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Business

A little remote work humor

BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

Research shows that the average four-year-old laughs as many as 300 times per day, while in comparison the average 40-year-old adult laughs 300 times every two and a half months. Laughter releases oxytocin. Just the anticipation of laughter decreases cortisol (the stress hormone linked to anxiety) and epinephrine (our flight hormone) by 39 and 70 percent, respectively. Scriptures beat all of these scientific studies to it when it says: “Laughter is good medicine, while a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Now that we are going through this challenging situation, I thought these few lines would bring a smile to your face before going to the formal stuff about remote work. This is a list of expressions presumably from people who have been cooped up in their homes for more than a year doing remote work:[1]

• My mum always told me I wouldn’t accomplish anything by lying in bed all day. But look at me now! I’m saving the world!

• Nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day of being tense on the couch!

• Day 121 at home, and the dog is looking at me like, “See? This is why I chew the furniture!”

• I’m not talking to myself; I’m having a parent-teacher conference!

• Nail salons, hair salons, waxing centers are closed. It’s about to get ugly out there!

• If I keep stress-eating at this level, the buttons on my shirt will start socially distancing from each other!

• Losing weight doesn’t seem to be working for me, so I’m going to concentrate on getting taller from now.

The pandemic came as a big surprise. Until today I am still amazed at how this tiny invisible germ managed to change human behavior so fast. Talk about the ability for humans to adapt and imagine the multitude of people that have to lock up in their homes and do work and schooling at home. While a great group of people gripe and complain about the slow internet signal, I get it. It is frustrating and all, but since the lockdown, I have been meticulous in guarding my mind against the stress brought about by fretting over things beyond my control. I take another stance and express thanks and gratitude for technology for enabling many to continue their work.

The question we ask is: “Am I tethered to my workplace?” “Is this going to be a permanent feature of work in the post-COVID era?” The big tech companies are giving clues. Google’s latest embrace of three valuable words says it all: “FLEXIBILITY AND CHOICE.” So dependent on the work nature, if one can work anywhere, this Google person can go down to the beach, do his or her work from there “FOREVER.” Or at least as long as the person is still employed with the company. Similarly, they experiment with the flexibility of the three-two-two day model wherein three days you go to their physical office, two days you work from home, and then two days off. The point is that employee performance is now based on output and deliverance and not on visible physical presence, altering the way work and office are defined.

Quarantines, lockdowns, and self-imposed isolation have pushed tens of millions worldwide to work from home, accelerating a workplace experiment that had struggled to gain traction before COVID-19 hit. The mandatory shift to remote work was disruptive, but many companies are starting to embrace the long-term value of the concept.

In my line of work, clients have expressed satisfaction over the virtual training that I have provided. And here are some of the benefits industries have experienced:[2]

• Cost savings

• Immediate feedback on learning

• Flexibility and comfort

• Improved accessibility

Research has also provided the data that shows the benefits of virtual training:

• More cost-effective

• Option for bite-sized and self-paced learning (which are becoming increasingly necessary in the modern workplace)

• Higher completion rates

• The ability to re-access materials increases retention.

While there are certain aspects of in-person training benefits that have been lost, the benefits earned seemed to be worthy of the exchange leading to the conclusion and a continuing pattern that indicates: “Online training is just as good as—if not better than—instructor-led, face-to-face training across industries and disciplines. Few studies show that online training results in more learning outright. Most of them say that online learning is “as effective” as ILT (Instructor-Led Training).”

Stop stressing over things you cannot control and start looking at the positive benefits of the changes we are experiencing. Laughter is good medicine.

 

 

(Francis Kong’s highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class online runs this Aug, 3 to 5. Develop your leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

[1] https://thinkkindness.org/all-things-kindness/best-jokes-of-2020/

[2] https://www.continu.co/blog/in-person-vs-online-training

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