As you know, the Vizion team has been virtual for many years. We would like to offer some tips on how to successfully transition to a work from home environment.
Set Your Focus
- Prepare your day as if you were going to the office. It helps set the mentality to “go to work” and get work done.
- It can be difficult to separate work life from home life, and before you know it, you’re responding to work emails on the couch at 10pm instead of being present with your family. Be mindful of your time so that you can be 100% present for work and 100% present at home.
Create a “work” environment
- Maintain a professional work space – keep the trash emptied, space dusted, and business only (as able) in that space
- For Conference and video calls:
- Be cognizant of your background and external noises. Don’t be this guy: https://youtu.be/cbhMgvvcL4g
- Be present.
- Dress professionally even though people know you are working remotely.
- Being alone in your office does not mean you are a team of one. Communicate, probably more than you used to, with the rest of the team.
- Don’t let distance quell camaraderie with your colleagues. Send a group e-mail to share what you would have in the break room.
- Don’t spend three hours trying to figure out how to get your system to do X when you have resources to answer it faster.
- If you are having trouble setting your personal system up at home, ask your manager for help. Others may be having the same issue and this allows them to know where the wrinkles in the system are and can be addressed faster.
Provide the necessary services
- Phone line or VOIP phone service for everyone
- High speed internet service (people may need to upgrade their service plans)
- If you meet with clients and need (mostly) reliable conference calling, you will need a conference call service like GoToMeeting/Zoom or another similar service
- Project management system – We use a project management system to keep everyone organized and on track
- Means for team communication – we use Microsoft Teams for instant messaging and calls between team members. This also allows us to see when team members are available, away, at lunch, on a call, etc. There are several options available if this sounds like something your team could use.
Provide the necessary Tech (you may already have this on hand)
- Laptop – Be sure the wireless adapter allows for high speed WIFI connections
- Extra screens (we suggest two) if this becomes a long-term situation
- Wireless headset
- Wireless keyboard and Mouse
- Mouse pad
- Establish regular business hours for your team but allow flexibility for family, appointments and so on.
- We use our project management system to track time on client projects and for internal responsibilities and PTO. We do this to provide transparent tracking to our clients and to help us asses when it is time to make a new hire. If you do not need this level of tracking a simpler method may be right for you and your team.
Communication is Essential
- We rely on email, chats and meetings/calls to stay connected or get help from each other
- We have weekly or bi-weekly 1 on1 calls to talk about clients, reporting, goals, quarterly plans
- Operations meets twice a month to share wins, challenges and to get company updates
- At least once a month we meet as a company to share a lunch or a break in the afternoon to connect in a non-business environment.