What I learned from one-year remote work

In March 2020, like most students, I was forced to stay home because of the lock-down. I was studying for a master’s degree at “Grenoble Ecole de Management” in France.

Almost a year ago, I’m still working digital even though my work routine changed in the last few months. In this article, I would like to come back on the main lessons I learned from this period between March 2020 and April 2020.

Isolation gives opportunity to work on your self and your projects

To me, the 1st lockdown was an opportunity to discover new hobbies and develop new skills. I was really motivated to take benefit from these two months of March and April 2020. More than Netflix, I became addicted to Udemy or Google Garage when I learned tools about Digital Marketing, selling, or blogging… I was certified for the Google class called “the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing”

Moreover, I took the time to write more and more articles for my blog. I’ve published close to 50 articles, between my personal blog, the blog of my association, or this Medium blog, which was an accomplishment to me. By the way, I took the time to work on the design of the home page, to communicate on Facebook or Instagram, sometimes with some designs. I learned how to settle a newsletter. How it may not have lead to concrete actions, I developed skills in Digital Marketing.

I have also been able to reflect on the Entrepreneurship project I planned to launch. I took part in an online startup weekend contest which gave me the energy and inspiration to work on my project. Furthermore, I wanted to develop an application with digital tools to help increase your self-confidence and take care of your mental health. I wrote a first version of the pitch, study the market with Google forms, and got around 195 answers. I thought about a Business Model and worked on a presentation on Canvas. From April to October 2020, I have taken time to reflect on this project. Even though I gave up on this idea because it was unrealistic and devoid of pragmatism, I must admit that it was funny and exciting to work on this idea. I have contacted many people on LinkedIn to ask them questions… This project led me to write my research paper about coaching.

You need to know how to manage your energy

Yet, I worked a lot between my class lessons and my productive hobbies. I didn’t take so much time to chill. I was really excited with a will to perform. Yet, we also have to deal with our energy.

In the time of warmth in the spring or the summer, it's easy to get lots of energy but as the weather starts declined, everything changed. My mind changed like the color of the sky. In this low level of energy, you seem stuck in your life and when you don't want to do anything, especially when you feel like in prison.

Although we had a very beautiful summer, the perspective of staying home all day became discouraging. When you go outside, you have to wear a mask, stay socially distanced from everyone. You don’t see many people…. Really frustrating… In the summer, frustration started to arise, especially in July when you expect things to get better before realizing they won’t.

Everything we planned was also f**cked up. After all, our student life has been stolen from us, and we legitimately want the world to pay us back. By the end, you're just becoming crazy. I started being seduced by extreme though and extreme ideas. Because that’s how people react when they are challenged in facing a situation they can not control.

This period is difficult, and we have to accept that we don't work with the same energy we used to. We have to take care of our energy and mental health.

  1. We need to take care of our physical energy doing sports, going outside
  2. We need to be connected with positive, inspiring, and exciting ideas thanks to books, meditation, and personal projects
  3. We need to create as many connections as we can with the surrounding people
  4. We need to take time to give us some pleasure like watching a good movie, reading novels, ordering fast food…

The importance of balance between work and hobbies

The main problem with remote work is that we used to work more than in the office. It’s dangerous, especially if you work from your bedroom because, in the end, your brain doesn’t make the difference anymore between the place where you work and the place where you sleep and chill.

That’s why we have to find a good equilibrium. Accept that you won’t be able to work as well as in a “normal situation”. Also, I must say that I don’t believe in the new culture of remote work. If I become an entrepreneur, I will invest in a building anyway so that my team can work together physically in the same place. Remote work is sustainable for robots, not humans. That’s why coworking is thriving when lots of business starts being remote.

As we are not able to go to parties, to see friends and have no distraction at all, people flee in their work. In my case, it lasts a few months before I started imploding because I wanted my freedom back. At a moment, it’s possible that after making lots of effort, you want to give up everything. Go take a rest…

Success is a mixture of preparation, luck, and rest

It’s still possible to create a connection with others

From June to July 2020, I made an internship for a startup as a Business Developer. It was one of my best experiences of 2020. I worked with four other interns at the same age. We had to work and study a market, making calls preparing posts. Even though we were online, we develop good relationships and had lots of fun together. It was the best experience of this period.

Moreover, I developed skills as Business Developer, calling people all day, at the beginning to do business, but it prevented me from feeling alone contacting people every day. That’s why I enjoyed the position of business developer.

In November, I took the classes back but unfortunately remote. I did them with Zoom or Teams, which was really frustrating at the beginning. I was really expecting to meet my colleague physically and create connections after staying isolated in my home.

For my Entrepreneurship career, I had group work as a junior consultant in mission for startups. I was tired of seeing people on Zoom. I was happy to see that eventually, we were able to connect anyway, talk about personal issues and support each other.

You have to unleash your will and be brave

This period is difficult. You have to face chaos and disaster. It is also challenging your goals. With the frustration and low energy, everything seems meaningful. My motivations for Entrepreneurship just drop in 2020. I thought twice of reorientation in Politics. Hopefully, with the Spring, this motivation came back as my energy and ambitions. Yet, I learned from myself. I know now that Entrepreneurship is not the only goal that matters to me and that success demands to knock against a wall for a time, without getting any positive feedback.

Stuck at your home, your work will appear far more difficult than it used to be. Your motivation might decrease because you don’t know what you’re working for anymore. We are focus on our work because it seems like the only thing we can control and do. We feel in prison. That’s why it’s difficult to concentrate. You don’t have this gratification of going to a party after reaching a goal. By the way, people are really brave of keeping the good work in this situation.

At this time, we have to work when we want to take pleasure instead of working. When we want to rebel against restrictions, we have to hold on. This is how the mind gets stronger. Success requires that you don’t let your emotions control you and stay pragmatic. But, your emotions can give you perspectives. Although I plan to perform in Entrepreneurship and Self-help, my emotions let me known that Politics is also important to me.

Unleash your will. That’s what is more important. To motivate me, I was visualizing mentally all the skills and resilience I was developing every day. It helped me to stay good because “happiness = Progress”. When you see your life progressing, you become happy.

I have published many articles about resilience in this period and some people criticized my approach saying it was easier to say than to do, and they are right. The truth is I’m like everyone: a young man with rage and frustration who wants to reach what we called happiness. There are several ways to reach it. Whatever, you do, do it like a warrior going to battle, not like a beggar asking for money…. You are entitled to nothing. You build your future. It is not handed to you!

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Blogueur en motivation et en développement personnel. J’écris sur l’être humain, la politique et ma philosophie

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