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By Nico Strydom

The Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown resulted in people having to work from home and although many people have already returned to the office, there are employees who will now work from home permanently.

During the lockdown numerous employers decided to change their ways of working. Some employers gave up their office space and let their employees work from home permanently. Other options have also been implemented, such as having employees work from the office on some days and from home on others.

However,Helene Vermaak, business director of The Human Edge, says this adjustment to working from home more or even permanently, makes many employees feel uninvolved and unproductive.

An opinion poll conducted by VitalSmarts, The Human Edge’s partner in the USA, found that the five biggest challenges people experience when working from home, is that they feel separated from their colleagues, have outdated technology at their disposal, experience too much distraction, lack focus and don’t feel organised.

“When our lives change, whether it be circumstances, goals, expectations or values, we also have to change.” Vermaak says that through cultivating habits, mobility and effectiveness can be heightened. “To obtain the desired results, we have to be able to bring our conduct in line with our intentions and to do so, we have to have confidence in the establishment of habits.”

In his prize-winning book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg states that a habit consists of three parts: a trigger, a routine and a reward.

“The trigger tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which we usually consider to be the habit. Finally, there is the reward that can help your brain determine if this specific habit is worth while remembering for the future.”

According to Vermaak, it is possible to know how to adapt the science of habits to the ‘new normal’ and implement better working-from-home habits.

“Identify in which areas you are not getting the desired results and identify the habits that hold you back. Now identify the habits that will present you with the desired results. If you cannot see where you are being stalled, you can ask your mentor or manager in which areas you could improve.”

Create a routine around the new habit by adapting your environment so that it promotes the habit. “Reward yourself every time you complete your new routine,” says Vermaak.



The Human Edge: https://www.humanedge.co.za/


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