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The New Normal: How to Navigate the Remote-Work World Post-COVID

Ready or not, the future of work is now. For the past 3 years at Rivvly, we’ve been talking about the future of work, hoping that one day we will enter an era where parents don’t have to choose between raising their kids at home and going to work. A time when digital nomads can work a full-time job while traveling and athletes can make a work schedule around their training schedules. We’ve hoped for days when those with disabilities can work from the comfort of their homes. Now, this time has come. While we recognize that this pandemic has had drastic negative impacts on the entire world, one positive thing it has brought is this new work era that we have been striving for, and it has become the new normal.

Say goodbye to the 9-5.

As companies begin making the switch to remote, it may be the first instinct to replicate the 9-5 schedule that takes place in the physical office. However, this could also be an opportunity to learn when and how employees work best. Employees do better work when they are happy and set up to be productive. Some work best in the mornings, and some later at night and this is the time to really leverage those work qualities.

You don’t need to apologize for interruptions.

Since COVID, schools have transitioned to virtual learning and parents have suddenly become full-time homeschool teachers. When you are working at home with spouses, kids, and families, there’s no pretending that it’s quiet or distraction-free. And that’s ok.⁠

These past few months have made everyone — especially women — realize that they don’t need to apologize for interruptions of real life, for not being available every minute, 12 hours a day, or for having evidence of your life in the background. You don’t have to be a superhero to work or to work from home, although it often might feel like it. Almost everyone is in this same situation now. Most people that are working from home do have kids running around in the background, pets barking, or the dishwasher running and there is no reason to pretend otherwise.

It’s ok to take a mental health day.

At Rivvly, we make mental health a top priority and we encourage “mental health personal days”. The situation in our world today has not only caused drastic changes in our work and home lives, but it has increased the amount of stress around us significantly. Seeing everything happening on the news and social outlets, being isolated from friends and family, facing financial uncertainty, and just an overall heaviness are some of the effects many are facing. Make sure to check in with yourself and see how you are feeling. If you need a day to lay in bed, do it. If you need to close your computer early to go for a walk or take a bubble bath, do it. And if you need to have a glass of wine a little earlier in the day, that’s ok too. Your mental health affects not only your work life, but every other area of your life as well. Make sure that you are taking any and all necessary measures to take care of it, and be sure to encourage your colleagues and employees to do the same.

Be transparent with your team.

Transparency and communication are KEY. Everyone has different communication styles and when working with a virtual team, communication becomes even more of a priority. Most likely, the majority of people on your team are dealing with these newfound levels of stress in different ways. Let them know that they are not alone and that as a team you are all in this together. Keep them informed on how you are doing both personally and as a company post-COVID. As soon as you open up about your own vulnerabilities and situations, it creates a safe invite for others on your team to do the same.

At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. These tips are things we’ve found, over the past several years, that help immensely in a remote-work culture. Whatever you’re feeling or going through, you’re not alone. Celebrate the wins, no matter how big or small, and know that however you are adjusting to this new normal, it’s okay.

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