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Do Things Happen in Virtual Workplace That Are Out of Your Control?

In the digital workplace you are free to handle things or to not handle things. It is your choice to take the initiative and try to rectify the situation, make adjustments, and realign priorities. You can choose to be more relaxed and more productive or tense and less productive. You create the atmosphere you could not create in the company cubicle farm. You can’t blame things on anyone or anything else.  Do things happen in digital workplaces that are out of your control? Of course they do. It is not what happens that is important, but it is your ability to respond not react and you actions that will influence the positive or negative outcome. So be in charge of your actions, try to make the best of each situation and change your thinking to what supports your success.

Your success is influenced by more than just your conscious intentions; it also is profoundly influenced from the subconscious mind.  For the purposes of this book I am going to lump everything below the surface of consciousness into a category called the subconscious.   I am not going to distinguish between the personal subconscious, the collective subconscious and the unconscious minds. If it is not part of conscious thought then it is subconscious and therefore below the surface of consciousness.

Let’s go back to the physical office for a second. When you were in a traditional work environment were there company logos on all the floors? In the lobby?  On the doors? On the notebooks, windows, murals? On the company letterhead or the digital template? What is a company logo anyway? It is a symbol and symbols have a very strong influence on the subconscious mind.

Look at the picture below, when you see these symbols what do you think of? If you answered copyright, Nike and the peace sign you are absolutely right. But don’t stop there. When you think of the copyright symbol what does that mean to you? There is a lot more meaning attached to those little figures than just one word. Once you are aware of this meaning, it is always in your subconscious even if you simply say it means Nike. Otherwise why would they be paying so much money to wear Nike shoes on the commercial? Or why would there be million dollar lawsuits over the ©. Why do people protest and riot over the peace sign? It is just three little lines in a circle. Why would you want to go to jail over that?

It is much easier to be limited by boundaries when they are already set in your conscious and subconscious. The environment you are in molds you and shapes you, it conditions your reactions. These boundaries provide unwritten expectations for behaviors. You must be able to deal with, but also push the physical, emotional, and connection boundaries, as well as boundaries of time and space. If you allow yourself to be limited by the boundaries predetermined by your environment, or society for that matter, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Walls, role functions and the environment set the physical boundaries. In the mailroom they sort the mail and in the conference room we conference.  There are lines drawn both consciously and unconsciously about what you can do in each room. There are logos on the wall and pictures on the boss’s desk. When you are in the boss’s office you act, communicate and confirm that you are interacting with the boss. Boundaries are lines that are drawn in the sand however.  These are border restrictions and limits that are already set for you because of where you are.

Emotional boundaries are a little more complicated. When you are at work you think and act professionally. Why? Because you are a professional and you are at work. The overarching expectation for most work situations is that you act with the best interests of the company in mind and conduct all business accordingly. Cold, calculating and on task.  Your behaviors are confined to what is appropriate and limited to those people who are there and part of business circle.  Lovers, family and friends are not part of this environment therefore they are not included in how you act at work. All of these are outside of the scope of work and therefore emotional behaviors are off limits. You leave your private life at the door and bring only your professional persona into play.

This persona is your business identity or your facade. It is the mask you wear while you do the job. Some people’s business persona is much nicer than their private persona, while others hide private secrets behind their mask. You can’t always tell who is the gambler, the domestic violence victim, the lonely divorcee, the estranged father, or the financially strapped person. When work-shifting however, these individuals are constantly reminded of their situation because they are in the home environment and the mask is off. #VirtualWork #PJEffect #RemoteWork #WFH #NSFW #ThePajamaEffect