Virtual Learning, Working, and Training … A wee bit overrated?

August 25, 2020


Is the no-commuting, work/learn/train-from-home movement all that?

When countries around the world began to impose mandatory lockdowns, many found themselves thrust into the peculiar world of virtual work.  People had to adjust to working from home.  Parents dove headfirst into online schools and homeschooling. Organizations had to train employees using a virtual platform.

Sure, these aren’t new.  Many (this writer included) dreamt of a work-from-home arrangement as this meant more freedom. The fantasy was this – no commutes to deal with, flexible hours, more personal time for the family, finally being able to workout or pick up a hobby… On a shallow note, it was a dream to work in pajamas. 

But just a few weeks into this remote work arrangement, things didn’t seem as rosy as we imagined it to be.  The challenges began rearing its ugly head.  With this flexible arrangement came more deadlines.  It meant having to navigate unfamiliar software sans manual or an IT guy to help you move along.  It meant being tied to your desk because some clients needed proof that you were being paid for actual work done.  And for those with kids in tow, we now understand the sacrifices teachers make for our children.

We suddenly realize that this pandemic is probably the hardest adjustment anyone has ever done.  In addition to the health scare and the uncertainty of life in general, we realize that we are our own enemy.  We’re our own checks and balances.  You manage your own outcomes.  There are times when we feel like a nitwit at learning.  Worse, we know that there’s nobody to rely on but ourselves.  Remember those short breaks you sneak in at the office?  Well, it isn’t as charming doing that at home.  We miss the banter and the interaction. We miss the actual training with real people you could (literally!) rub elbows with.    And admit it, you might even miss the annoying office tattletale!

Before you pine for the office atmosphere… that environment you once thought was crazy, know that there is a silver lining to all this. This is a stressful time for anyone.  It’s a hard time for both grownups and kids. 

Overwhelming? Yes, ma’am. 

Taxing?  You bet. 

But it’s also the perfect opportunity to rediscover your strengths.

Think in terms of journey rather than destination

The pandemic carried (and continues to carry) psychological trauma for people across the world.  It’s a tragedy, to say the least.  Survivors and health care providers who bear the brunt of Covid-19 the most, share that those who are coping well adapt the “journey” mindset. 

At its core is personal growth in response to challenges.  The adage “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” is at play here. Those who grew, those who were able to make heads and tails of the tragedy and dig deeper into themselves are also the ones who are coping well mentally and physically.  A journey mindset helps you focus on the little changes.  Perhaps it’s reconnecting with family or spending more time with them.  Maybe its about learning an entirely new (or unrelated skillset) or even discovering new ways of getting tasks done.   Or perhaps it’s getting through the new normal’s learning curve.  There will always be something. The fact that you’re reading this proves that you’ve weathered the past few months, albeit with difficulty.

Few tips on how we can cope with the new normal:

  1. Create a checklist
    This will allow us to get more things done efficiently. It will give is the direction for the day and we will never feel lost
  2. Learn the tools
    Familiarise yourself with the new platforms or tools you have not used before. Allocate time to research (hello YouTube!) each platform you are using and jot it down, let this be your bible until you master each tool.
  3. Train your kids to be independent
    Do you want to lessen the stress? Create a checklist for them to follow too! Set alarms and set the links they will be needing. Let them explore zoom or any apps they are using for their online schooling – They learn very fast!
  4. Ask for help
    Asking help from our chosen circles would able us to deal with challenging situations which improve our resilience.
  5. Mediate
    Meditating will help us to carry more loads calmly through your day. At the same time, it helps us balance our emotional and mental health.

We can say with certainty that virtual learning, working, and training are here to stay.  And while there isn’t an end in sight just yet, we might as well enjoy the ride.

Get your business back on track.