I know. I keep thinking “hey, I’m about done with this,” then some new wrinkle shows up and next thing you know, blog post. I also like it as some of my career advice has aged out, but this is relevant and fresh and helpful.
I was chatting with some friends about our different experiences in Work From Home (WFH) and then something struck me. As much as many of us are WFH, as many of us have done WFH . . . we’re often forgetting just how diverse people’s experiences are.
One friend of mine has done it for two decades. Another had remappable experiences. I had done it on and off for two decades and had participated in WFH experiments. It was interesting comparing notes.
It also struck me that as WFH becomes more normalized we’re going to need to keep this in mind to adjust.
As we move to WFH we have to appreciate our experiences are different than other peoples. There are things we know and things we don’t know. Things we can handle and things we can’t. Any move to WFH is going to require people to cultivate some personal awareness so we can develop, learn, and unlearn.
Also we’ll have to be aware that others have different experiences than us when it comes to WFH. We may find someone who know more and we should listen. Others may need psychological tips from us to navigate unknown waters. We’re going to need empathy and humility.
Some of our co-workers won’t have the above knowledges or sensitivities, and we’ll have to educate them. Hopefully we can do so either formally or appropriately, but I’m sure there’s already been plenty of WFH-based temper flareups. These will keep occurring.
Finally, this giant science/business experiment is happening during a pandemic. We’ll have to relearn and reapply our lessons all over again when things calm down (which is probably 9-12 month at my guess).
I’m terribly concerned right now that the continuing WFH that’s going on hasn’t had enough` effort by people to assess different experiences. I mean it’s sort of understandable – we got thrown into this fast – but that still means there’s a problem.
This is something I also need to sit with myself. I don’t think I fully assessed the different experiences and challenges people have faced. I need to understand my friends, family, and co-workers a bit better.
So for now?
- Realize your WFH experiences aren’t others.
- See who you can learn from regarding WFH.
- See what you can teach about WFH.
- Have empathy for people who are adjusting to WFH.
- Be ready to have to face changes to WFH because of how we did this.