Many of us have had to get used to working from home (WFH), and adapting our working day and interactions with others accordingly.
But what are the positives and negatives of this change, and what are the implications for a sense of self, if your business activities bleed into your home life?
What Are the Pros and Cons of WFH?
There are definite pros to working from home.
The daily commute has ceased to exist. The working day is more flexible and can be less stressful.
You can recalibrate your work-life balance.
However, while there are undoubted benefits to WFH, you may feel differently about it when it’s the only option, because of restrictions under coronavirus.
One of the cons of working from home is that it requires more self-discipline to manage your own time and stay focused on your work.
With schools closed at the same time, there are likely to be plenty of distractions at home.
And for anyone who’s used to the busy workplace environment, WFH can also feel very lonely.
It can be difficult to set the boundaries of your working day too.
How Authentic Does WFH Make You?
Many marketers will tell you how important a quality authenticity is to grow your business.
However, this can seem like an elusive quality, and something that is difficult to get right.
But surely you can’t get more authentic than WFH? You’re forced to do business in a room at home, sharing space with toys, books and used mugs. Your meetings take place via a screen, and you haven’t had a professional haircut in months.
Is stripping away the normal trappings of business a good thing though? Is being authentic in business really about being just you, or is it about outwardly projecting a convincing business persona?
The Value of Authenticity
The authentic brand is the one that connects with its audience and creates a powerful bond with them.
Consequently, we place a lot of value on communicating in the authentic tone of voice that will resonate with prospects and customers.
But is this tone truly authentic, and does it matter if it isn’t?
In business, authenticity is a part of brand identity. Its genuineness is down to how you capture and communicate it.
When it’s how you communicate personally, then it’s also about your personal brand.
Belief in what you do helps give your personal brand its authentic voice. But this voice must also resonate with your target audience.
Authenticity only works in this context if it is customer or audience-focused.
How does this relate back to the real you, at home on your laptop, working from home?
It doesn’t need to.
Your personal brand is about you in the business world. You can shape it in whichever way you choose.
But you will have to back this up with your actions. If your personal brand says one thing about you and your actions something quite different, then this will go down badly with your prospects and clients.
You have to be consistent.
Does WFH Affect Your Sense of Self?
How and where we work can very much be a part of who we feel we are.
The importance of a job role extends well beyond the salary it commands. It can confer a sense of accomplishment and purpose on the person carrying it out.
This is connected to the idea of being authentic in business. The more comfortably you inhabit your role, the more confident you’re likely to be performing it.
But this may also depend on you being at work, in surroundings that support how you perform, interacting with others.
WFH removes these aspects of work at a stroke, leaving you to draw on your inner resources, connected to the outside world only through devices.
For every person who has thrived under lockdown, discovering new ways to work, there’s someone else for whom it is a continuing struggle.
What Will Normal Look Like?
Some people are champing at the bit to get back to some sense of normality, within whatever parameters social distancing can accommodate.
Others may already be adapting their business models permanently, to continue to work more remotely for the foreseeable future.
We don’t yet know to what degree coronavirus will alter the business landscape in the long-term.
What it is doing, however, is making us take a look at ourselves, and giving us the opportunity to weigh up what we think is important about how we work and live.