7 career habits to cut in 2022
The world of work has forever changed.
At one stage, we thought we were heading back to some form of normality.
Then the work from home movement suddenly became the new work from anywhere culture, redefining the new workforce as flexible, remote and distributed.
Now, 2 years on and we reflect on what we've learned during the pandemic. It's an opportunity to refresh the way we work – perhaps even create a healthier relationship between our life and work.
As a leader, I always look back at what we can learn and change from the last year or so. Also, what can you as an individual do to accelerate professionally and personally?
As we progress in 2022, here are some work habits that you should consider adopting in 2022.
1. Make work-life balance a reality, not a fantasy – switch off
Set personal deadlines to finish work timely and switch off. This may be harder in the remote work situation, particularly for those where home and work have become a blurred line.
Once you have logged off, resist logging back in for the day. Remove the habit of constantly checking emails once you have logged off for the day, even if that means switching off phone notifications if you have emails and your mobile synced.
Create strict boundaries between work and home life. For instance, I try to make a point of not looking at my email on my phone or logging in on a Saturday at all.
Depending on what is going on, I may do some prep work on Sunday night but make a point to stay offline for at least 1 full day, if not the entire 2-day weekend.
2. Bring your etiquette standards to your meetings
Virtual conference calls have become the go-to-meeting essential and a key tool of the modern business world.
What most people don't realise is, since adopting virtual calls, we've moved away from traditional phone calls. This increased the level of "face-to-face" interaction with stakeholders even if it's not in a physical, in-person setting.
Etiquette in virtual meetings is just as important as it is in the office. Turn your camera on, find a quieter space where possible and be prepared and on time as you would if you were meeting in person or in the office.
This will maximise meeting efficiency, collaboration and outcomes while demonstrating your engagement, focus and interest for all attendees to see.
3. Acknowledge the distractions
In the office or remote, distractions from unintended social media scrolling at home to in-office kitchen talks and even unintended distractions like meetings all get to us one way or another.
This is not always a bad thing. It's good to have mini brain breaks throughout the day or to be involved in collaborative meetings.
However, even if we think we're great multi-taskers without being disciplined, this can take away focus and productivity from your workload. To mitigate this, block out times in your calendar to complete work that requires concentration.
This holds you accountable for your deadlines and lets team members know you are respectfully unavailable during those hours.
4. Redefine your position as a leader
Flexibility is no longer a business goal. It has become a business reality. We have been exposed to new ways of working, pushing us to be open and accepting of different working styles and conditions of people around us.
Life inevitably does affect work whether it is arranging care for young children, dealing with stress or illness or family situations at home. Some situations and realities are out of our control and can impact work performance. Remember that there may be an underlying reason behind poor or deteriorated work performance.
Being empathetic to other people's workloads and challenges is key this year. While someone's problem may not be an overall business priority, for that team member trying to get their job done, a particular issue may slow their productivity. You have to be respectful and take the onus to help your team members resolve their issues, to support them in and outside the workplace.
5. Commit to your wellbeing
Mental and physical wellbeing concerns have no doubt spiked in the last 12 to 24 months. While it's acknowledged worldwide and you may notice it becoming a bigger conversation in your workplace, the key is prevention.
Prioritise your health. Movement is key. Start your day with exercise at a level that suits you, whether it's light walks around the block or intense exercise at the gym. Make it work around your schedule so you remain committed.
Aside from physical health, and of course maintaining a balanced diet, your social wellbeing is just as important. Discipline yourself to make work-life balance happen.
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6. Make 2022 the year of learning
For new career starters or those looking to accelerate to the next stage, get your formal education and qualifications done sooner rather than later.
It's always easy to push additional qualifications down the priority list. The more you leave it, the harder it will be to get to.
Keep upskilling yourself and maintain qualifications as you press through your career. It serves you well and contributes to career progression. While it has not impacted my career to date, I wish I prioritised formal education, training and development programs more.
7. Be open to learning how to work with, not against technology
Being in the tech industry, we represent some of the world's leading technology brands that have enabled Australians and businesses to maintain continuity whether operating in or out of the office.
The learning here is that "working from anywhere" will be the new normal – in the office, at home, from a hotel room or even at the airport. We are moving into an era of flexibility and choice, enabled by smart and innovative technology.
Be open and optimistic about what's next. If it requires additional training, take it as a progression not a burden to your role. Technology empowers the future of how you work and perform. It is the driver to working smarter, not harder.
Learning from past experiences is easy. Changing old habits is challenging. While not impossible to do, it takes commitment and discipline on your end. I am still learning and going through this myself. It's all about making small and manageable adjustments, celebrating progress and remembering productivity and happiness are the end goal.
Mary Stojcevski is the chief financial officer and executive director at Dicker Data. She joined Dicker Data as financial controller in 1999, and prior to that gained over 15 years' experience in accounting and taxation.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article (which may be subject to change without notice) are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Finder and its employees. The information contained in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort. Neither the author nor Finder has taken into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before making any further decisions based on this information.