How does a socially-dynamic person who gets her energy from people, survive remote work, especially in light of the COVID-19 lockdown? I am an outside sales professional for Effectiveness Institute and a self-professed Persuader. (You can take our Self-Assessment to find out which Behavior Style you prefer.) I live less than 2 miles from the epicenter of the coronavirus in the state of Washington. Our city has taken the virus seriously and the lockdown—work at home is very real to us! Schools, companies, churches, and other organizations and events have cancelled, postponed, closed, or converted to virtual meetings. What does this look like for a Persuader-Persuader living in workplace solitude?

Since I am a glass-is-half-full kind of person, my initial response was one of seeing the benefits. I could have additional sleep time with the extra two hours (at least) of time I get back from not having to shower, hair, make-up, pick an outfit (did I say I was in sales), pack my food for the day, and then commute to work. Oh yeah, alarm set at 7:30 am instead of 5:30. (Warning: this can backfire—see #1 below).

Our Behavior Style assessment I referred to has four styles: Analyzer, Controller, Stabilizer, and Persuader. The results reveal a dominant and secondary Behavior Style. In my case, I come out as a Persuader-Persuader, which makes up only 1.61% of the population! This can be challenging when working remotely, and even more so in a home-quarantined situation.

The biggest driving need for Persuaders, as I mentioned, is people. We prefer to be around others and convert that energy to action. We motivate and excite people toward a goal. And with our strong verbal skills, we thrive in collaborations, discussions, and interactions. When I googled “surviving a closed environment,” all I could find was information on an introvert surviving a room of extroverts. Yikes, what about me? I guess I need to figure this out myself.

Here are a few quick tips I have discovered in my first week of remote work:

  1. Continue getting up early enough to shower and get ready like you have a meeting. This will help in all those Zoom meetings and save embarrassment (totally happened to me).
  2. Take your lunch break outside, get fresh air, walk, run, or hike. Persuaders still get satisfaction from exerting energy in nature.
  3. Play music (noise makes it feel like people are around you).
  4. Make phone calls, Facetime, Skype or Zoom meetings to coworkers, partners, and other sales friends to collaborate (and commiserate).
  5. Play “The Office” on Netflix in the background so you have some pretend office coworkers and some good laughs.
  6. Luckily, it is March Madness and there is plenty of college basketball to watch, so reward yourself with an exciting game and feel free to jump up and down and cheer like you are at the game (hey, I am a former “Big Dance” participant, so this is my favorite season).

This blog is meant to be interactive. I have only survived one week; any more ideas or tips are welcomed! Let us know how you are surviving remote work.

Also, you can take our free quiz to learn what your primary Behavior Style is. So, stay healthy out there, wash your hands frequently, and godspeed to the rest of you who are struggling with social distancing!

4 Responses

  1. I love watching “the office” . Great article . As a controller, I seemed to be obsessed with researching what the origin of this new virus is and the details about it, but can’t seem to get any real work done. ????

  2. As a fellow Persuader, I to relish in social interactions and outside stimuli. I have worked remotely my entire professional career and have followed many of Cindi’s tips to stay engaged, energized and relevant. Although I don’t shower, shampoo and shine every morning, one thing I religiously do every day is I do make it a point to get out of my P.J.’s and go out to get my morning Cup if Joe (in my case it’s a Diet Coke). I try to go somewhere different every morning which helps cut through some of the monotony of working from home. Great article Cindi!

  3. I have also worked remotely for most of my career as well, but most recently had to incorporate more “rules of engagement” for survival and productivity, as this is the largest “office” I have had at 4,500 square feet of “always something to clean, sort, straighten and fold” just around the corner.
    1. No ‘chores’ during office hours. Act as if you are not home. If transferring laundry takes under 5 minutes, then its cool to have the quick freedom to do it.
    2. Have a grateful attitude that you get to experience this ‘privilege’.
    3. Dress in Business Top-Half for sure… Hair, Makeup, if meetings, and earrings. Only caught once where meeting asked to go video and I said, “let me call you right back with a link to Video Chat”, which was code for “let me throw off the hair scrunchie ponytail and fluff the hair and hope it works”.
    4. InstaPot meals when possible so when you finish work at home you don’t go straight to dinner prep. I always feel like someone else cooked dinner for me or head out for dinner and be around people.