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The NEW NORMAL of Work From Home in real life. - Grace Heny - Blog

The NEW NORMAL of Work From Home in real life.

The NEW NORMAL of Work From Home in real life.


In regards to the pandemic condition and WFH key topic, me and my team is not something new to this issue.

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I myself and few of my team member have been in a ‘hybrid model’ of ‘Work at the Office’ (WFO) and ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) for almost 10 years. So when the Corona Virus outbreak took place and 'Work From Home' concept introduced in 14th March 2020 this year, we did few adjustment but it’s not something new at all. 

This article wrap up what to prepare and what to expect in the Work From Home environment and I believe will become the New Normal way of Working Habit in the future also.

       (Picture: Traditional Indonesian Batik Mask Design)

I wrote this to summarize key items tips as part of shifting the WFO to WFH platform, with the hope reader can get some tips and insight what to expect:

1.   Everybody will need to change that they responsible for their own activities, time plan and deliverable. NO work mean NO job being deliver, there will be NO Pay. I know this part is not preferable and people don’t like it so much, especially the segment that work with rigid 40 hours FTE concept will hate this very much :).  My point is basically a change of benefit model need to be introduce and deploy following result or deliverable orientation.

2.   Alignment of communication between colleague and peers. There is a need to set up a simple agreed communication process, including: try to use the same terminology, definition, wording and what stage the discussion will take place. Our team personally set up few stages of discussion: Brain Storming stage, Discussion stage and Decision Making stage. Also define a rule of the game that Leader should have the final call to override decision. We learn this along the 10 years’ experience, than we agreed on the stage definition and learn from our own misunderstanding and mistake. Also we appointed few Team Leader who have the right to override certain decision making and all team member agreed on that consensus. A good and clear decision making should be communicate and expected to be improve over the time, this is based on team member organizational dynamic and behavior.

3.   Use variation of platform to communicate: mix of video conference, writing / chatting and voice platform. One key important point that everybody should be aware of that written communication by default doesn’t transmit the tone or body language or body gesture. To help this situation, we can use ‘a question mark’ emphasizing that it is a question statement, put a smile icon to tone down certain strong message, type ‘FYI = For Your Information’ in-front of the statement to explain that this is dissemination information. If it’s an instruction statement say it clearly, example “I need you to do this, with bla bla bla …….” by doing this we hope that it will be clear to the received during the discussion take place. 

4.   Discipline is key. Set up a routine discussion schedule, create written agenda prior to the video conference meeting. Ask everybody to prepare the material, collect the information and be ready during the video conference meeting. This will need to be done to have an effective meeting that save a lot of time and energy.


5.   Because our team member previously a hybrid model, work in the office, work from home and also have a high mobility activities between clients, we have a centralized personnel in monitoring all our activities and mobility. So everybody know who need to go which place/client, on what purpose and who to meet. Of course this especially useful to minimize resources like business fleet car - if you own one, second is very useful for coordination purpose.

6.  Develop a good habit of writing communication in a digital platform, write any event or meeting or certain occasion to create an effective work and writing habit. I personally reinforce that our team in Indonesia learn to write good English language for communication purpose. Once I agreed with a friend of mine saying “Bahasa Tutur dengan Bahasa Tulis itu berbeda, sehingga latihan menulis yang efektif sangat diperlukan”; meaning Talking is different in Wiriting, so skill to write effectively need to be develop. 

7.  When you work at home, do separate yourself. If you have a close room, closed the door and be focus. Set your own time consistently say every working day Monday to Friday start at 8 AM, change your business attire like proper dress and build a working ambiance in front of your notebook. By doing this our mindset is set to work, be focus on what to do and more productive.


8.   Work is work and you need to be focus. You cannot mix during your working hour with other activities like cooking, picking up laundry in your house or cuddling your toddler.

9.   Our team member based on experience set a monitoring procedure to help everybody be focus and set their focus on the target result. We have routine weekly Project Meeting start at 8.00 AM and the key person will request an update progress from everybody twice a week.

What personal qualities for Effective Work From Home?

I crafted these aspect based on my own perspective and experience: Self Driver, Self Monitoring, Time Management, Focus person, segregation of Family and Working habit & facilities at home, writing habit and Life Long Learning. This Work From Home habit will disrupt your personal life up to certain level, it’s quite common.  After certain period you and your family will get used to it. 


Before I dismiss my team to fully Work From Home on 14th March 2020 following the Isolation instruction, I told them that this is a huge opportunity to do things differently. There is massive opportunity to turn this changing behavior to a new way of doing things and explore new opportunity also. 


A story on 'Work From Home' phenomenon - written in Jakarta 8th May 2020 

All pictures are private collection

Publish Date: May 14, 2020 2:11 AM

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