Home Office for Business Analysts - the COVID19 syndrome

Work Time and Playtime

COVID-19 has many of you trying to do Business Analysis from your couch, your basement, or (if you have the luxury) your home office.

Life has changed dramatically in the last month because of COVID-19, and many are trying to cope with challenges they have not faced before.

How can you be productive with the constant stream of interruptions that working from home brings?

You have probably seen many experts’ recommendations spreading like wildfire across the Internet.  The recommendations seem to spread almost as fast as COVID-19 itself. I have seen some great ideas such as sticking to a semi-rigid schedule or or keeping up your good habits”.  That is great advice for reminding yourself that there is a difference between work time and playtime.  Keeping that separation is instrumental in being productive in an environment to which you are not accustomed.

Experience Based Advice from a Business Analysis Trainer and Coach

My 40 years of experience running a training and consulting business from home give me a unique advantage that I would like to share. In my early years, it was custom for office workers to wear suits to work. To maintain the aura of professionalism, I would comply and wear suits whenever I visited a customer site. I used to joke with my wife that for me to earn money I had to wear my “Superman Suit”.

In the nineties, casual business dress became all the rage. I was thrilled with that development. It finally meant that I could travel without the hassle of the cleaning bill that was a prerequisite for wearing the ”Superman Suit”. Travel became simpler and cheaper.

Unintended Consequences during a Requirements Workshops

After several engagements wearing business casual, I got the uneasy feeling that my facilitator ratings were sliding. I was somewhat spoiled having almost universally received the highest marks from participants and students alike. That was no longer true. Was I getting older? I did not think so. I spoke with a good friend who was in the same line of work about the situation. He felt that dressing casual made him think casual.

I decided on a “bold” experiment. At my very next gig, I decided to revert to wearing my “Superman Suit”. It absolutely amazed me how different I felt when I got in front of the group with a suit and tie instead of polo shirt and slacks. I felt tons more confident, more energetic, and at the end of the workshop received a standing ovation from the students. My ratings were through the roof and I felt GREAT.

Separating Work and Pleasure for Productivity

So, for anyone sitting at home trying to get real work done in your sweatpants, try sticking to your work routine. Get ready to go to work as if you were leaving the house, start at the time you would ordinarily work, dress for the occasion, and stick to the same routine you would at the office (including breaks).

It just might be that what you really need to supercharge your productivity is your personal “Superman Suit” or “Wonder Woman Outfit”. I know it sure works for me.

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