Jean Danhong Chen Explains How We’ve Adapted to Work from Home Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since the COVID-19 pandemic continues to maintain an unknown expiration date and heavily influence workplace operations, many people have learned to acclimatize in their new home-based office or workshop.
For some, the challenge will have been shuffling furniture to create adequate space for a comfortable work environment. Others will have found it difficult to cope with mentally because of the seclusion and more than a handful are still attempting to master the art of responsible adulthood within the home confines.
Regardless of the circumstances, countless employees have had to adjust and quickly become acquainted with work surroundings that they would not have anticipated prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
Jean Danhong Chen, a dedicated immigration lawyer in San Jose, California, shares the ways in which people have adapted to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Virtual Connection
Several businesses, out of sheer necessity, have largely depended on a virtual solution to fix their dilemmas: real estate agents are offering video tours of homes that are on the market; lawyers, like Jean Danhong Chen, are managing their clients through video or phone calls; interviews and board meetings are being hosted on similar video calling applications; and medical professionals themselves are trusting video conferences to diagnose and treat their patients.
A brave new world, one that could be here to stay after the coronavirus threat ceases to exist. According to a U.S. survey by the research firm Gartner, three-quarters of chief financial officers strongly believe that at least 5% of their personnel, those who previously occupied company offices, will be permanently situated to work remotely after the pandemic ends. From that group of CFOs, 17% think that a fifth of staff will move to working from home and 4% feel that half of all employees will become remote workers.
Schedules and Distractions
With the move to working remotely, people have had to adapt to a new schedule that likely affords them more flexibility, Jean Danhong Chen states. While the 9 to 5 timeframe may no longer be a requirement, workers still must plan their days accordingly, ensuring that meetings and duties are accomplished comfortably. They need to hold themselves accountable and establish a schedule and follow it routinely.
To utilize their time and flexible hours wisely, employees have had to eliminate unnecessary distractions, such as television and the myriad of options on the internet. A temporary, spontaneous break from a workplace task is fine, assuming the person has the self-control to keep it brief and prevent his or herself from stretching it into a lengthy lunch.
Another aspect that people have had to adapt to in their home set-up is the preservation of steady communication with their boss, Jean Danhong Chen notes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, employees were generally in close proximity to their manager’s quarters. Now, they have to set aside a particular block of time to communicate and understand their daily expectations. Also, some managers might not be accustomed to managing people online or from afar, which presents another set of challenges in this arrangement.
A 2019 study by Buffer, an online brand development agency, examined 2,500 remote workers and discovered that loneliness was the second-most reported obstacle, experienced by 19% of the respondents. When people are encountering feelings of loneliness, they lose motivation and are less productive. Therefore, the communication with a boss should be instant and face-to-face as often as possible, through video calls.
Jean Danhong Chen on Dressing and Acting the Part
Although there is a temptation to lounge around in pajamas during remote working hours, people still have to resist this urge, Jean Danhong Chen says. Instead, they are encouraged to treat it like a genuine job that it is; get out of bed on time, take a shower and dress as you normally would (you’ll be forgiven for forgetting the shoes).
Additionally, people have had to put together a home office or working space to the best of their abilities. A lot of questions spring to mind in this matter. What sort of dimensions are realistically necessary? Does extra equipment need to be purchased in order to promote productivity? Will the current desk and chair that is in the house be suitable enough?
A dedicated workspace is crucial for all employees who are contributing remotely because it enhances their concentration and makes the process more satisfactory. Last year, FlexJobs surveyed 7,000 workers and 65% claimed that they were more productive working from home, mentioning benefits like fewer interruptions from colleagues, less office politics and reduced stress from commuting.