By: Holly Gonzalez, Assistant Account Executive
Our nation is facing a shift to daily life with many workers now being forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Williams Whittle team is currently operating remotely, but we are actually no strangers to working from home. Our team is made of several remote employees and the typical in-office team works from home once a week to reduce our carbon footprint and avoid DMV traffic. The internet has been buzzing about tips and best practices for working from home. Since we know this new work structure may be a current challenge for many, we are sharing some strategies that have worked for us as well as some other tips we have seen highly recommended. We hope you may pick up some ideas to help you adjust to this new normal.
WW Teleworking Strategies
- We hold weekly “status calls” with our remote team members to go over their workload and determine goals for the week. During these meetings, we can get a better understanding of expectations and plan together how the in-office and remote team will support each other on client needs. These meetings will continue as we are all remote and we work together to divide and conquer on tasks.
- We are not afraid to get on the horn and call our teammates that are not physically in the office. If they were in the office, we would just walk over to their desk and ask questions so it is important for us to have regular dialogue with remote workers in order to keep the team connected. We have more phone calls and conference calls these days to account for those times where we would just pop over to each other’s desks in the office.
- Similarly, we might even hop on FaceTime or a webcam to really connect with our remote workers. We consult with them on projects big and small- even office redesign and hanging client work on the wall have been discussions on FaceTime calls.
- We utilize a project management tool called Monday.com to keep track of workloads for remote workers, clients, etc. We go over these needs in status calls and have functions in place via the platform to show the status and priorities of tasks. We also utilize Slack to talk internally and cut down on the overload of back and forth emails and take the easier and quick conversations to Slack. This has been even more useful as we go remote because we can separate conversations by channels based on topics such as our social media, brainstorming, client work and new business.
- We value the connection between our clients and our remote workers. Even if they see the in-office team more often it doesn’t mean that they are not also building relationships with our remote team. When needed, we make sure our remote team has phone calls with the client and even meets them in person when bigger presentations come up.
Other Ideas that Improve WFH Life
- Getting up and getting dressed for the day. It can add a boost to your mood and productivity to feel physically ready for the day rather than changing from “sleep pajamas” to “work pajamas.” Plus- if you have to go on a conference call using a webcam you are already ready to go.
- Exercise or go on a quick walk before sitting down to work. This can stimulate the body and mind and account for what would normally be your daily commute.
- Institute more video calls with your coworkers. It is helpful to see everyone’s faces even if it is only for 10 mins a day during daily standup meetings. These calls can be facilitated using platforms like Microsoft Teams.
- Communicate even more than you would normally in a traditional office environment. Since you cannot physically see what everyone is up to it is important to share updates so that there is a clear understanding of when projects have been completed, if more support is needed or to prioritize tasks in general.
- Separate your work from home. Now that home is work for many it is important to designate even your makeshift workspace from your home space used for leisure activities. This way when the workday ends you can step away and not feel that the work never stops because the lines have become too blurred of where you work and where you rest.
- Build community in new and creative ways. Virtual community is everywhere right now. From online book clubs, dance parties, and happy hours to Spotify playlists shared company-wide. At this time, seemingly simple connections can really make the difference in lifting spirits and uniting teams.
Adjusting to a new routine can be tricky, but we are all in this together. Remember to support and check in with your colleagues now more than ever. We hope to hear even more tips from you about how to make the best of working from home.