So, it’s happened. We’ve now all started to work from home at once.
We’re lucky that we were prepared and all the Salesforce work we do for our customers has, and can still be done collaboratively at home thanks to things like Teams, Natterbox, and Salesforce. These have helped us adapt to this change and transform our operations pretty smoothly. In fact, we’ve just had our first successful project go-live since this madness began!
Still, we’re all facing new challenges right now. As our MD, Pete, said to us: “not only do we build online Communities, but we are a community” here at oe:gen. And as a community of Community-creators (try saying that three times fast), it’s now more important than ever that we also keep our unique company culture alive through these mediums.
That’s why, as well as working through these platforms, we’re also playing! Because, as we all know, all work and no play makes Jack a dull Salesforce Consultant… right?
While we had an accessible office, we always had ‘Beer Fridge Fridays’, where we’d have beers (or soft drinks!) together in the afternoon. To carry on this sacred tradition, we’ve set up a regular call at 4:30pm every Friday to video chat with a beer from our own respective fridges.
We also used to love lunching together on our custom-made breakfast table which is covered with inspirational pictures we each individually chose. Now, we have a video call set up every day from 12-1pm called ‘Lunch Table Chat’. Attendance is totally optional and the team can dip in and out as needed, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to have a video chat over lunch together, like we used to.
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We hold regular optional Lunch Time Learning sessions at oe:gen! Today Yvette and Emma presented one on how to create an awesome 2020 for ourselves and avoid living in ‘default’ mode. This is an exercise they learnt at a meetup with Design Thinking Dad (Paul Bailey) that focuses on work, love, play and health. They found it so energising that they wanted to share it with the rest of the team! #planning #2020goals #lunchtimelearning
So what can you do to make sure your team is working from home in a way that’s healthy for both their mental and physical health during this time? Here are some things the oe:gen team has learned as a remote-workers:
“I know it’s hard not to be anxious during this time, but it’s also a great opportunity to get around to doing things you might have been pushing back before this crisis. Is there a project you’ve been meaning to get around to? Now might be the best time to get it done without distractions. Oh, and make sure you’re still getting dressed as usual! Feels odd for me to be wearing lippy just to stay at home, but it puts me in the right mindset to start my day.”
Emily Malone, Marketing Manager
“Take regular breaks away from your computer – rest your eyes…”
David Coe, Customer Success Director
“Create a space to work that you use only for work. Commute to it. I found that if I used my sofa or dining table, I’d start to associate those things with work over the long term and you enjoy the things you’d normally do there less – like relaxing and eating. You need a space just for work to keep a work life balance. Trust me, I’m a pro at working from home!”
Mark Rickaby, Customer Success Director
“Don’t get sucked in. It’s easy to just sit on your laptop from the time you wake up until well into the evening. The lack of set start and finish times and commitments such as commuting times means it’s easy for your workday to spread into one never-ending event. It’s easy to forget that in an office you are moving around, having chats, getting drinks and so on which are critical to breaking up your day. Lots of this falls by the wayside at home unless you are conscious of it and do something about it.”
Leon Lane, Lead Salesforce Consultant
” Have a routine and stick to it. Your working day shouldn’t change too much. Get up early, do this stuff you’d usually do. Get dressed! Have a proper work area. And, have a proper start and end to your working day. op tip – if you like coffee, get a good coffee machine. Makes a massive difference.”
Pete Fells, MD
“We’re still permitted to go out once a day for exercise and I can’t recommend that enough either, even for a quick 5-minute walk around the block can help break the day up especially as it’s sunny outside now and not as cold!”
Alex Reed, Salesforce Consultant
“Eat at the usual time (don’t work until 3pm and realise it’s time for lunch) Get away from the screen, have a brew, go for a walk, get outside. Allow time to clear your head.”
Chris Turner, Project Manager
” I think it’s nice to do something that you wouldn’t normally have time to do in the morning because of the commute. Spend a bit of extra time preparing a really nice breakfast, or go for a walk, or do some yoga. Or even a little painting or something creative. And use the Pomodoro Technique to keep focused!”
Jay Hallsworth, Business Solutions Architect
“Limit your exposure to the news/social media to 30 min in the am/30 min in the pm (as there are constant updates) – so you don’t worry yourself too much!”
Bunny Butters, oe:gen Academy trainee
“Make sure that you have a good chair/several different places to sit of varying comfort. Also, it is self-evident but lower quality chairs will wear out more quickly. Try to get out of the house before you start work if you can. If you can’t then still try to work some exercise into your routine, whatever works best. For example, stretching, some dumb-bells etc. Make the most of contact with colleagues and customers, using web-cams as much as possible, and even just arrange 1-1 catch ups. If you’re sharing the house/flat, establish ground-rules and inform of calls in advance. “
James Wills, Senior Salesforce Developer
“It’s a very stressful time for a lot of us and I think it’s easy to get bogged down with the negative and pressure you put yourself under. You can only do what you can do and we are all in it together, so if your struggling, angry or upset, tell someone! There’s always a friend with the powers to GIF your troubles away in the short term! Yesterday was a disaster trying to spin too many plates and compromises have to be made. Having a routine and purpose is paramount, but also having flexibility in it needs to be considered. Laugh when you can laugh and make this a game, not a prison sentence… today I made a Harry Potter slug breakfast, just because I can (photo to follow). And get outside now and then sunshine and nature are natural stress relievers, even if you just hang your head out the window for 15 min with a brew… it’s time well spent!”
Yvette Kempson, Business Solutions Architect and mum
“My top tip for working from home is : to create boundaries between work and home life. With no commute to worry about, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours or to stretch tasks out due to distractions. So its really important to build boundaries. Try to switch off in the evening, avoiding looking at work emails or messages if possible. “
Hamid Yaqub, QA Tester
Keep an eye out on our socials for more tips as the weeks go on. We’re also still posting some silly-as-ever stuff over on Instagram for a bit of fun during this weird time. Why don’t you join us in the weirdness?
Stay safe, keep talking, and remember, please reach out if you need it! We’re all in this together.
Now go wash your hands.