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#WFH: Are You the Same Person at Work?

Can you think beyond your own consciousness or your own knowing? First, you need to be aware of what you are thinking and then focus your thoughts so that you are on the positive side of things. You need to stay focused and be intrinsically inspired. If you are going to “think outside the box” then your box needs to be open at the top. The term implies doing something differently, expanding beyond what is normal and pushing your limits. Your perspective is your box and it is unrealistic to ask people to think outside of the box. You have the ability to learn something new; when you learn, you get a bigger box. No one will give you a bigger box; you must create it yourself. The box is your mind, your thought processes. Research in the last decade or more on cognitive behavior therapies – from people such as Aaron Beck, David Burns, Albert Ellis and Martin Seligman – has shown the importance of having positive thoughts.

Workplace success in the virtual environment depends on your ability to manage internal and external distractions. In some ways, the UPS delivery person, the barking dogs, the toddler and the cleaning person are the easy things to manage. It is your thoughts and your emotions, those things that internally distract you from your tasks, that are often more difficult to manage. Self- governance means more than it did in the cubicle. It means controlling your environment, your schedule and your thoughts. You need to stay on the positive side of things and keep your box open at the top.

How autonomous are you? Sometimes you will follow the rules and other times break them. You want to know your company’s protocol. There has been a lot of initiative in the last few years to teach organizations innovation and creativity, to “think outside the box.” But can you really do that?

Competition is out; collaboration is now the favorite buzzword. We have social networks to chat on and video to chat with. We have the freedom to do a load of laundry in the middle of the day and the responsibility to meet our workplace deadlines just the same. It is much harder to compare ourselves to everyone else because we cannot really see them. Our accomplishments became our own responsibility. We have to get up, figure it out and move forward one step at a time toward our goals, on a daily basis. We need inspiration from within or intrinsic motivation. But what we get are distractions of all sorts: dogs barking, phones ringing, washers beeping, children crying, doorbells chiming and delivery people knocking. We have to manage our professional life in a different way because it is now taking place right alongside our personal life. There are no more walls and no more segmentation or isolation between our identities.

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