I had a giggle when I found a picture taken of me working from home back in 1996 (on the left). Just look at that computer, laptop and fax machine!
At the time ‘remote working’ was something of a rarity. I lived in Edinburgh, had a two-year-old daughter, and was learning to juggle life, home, motherhood, and a career.
Fast forward to 2020, I now live in Dublin, my children (I added another in 2000) are all grown up and I’ve abandoned ‘juggling’ in favour of ‘following my passion’. So much so that I started my own business in 2013 just before I turned 50.
Today, with so many of us are forced to work from home I am reminded of my own journey of adapting to remote working all those years ago. While my own experience then was under very different circumstances the challenges are none the less the same.
How to remain in the loop, connected with what’s important while being out of sight of colleagues.
How to switch off at the end of the day and transition back into your ‘other life’
How to keep that human connection alive while at a distance from colleagues.
These days I’m spending a lot of my time coaching people who find themselves facing the challenges of working remotely. Be that with preparing virtual meetings to maintain the fun and human connection, learning how to prioritize their mental wellbeing or simply helping problem solve the deficit of physical communication in the business.
Pulling on my own experience has been invaluable and having walked in their shoes I can bring not only empathy but practical advice and strategies to help adapt, cope and thrive.
These two pictures, snapshots of a fleeting moment in my working life, remind me that while much has changed, there is much that remains constant.
A few final reflections:
Meetings – While the format may have changed we still love a good meeting to thrash out an issue in collaboration.
- Virtual meetings – Back in 1996 the thought f my boss being able to see me in my home via a camera would have been the thing of nightmares 🙂 Zoom was then only something I shouted as I played toy cars with my daughter!
- FAX to Hello email to WhatsApp, slack etc
- Broadband!!!! – Who can forget that dial-up tone?
- A smile on my face – I continue to be grateful to do work I love and have the support of family, friends & clients that are truly amazing.
So I am going to STOP here before I get carried away and start showing my age by mentioning the pre powerpoint, OHP days!