We’ve Changed the Way We Work, Now What?

We’ve Changed the Way We Work, Now What?

Home Sweet Home

In a galaxy far far away, we once wrote an article titled What’s Changing About the Way We Work. Little did we know that the traditional workplace scenario would come screeching to a halt in just a few short months. Standing where we are now looking back, the words feel like a bit of foreshadowing and painful optimism. Why? Because not only did traditional workplaces go away, so did traditional co-working spaces.

ConnectWork on Main has always had a virtual component because the owner (me) has small humans and commitments that keep her out of the main space on a full-time basis. Because the infrastructure for virtual was already there, it was an easy switch to flip to only be online.  As a community we have 

  • stayed in touch, 
  • supported each other, and 
  • had virtual meetups to shoot the breeze and connect.

This has all been done utilizing tools like Slack and Zoom (yes we are still using Zoom, yes it’s safe). While it doesn’t completely replace in-person energy and what it feels like to share oxygen with another human, it’s  been a pretty good replacement. If you have been looking for Community, Support, and Connection over the last few months, we’re here and we’re ready for you. You can start your journey to becoming a member here.

Changing the way we work

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m excited to see how people have adapted and changed the way they work to accommodate their current needs. This includes companies, individuals, and other entities that have had to change their approach to their systems and expectations. In the long run, I think this will be a positive shift for people in general, but also families and people who have dreamed of having their own business. By allowing people more time to dream, be creative, and look toward a future where their own ideas are part of their livelihood.

When people have space and time to create new things or recreate things that didn’t work for them, we see an advent of new businesses, new jobs, and an improved economy. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way and who sees where our global economy could go, but I’m sure there are going to be some people who don’t like that I’m saying this out loud. 

Adversity is the catalyst that forces our hand to change the status quo and create a better reality.

How have we changed the way we work

Here are a few ways I’ve noticed that people and businesses alike have changed the way they work. I’m sure this is not an all-inclusive list and if you are doing something different I would love to hear about it.

  1. 100% remote working
  2. Split time remote working
  3. Still working at your place of business but with reduced staff and clients
  4. Fully staffed but all client facing time virtual
  5. Didn’t have to change because you were already completely virtual

Fully remote working

Companies that have only ever worked traditionally have had to figure out how to work completely remotely. This has led to companies having to find new tools, new processes, and potentially trimming their Workforce to lower overhead.  With every change in a business there are benefits and costs. I’m sure that with having to go fully remote there were many costs involved that we’re hidden from employees and staff. Hopefully the visible and tangible benefits  are enough to convince companies that even partial remote working is highly beneficial in the long run. 

Split time with remote working

This option I think has been the most interesting to watch. Seeing how people are able to work from home and work from the office while still being effective. Depending on what your situation is at home this means trying to work around kids, possibly spouse working from home, and the household tasks that demand your attention every time you walk by. I’m looking at you, dishes and laundry piles.  Things I’ve heard about people attempting this style

  • I can’t get anything done with my kids or my roommates around
  • I can’t get anything done when I’m in the office because so-and-so keeps interrupting me
  • I love that someone so-and-so can’t interrupt me when I’m working at home.
  • How is it 3pm already and I haven’t gotten anything done

Overall, I think this is probably going to be the most common way people work in the future. The problems with interruptions won’t go away just because you’re home or in the office. They’ll just be a little different in each place.  What does this mean for you and your work? you’re still going to have to figure out how to deal with it and if possible how to mitigate it. For me, I block off time where I know I won’t be interrupted for tasks that need my full attention. That’s just one way to handle it.

Still working at your place of business but with reduced staff and clients

From what I can tell this option has been most common with restaurants attempting to stay open with restrictions. Here in Butler, it seems to have worked pretty well for those that tried it. If you’re a business owner that’s tried this model and you live in Butler feel free to let me know what your experience has been. 

There are some medical professional offices that have been doing this as well. For example, if you need dental work you can’t exactly have that done virtually. Although that would be something to see if it ever happens in the future. You will most likely continue to see this model with services that have to be done in person. 

I do know many essential businesses have adapted to the open conditions by reducing staff inside the office. This has meant that some employees are at home while others are in the field and still others are in the office. For companies that already had employees mostly in work vehicles and not inside their offices, the changes needed were minimal. Some of the changes that were felt by those employees happened outside of their own home offices. Occasionally a client wouldn’t allow them on site or gas stations and other amenities for traveling employees were closed. This means that access to things like bathrooms while traveling between jobs and deliveries was minimal.

Fully staffed but all client facing time virtual

This scenario is an interesting one. I don’t have too much to say about it because I don’t have any experience with it. However I think this has most likely been happening in businesses like legal professions, real estate professions, and other businesses that need to interface with clients but have to maintain privacy regulations and security of personal information. If you are one of these businesses feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. 

Didn’t have to change because you were already completely virtual

Oh hey, there’s me. For myself, I’ve been working remotely for about 10 years give or take a few. Occasionally I will have clients I meet with in person, but those are few and far between.  things that have changed for me with so many businesses and individuals coming online

  • Reliability of online tools
  • Longer processing times for online tasks
  • More competitive online work Market
  • Increased load on Internet services
  • A few other things I couldn’t possibly anticipate
  • An uncontrollable need to clean the house

For the foreseeable future I don’t see some of these changing anytime soon. With the advent of working virtually and so many people seeing the benefits of it, I think there are still going to be loaded problems and online tools not always being reliable.

Now What?

Here we are at the crux of it, now what? We’ve changed the way we work. We’ve adapted, willingly or unwillingly. Now we have to figure out what is next. For ConnectWork on Main, what’s next is finding a balance between utilizing the physical space while maintaining personal safety and  the need to work in the space. Currently we are not offering tours of the space, but if you are interested in membership and a quiet space to work or just get out of the house, please take a moment to fill in this form

What’s next for you might not be what’s next for someone else. 

  • Maybe you are ready to make a massive change in your work and  you are unsure of where to start, we’re here for you. 
  • Maybe you are happy as a clam working from home for your job but maybe need a little time away from your abode, we’re here for you too. 
  • Maybe your boss is letting you work remotely but you can’t quite seem to get a routine figure it out at home, we can help with that. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is no matter what is next for you, chances are the co-work can help you be successful with whatever comes next. Won’t you join us? Start here to join.