Notice, I didn’t call it the “New Normal.” The COVID 19 pandemic has caused disruptions and challenges that no one ever could have predicted. For the past 8 months (yes that’s right, it’s been nearly 8 long months since the world was turned upside down), adaptability has proven to be, perhaps, the most essential skill of all. Out of necessity, most workers have transitioned to working from home. This has forced both companies and employees to adapt and adjust quickly.
When our office first closed, I felt stressed and anxious. How would I stay connected with my team? Would I be able to stay motivated? How long would this last? Would my house be too distracting to get my job done? (I am sure you would understand my concern, if you also had a beagle and a puggle). I’m happy to report, that 8 months in, I’ve discovered that I’m just as (if not more) productive, than I was when I was in the office. On my end, having a routine, dedicated workspace and setting boundaries were all key to my successful transition. Equally important, was the swift action my employer took. Avanceon was quick to address employees concerns, as well as implement carefully thought out guidelines to help keep us all connected and productive.
We were asked to use video on all of our internal meetings. Whether a team meeting or a one on one. My team, specifically, meets several times a week. In addition to tackling the work at hand, we take the time to catch up on our personal lives, and maybe even chat about a Netflix show we’re binge watching. It’s was a great way to see our team and still feel connected.
Additionally, we were asked to video in to our weekly company “celebration” meetings. These meetings were held before the pandemic started, but are still something we continue to do virtually. In the past, we used these gatherings to recognize and hand out awards. Now, a portion of the meetings are dedicated to sharing updates within the company (how business is going, what’s changing, what wins we’ve had, etc.) These insights into how we stand help to keep us informed about the company as a whole and alleviate worry during this uncertain time.
After Work Activities:
Work Hard, Play Hard is one of the fundamentals that drives our company’s culture. We’re a social group and many of us enjoy activities together after office hours. Our weekly Happy Hours continue to take place virtually. Our board games group meets online as does our office book club. Some of us even managed to meet (with our pets) for our annual “Day at the Dog Park”- of course masks and distancing were required.
Our company has been extremely encouraging throughout this situation. They get it, working from home can be challenging. Interruptions and distractions are plenty. Family, pets, and even the doorbell. But we’ve been encouraged to embrace the change. We’ve laughed at cats walking on keyboards and children singing in the background during meetings. We were even asked to snap a picture of what our new home office looks like and share it! It was cool to see everyone’s at-home work environment.
There was also a fear of unstable internet connection during meetings. What happens if I “freeze up” during a meeting? While not ideal, we’ve been reassured it is not something to worry about (just might be a few snap shots of your freeze face floating around).
While I’ve adjusted to my new circumstances (and believe me, I don’t miss the daily commute), I’m hoping our “current reality” doesn’t remain our “new normal” indefinitely. I miss in-person conversations, bumping into someone when I’m grabbing a cup of coffee and the exchange of ideas that often comes from a random meeting. But until it’s safe to return, you’ll find me working from home, beagle and puggle happily at my feet.
How is your WFH situation? Share your tips and ideas here…
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