A Time To Work Smarter Not Harder

A time to work smarter not harder

Work smarter, not harder! This article is mostly for the paper pushers of this world whose jobs can be done from home:

  • Those people who enjoy the working from home lifestyle (due to COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing) and who are not looking forward to returning to the office!
  • ‘Dinosaur’ managers who love the traditional office environment and micro-management types – your days are numbered! The traditional office setting is just about gone. There is no need to hold unnecessary big meetings in rooms where half the people don’t need to.
  • Executives who have taken their staff on an economy class ride by employing an ‘open plan’ or ‘hot desking’ policy to save office space and costs, I should hope those days are gone! This is just uncool, creates an awkward working environment (let’s admit it!), and is not COVID-19 safe.
  • To those of you looking for a quick evaluator pitch to your ‘dinosaur’ managers about continuing to work from home, here is something to get you started.

The elevator pitch to your boss

An elevator pitch for working from home

I am more productive with delivering my work outcomes from home and I am generally happier.

I’ve been working smarter by having more time to focus, have less stress, waste less time commuting, have fewer distractions, and achieve more outcomes than ever – even with the kids at home. Imagine when they go back to school?

I also save a lot of money in travel costs, support my local community, and have more time to spend with loved ones. Isn’t it better for everyone?

Let’s break down the elevator pitch further now, in case you need further ammunition.

Work smarter from home

Work smarter from home

1. More time to be productive

Cutting the commuting time can be a huge time saver and stress buster, which means people have more time to focus on the tasks at hand, leading to increasing their productivity. Working from home also means cutting all those useless meetings and other time wasters in the office environment.

2. Outcome driven approach

The word ‘outcome’ cuts straight through the micro-management types, and from my experience, they generally don’t have a comeback. What are the outcomes for this team, and where do I fit? What outcomes am I responsible for delivering, and what are my time frames for delivery? This type of conversation may help your micro-manager boss ease back and think about working smarter.

3. Everyone happier

Working from home can feel like a break from the office; they are more time to spend with family and recharge. Therefore, they’ll be less inclined to ask for regular days off due to being burnt out or sick with minor illnesses like colds, which means healthier and happier staff and a more efficient workplace. It’s a win-win scenario.

4. Improve communication

There may be legitimate excuses for workplaces with poor IT infrastructure which hold their staff hostage to come into the office every day. Harsh lessons have been learned via COVID-19, where workplaces have been forced to evolve or die out. Access to cheap and effective online communication platforms has never been better with tools such as Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Skype running the show.

5. Get access to the best talent

Working remotely means the ability to work with anyone in the world. You can access the best talent via online hiring platforms such as Toptal, Freelancer, and Upwork, which all have tough, independent screening processes. Smart companies have capitalized on this by hiring the very best software companies from all around the world. The best talent in any industry works smarter, not harder.

6. Cut costs and save the environment

It is a fact that big office buildings consume a lot of energy and cost more, and the only real winners are the major polluters. If people can achieve the same work outcomes from home, it means you will save money to make the business better, e.g., research, talented staff, etc. 

7. Creative team building

It is critical more than ever to stay connected with your team and ensure there are connection and camaraderie. Unfortunately, after-work drinks and group team-building activities might be off the radar for a while due to COVID-19. Here are some ideas for fun virtual team-building activities for remote teams. 

8. Benefits the local community

Major city centers around the world are overrun with people, and pollution is often an issue. It has taken a global pandemic for people to realize that they don’t need to rely on city hubs to work smarter. More people working from home means more money flowing to the local community. It is also better for the environment because there is no traffic on the road and less stress on the public transport system. Everyone wins!

9. Flexible work arrangements

Remember that word ‘outcome’? Yes, that’s right – work doesn’t need to revolve around a 9 to 5 schedule, even if you are a paper pusher. You can work the way you prefer, work smarter and deliver the same outcomes. Maybe it doesn’t have to be one extreme (the office a.k.a ‘economy class’) or another (home office a.k.a ‘first class), but there could be a mix of both worlds so everyone can fly ‘business class.’

If staff is required to come into an office, they should not be squeezed into an open area or hot desk due to social distancing measures. Bring back the cubical and make the workplace great again! If you want happy staff, give people space and freedom, physically and over, the decisions they need to make to live their best lives.

Here are some simple tips for how to make working from home work for you.

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