Just a mere 12 weeks ago, our lives were turned upside down when a world pandemic reduced us to staying in our homes. As we adjusted to declining social arrangements, wearing masks to the supermarket, and trying to home-school our kids; we also had to move away from the office overnight and create a workspace in our homes.
Remote working was not a foreign concept to us. Many of us have had the experience of working at home for a day here and there, but what we did not expect was having to move our entire workforce to remote working in just one day. As technology specialists, we didn’t face many, if any, challenges on the tech side, however the overall journey and experience has been a huge learning curve. Here is what we’ve learnt so far.
Recognising our resilience
We are more resilient then we give ourselves credit for – overnight we moved away from the office to our homes, without any internal issues or tickets raised to support. That’s pretty impressive!
Communication is key
Within the first 2 weeks of adjusting to work from home, we maintained consistent communication with our clients, keeping them in the loop with our whereabouts and providing business as usual support. We went above and beyond by adding extra resources to the Service Desk within the first 4 weeks, in order to cover the initial need for support. As the dust settled, we have been consistently providing customers with useful information on tools, and things to remember whilst working from home.
There’s no team without Teams
Teams has been our saviour – virtual meetings on our Teams phone system and video conferencing has made our meeting experiences easy and effective. The additional features Microsoft have rolled out in the past 10 weeks are things we didn’t initially see coming until the second half of this year. Many firms have struggled with telephony – whereas this has remained BAU for us.
We just love tech!
Away from the office and the tech still works – the transition from office to home meant some readjustments; setting up multiple screens, different Wi-Fi, virtual meetings, and so on. We have trusted technology more than ever before and have maximised the use of new tech. Having the right equipment, not just a laptop, is important for long-term success, which we have definitely come to discover.
There will always be challenges
Those that had a good experience when transitioning to remote working were the ones that were prepared. Those that hadn’t previously invested much time or money in IT, struggled more and have come to recognise the long-term benefits of quality IT and a solid business continuity plan. Many businesses have been reassessing their position and questioning the opportunity costs of transitioning to the new way of working. Its likely many of these things have been setup ad-hoc with longevity and security discarded given the urgency. A second review is most certainly needed.
All things are difficult before they are easy
We are sure many probably had the same experience here, but morale took a real dip about 6 weeks in. When the reality of lockdown and social distancing measures finally settled in, we experienced a drop in happiness and morale. Inevitable considering the circumstances: people missing the office, their colleagues, regular routines, and just life as we knew it. But, since then, we have bounced back and found new ways to maintain morale: weekly coffee catch-up’s, virtual team events like quizzes and bingo nights, internal happiness surveys, and sharing #success stories.
A healthy mind
One of the biggest change’s is the change in mindset – we take human interaction and being in the office for granted. Although we can get on with our jobs without these things, we have come to recognise we value them more when they are taken away from us. Learning to live with only seeing your colleagues or clients through a screen hasn’t been easy. We have all experienced ‘zoom fatigue’, impatience, boredom, and longing for it all to end, whilst sitting on a conference call. But we mostly find refuge in looking at the bigger picture; it could always be a lot worse. Paying closer attention to mental-health and well-being is something we should have been doing long ago. Lesson learnt and the journey continues…
The comeback is always stronger than the setback.
It’s clear we have learnt a huge amount about ourselves as a business and as individuals since this crazy journey began. But like every other business trying to do the same thing, we have managed to overcome the hurdles along the way, and our curve of learning will only contribute to the growth and success of T-Tech.
The journey is certainly not over yet, and our next lesson lies in how to return to the office safely and effectively. All we can continue to do is provide the best service as possible to our customers, in order that they have a positive and productive experience.