite to introverts they tend to be more creative in a busier space and are happy being with others.
On the negative side being alone for too long can make extroverts feel unbalanced/unhappy and sometimes the solitude that comes with remote working can be limiting.
To cope with this Fiona recommended scheduling multiple social interactions every day and to top these up regularly to stay recharged. As natural self -promoters and networkers Fiona suggested playing to these strengths. Extroverts need to pay special attention to exercise to replace the natural movement they may have had in the office
As extroverts are strong at self-discipline and thrive on challenges she suggested embracing this by possibly offering to take on larger projects with many moving parts.
As people can also learn to adapt and flex your personality type Fiona encouraged learning self- validation and emphasised the importance of locking off down-time.
Ambiverts (with tendencies from both extroversion and introversion) make up roughly two thirds of the population (something reflected in a quick poll of the group) and have the “best of both worlds”. They feed off the energy of those around them but
also relish a quiet environment. Reflecting the uneven natural of this personality Fiona pointed out that “Your mood may change from day to day.”
Professional isolation is something that remote workers should be mindful of and Fiona advised having the right balance between video & audio calls. “Depending on your personal circumstances, your resilience and mindset will determine how well your coping mechanisms will be to work from home. Everyone is different” added Fiona.
Pointing to the power of self-development to minimise isolation Fiona advocated distance learning courses. The current status of remote working also offers the opportunity to increase networking with people within their sectors and also promotes solidarity and idea generation.
Fiona finished up her webinar reminding the group of the importance of resilience and that this temporary working structure is temporary but that it will be followed by a new and different way of working.
“Demonstrate empathy and flexibility where we can. Focus on what is in your control. Keep the focus on achievable short terms goals. Share ideas and promote inclusion. Foster a ‘we are all in this together’ mentality” were Fiona’s closing messages on how to remain resilient in these turbulent times.
About Fiona Buckley:
Fiona offers empowerment and executive coaching and is also an MBTI personality practitioner and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner so is qualified to administer both Personality and Emotional Intelligence tests for individuals and/or teams. Fiona also delivers a range of half day training masterclasses on Leadership development, mentoring, negotiations & handling conflict, leading virtual teams and influencing & presence amongst other topics.
You can browse Fiona slide deck belowFiona-Buckely-ICBE-Webinar-Apr-9-min
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