We have a blank sheet of paper to design the way we want to work – do you  know how to make the best of it?

At the start of COVID we NEP coaches were helping many people to adjust to their new working environment. Interestingly, as people began to adapt to this, the need then turned to helping people design their perfect way to work as they were given flexibility to start to move back into the office.

I love the quote “work is no longer somewhere we go, but something we do”. Since adapting to working from home, people have varied greatly along the spectrum of their attitudes about returning back to work. Some want to get back to the office full time as soon as possible and go back to the way things were. Others are quite anxious about moving back to the office and are happy if they never go back to the office, and many are obviously somewhere in between.

There has never been a better time for enabling work/life integration. So here are a few tips to help you work with your blank slate to design a way of working that works better for you, your team and for your family.

Design your perfect week

You’ve heard us talk about this pre-COVID but it’s very relevant for all times. You only have 4-6 hours a day of high cognitive energy. So it’s important to use it wisely at the best time when you have it. Carve out those high-energy times to have as few meetings as possible. Commuting and exercising are also best allocated to your low energy times where possible. As an example, I generally exercise at lunch as my brain is not at its cognitive best at that time. I also find that commuting in rush hour (although not so bad now since COVID) really drains my energy so even before COVID I would work from home in the morning, the walk to the city ready to exercise at lunch. Also saves me a costume change as I tend to work in my workout gear in the morning.

So think about your perfect world, and when would be the best time to get everything done.

What work do you prefer to do where?

Do you have different work suited to different locations? You may find that some work is easier to be done at home and other work might be easier in the office. Maybe factor in the location you would like to be in for that work and structure your weeks accordingly.

Negotiate

If you need to collaborate with others, many think there is still something magical about gathering around a good ol’ fashioned whiteboard. So perhaps you and your team need to negotiate how much work needs to be done together and which days you can all be together. For example, one of my clients wanted her team together one day a week. She doesn’t care how they work on the remaining four days and she doesn’t care which day they decided they would all be together, but so long as they have one day a week together in the office, then all is well in the kingdom.

So it’s useful for everyone to design their perfect week as individuals and then it becomes a process of negotiation so that team work and team goals can still be achieved.

If you and your team would like some help getting granular on how to design your perfect week, please get in touch.