Working from home - How we’re staying connected at home
By Sonia Older
31 March 2020, UK
Working from home - staying connected, anytime, anywhere…
Thanks to Covid-19 the majority of us here at Focus Group are now working from home. Every employee has been equipped with the technology needed to carry on with their daily workload as best as they can. We have flexibility to do our jobs, a strong leadership team guiding us through these uncertain times and the icing on the cake…no commute!
Working from home during this unprecedented time is certainly challenging our mental agility but we have seen outputs that have far exceeded our expectations. The effort across Focus Group has been phenomenal, but we can’t overlook the fact that both our mental and physical wellbeing is being challenged in a way that we haven’t experienced before.
Many of our teams have taken to including ‘PE with Joe Wicks’ in their daily schedule, setting team targets via video conference prior to their morning meetings. With a mix of cloud based email systems and collaborative tools, employees and line managers are able to connect as often as they need to with each other and utilizing voice and video calling and desktop and file sharing features as if you were in the office itself! Maintaining these relationships whilst physically working away from each other is one of the most important things we need to focus on right now.
We have set up a Working Parents group on Microsoft Teams for employees who are working from home whilst caring for their children and doing their best to continue their learning. We know this isn’t an easy task so have created a space to share ideas, let us know how things are going and post pictures of the chaos at home. Whatever we need to do to keep everyone motivated. A second group is available for all and is about bringing everyone together. We’re quite a social bunch here at Focus Group and we are finding ways for everyone to be able to interact and find out what people are up to. It has been great to see people sharing their photos and updates.
A few months ago we introduced a wellbeing app called Lifeworks to Focus Group employees and it is has some great features that promote the mental, physical, social and financial wellness of our people. Through the app, users get access to confidential 24/7 counselling, advice on hundreds of topics, access to wellbeing articles, podcasts, videos and tutorials. Just an extra helping hand to help ‘Focus your mind’ in these unusual times.
Other top tips to stay on track are:
- Keep up social contact with friends, family and colleagues with Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Teams, Slack and Zoom.
- Stay active – there so many online workouts, yoga and meditation programmes now available.
- Make sure you have time away from news and social media, which can add to anxiety levels.