Remote working – How we did it
We have always been asked by our team from time to time if they can work from home here and there. Initially it felt like a kind flexible arrangement we had to make available for our team to accommodate other priorities in life, whether it was a sick animal, or a visit from contractor at home that they had to attend to.
Overtime, it became a regular event when we assess whether the day would be better utilised by working remotely instead of wasting time and energy on the commute, be it the stormy weather that slowed the commute, or the Skycity fire that made the CBD unsafe to access.
With the recent lockdown in New Zealand, our team’s established ability to work remotely from these years made it a smooth and familiar transition. Having done this for a long time, we have a few tips to share to help those who are trying to make it work still after the short notice change that all faced following the emergency lockdown was confirmed.
Make a comfortable setting
- Remote working could be the future normal. Dont make something basic and temporary thinking it is just for now. Instead have a good set up for your work. This includes basics like having a table, have a screen (or multiple screens), a good pair of headphones/headset and a comfortable chair. Do not underestimate the power of having a good workstation, especially when you have to work there for 8+ hours a day, every day, for the next few months. Try working on your small laptop screen for any significant time and you’ll see how difficult it is!
Make time to see each other
- Have a way to connect with team members so that you don’t feel so isolated. We use Zoom video calls every morning with the team. This gives us a chance to see everyone and to see that everyone is working together, even if we are not physically together. We also chat throughout the day on Slack and call each other to discuss matters.
- We soon will start the virtual coffee breaks where we all share our breaks online by having a video chat, and our cup of tea or coffee. We want to make sure we can continue to share love and support for one another, to make up for the fact that we are not in the same physical space to share a laugh or a break together.
Train clients to be connected virtually
- We stay connected through WhatsApp, WeChat and also ensure that we can still talk to clients through these channels, as well as through email and phone. This way, we can continue working as normal and feel integrated even when apart.
- We set up virtual form for client information collection to be done over the internet, and we use online payment gateway to allow them to pay without making a trip to our office, post office, or the bank.
Be connected on multiple apps
Working remotely challenge the team’s need to collaborate, share, or give feedback. In our team we are connected on gmails, slack, WeChat, facebook, WhatsApp, text messages, as well as zoom. The access to multiple platforms allow us the flexibility of going to the best way possible at any given time to share and discuss with one another.
Technology sometimes fails us, and it rarely happens when all of them fail at the same time. The flexible methods of being connected allow one another the freedom of using different devices for example some could stay in touch quite easily on their phone, iPads, instead of desktop computers when some apps are very mobile friendly. This mobilise their ability to participate in a meeting even while they feel the need to go for a walk or make some food. This also makes it possible for them to step into a private room if the discussion is confidential or sensitive that they may be concerned about their family members being able to be exposed to the unnecessary details.
If you would like to talk to me about our experiences in this remote working space. Feel free to reach me for a video chat and we can grab a coffee and share a selfie with our cups.