Remember when working from home sounded like a dream? I bet in your dream it didn’t look anything like what we are faced with today. Sharing your prized workspace with your significant other and with your children (oh listen to that clarinet!) who are now being homeschooled. The abrupt change is a lot to take in much less balance with your desire to continue to be the productive and loyal employee dedicated to helping customers daily.
Waterfield Technologies has many remote employees with a small subset that actually work from an office in the US or UK. We, as most of you, have been forced to quickly move our offices into our homes with little time to plan on how to make that transition smoothly. I have worked remotely for the past three years and have spent a lot of time this past week answering questions for friends and co-workers about how best to orientate yourself with this new workspace. While you may feel overwhelmed with your usual routine disrupted, those of us that have been working from home awhile have a few tips that can truly help you keep sane, actually improve your productivity and find ways to use those extra hours no longer needed for commuting.
One of our managers did an amazing job of listing out some tips for his team to help them make the best of the situation. We thought we would share this list with you all to help make your work from home journey more productive and peaceful.
Routines and Rituals
Having a schedule is critical to feeling and being productive. It offers structure and helps keep you on task. Establishing a ‘start your day’ and ‘end your day’ routine is critical to maintaining a balance between work and your personal life. Having your office in your house does not mean expanded workhours. Set your workday and stick to it, which includes scheduled breaks and even time to get up to fill your water bottle or grab an afternoon coffee. Keep to these rituals every day.
When you enter this space, you know that you are ‘at work’. Making sure your family understands this as well is key to not being interrupted during conference calls and meetings. Make your new office space comfortable and ensure you have the tools you need to stay connected to your colleagues and systems to remain as productive and professional as possible. A specified place will help reduce the distractions of those that are home with you.
Communication and Collaboration
Working from home can be isolating, especially when you are used to having others just outside your door or down the hall for a quick chat. Use collaboration tools like instant message, call conferencing or video chat where you can connect with co-workers. Staying connected to your staff, your teams and management are critical to maintaining company culture in the absence of a physical office. Another option is to have an all-company roundtable (we refer to ours as Town Hall) by video, so you can keep in touch and see everyone’s smiling faces.
As we all navigate this new normal, remember you’re not alone. We are all learning how to be the best at what we do, serve customers and deliver business results, from a new perspective. This most definitely will change the way we work and live from here on out. Companies that were apprehensive to allow work from home schedules have now jumped in with both feet. It takes the right technologies and tools to make it work seamlessly for both your employees and customers. Make sure you have the right cloud contact center solutions to connect your teams, workforce management solutions to monitor performance and keep the teams connected and on track.
Bottom line: Don’t lose your sense of humor and use the tools you have to stay connected. As part of this rule of thumb, we have issued an internal challenge to our employees to film and share short videos of the funny and challenging situations they’re experiencing while working from home. And we invite you to join us in sharing your experiences as well! We must find some humor and keep smiling in the face of these challenging times. Join us and share your tips or videos by using the #WTchallenge.