Remote working is a term which is being thrown around more frequently in recent times. Some of us might know it better as ‘working from home’. While the term working from home does sound quite appealing and cushy, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. With babies hanging from hips and dogs barking, working from the comfort of our own home can be somewhat manic but it has become the “new normal”.
The work environment has been ever-changing in recent times. With our constantly wavering dynamic, our team has been reflecting on our experience thus far as individuals, as well as an organisation. Like many organisations, at Arema Connect, there have been many changes to daily routines. Changes in the work environment can cause additional stress and with the workplace set to change significantly in the forthcoming months, here are the Arema teams’ top tips on working efficiently from home.
Communication is the key to success. Remote working is great but the connection between management and employees can be easily tapered and two-way communication has never been more crucial. We have implemented a virtual suggestion box in our in house CRM system, for our team to provide feedback on some of the obstacles they may be experiencing. This feedback allows management to understand some of the challenges our remote workforce have been facing and the steps that they can introduce to resolve any concerns.
2. Daily Meetings
Staff meetings are even more important in the current climate. With remote working in place, there is no such thing as bumping into co-workers around the office and consulting with them to solve a dilemma. Customer Support teams usually work as quite tight-knit groups, but with our staff members being separated across a variety of locations, it can lead to a disconnection between teams. Problems and inquiries are often brought up and resolved instantly in the office, but when working remotely we have more of a likelihood of bottling up these thoughts. It goes without saying that face-to-face interaction about issues is the best way to solve them, but in the current climate, it’s not possible. Nowadays we have endless resources for virtual connectivity that we can often take for granted. To prevent this bottle from spilling we have virtual team meetings daily. ‘Zoom’ really is Arema Connects’ best friend and has played a pivotal role in keeping our team in regular contact, encouraging two-way communication.
3. Keep in touch with co-workers
Keeping connected outside of work is just as important as staying connected in work. Maintaining the bond with your co-workers allows for more integrated customer support teams to be formed. Catching up through ‘Zoom’ Quizzes, is what we love to do at Arema Connect! A weekly virtual night out with prizes for the Quiz Mastermind has been a huge hit with the Arema Team. This is just one of the ways our team keeps connected while working from home. Since our employees have been working remotely we have opened our third office space adhering to social distancing. We are very excited to welcome our team back to our shiny new office as they abandon their home offices and dribble back to the office!
4. Wellness Sessions
At Arema Connect, we strive to positively impact our employees and provide an optimistic and supportive environment. During our remote working phase, it is essential that our Employee Engagement Programmes are undisrupted. Working remotely can have added stresses, so giving employees access to platforms such as wellness sessions can improve both job satisfaction and productivity. Our collaboration with our Wellness coach Noella Carroll has been enhanced throughout this remote working period. On a weekly basis, each employee has a Wellness Session with Noella via ‘Zoom’ to unwind and detach from work priorities for a period of time. In addition, Noella is delivering techniques on how to separate home and work life as they are now more entwined in the home environment. Have a read of our blog on our virtual spin on employee engagement HERE.
5. Keep track of cybersecurity
Hackers and crackers are out in full force. The less secure your systems are the more proactive you have to be. Rules and regulations are essential to ensure Data Security and compliance to GDPR when working from home. Prior to working from home, our Remote Working Policy must be signed by each individual. This includes many of our office regulations being brought to the home office such as our Clear Desk and Screen Policy. Each employee is provided with a laptop which has been firewalled and antivirus with Malwarebytes Endpoint Security; this is the only device to be used while working. Arema Connect is ISO 27,001: 2013 accredited which further demonstrates our commitment to information security.
Arema Connect has operated an optional approach from the start as each person’s circumstances are unique. As we said earlier remote working is not for everyone so every staff member has the option of working from home or from our office. Our offices have remained open at all times during the pandemic and going forward we are expecting our staff to stay connected by blending the working week between home and office.
On a final note..
Our remote working plan shot from the unfamiliar ground to holding a pivotal role in our business continuity plan in recent times. It is an aspect of business that has quickly become mandatory and is now a resource that will constantly be developed over the coming time. While working from home is great, it is not available for every industry, you won’t see an optical surgeon working from home anytime soon. At Arema Connect, we are lucky to have been able to set up shop at home but we can’t wait to start welcoming our co-workers back to the office (in due course).