Our key takeaways to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout this quarantine, many of us have been put into situations that we are not accustomed to and may have never experienced. While many office settings can be similar, the RC Design office is all about collaboration, consistent communication, and boosting morale. This is now something we have to achieve outside of the office.
Although it has been hard, we have worked together and leaned on each other in order to get through this tough time.
What We Have Learned…
Even though we still might not be in the office we have learned a lot while being in quarantine.
Communication is Key
The main thing is having consistent communication throughout our team. While we might not have a morning meeting each day in the office we have found it to be very effective for our current working situations.
New working conditions can come with new challenges.
Each day we conduct a morning regroup in order to understand everyone’s daily tasks, if someone needs help finishing something, and general mental health/well-being. We always want our team to go into their day with a positive outlook. A positive attitude makes for a great flow of creativity and overall a healthier mindset to work with throughout the day.
Support One Another
We have also learned that not every day is going to be a good day. Being stuck inside can lead to a decreased mental health state, especially if you do not have anyone at home to have a quick break with. There are some days when some of our team members are feeling down because of the lack of in-person communication.
We have overcome this by communicating daily that it is okay to reach out and ask for help. Whether it is just a quick chat or even an extensive one, having those conversations allows for there to be no grey areas between our team leads and employees, which has increased the sense of community.
We also hold weekly check-ins to discuss life outside of work and if there is anything we can do to help. Whether that means a new monitor or chair, our management team is more than willing to make our at-home offices as comfortable as possible.
As patios open back up our team is trying to plan an after-work hangout, although they are very busy considering everyone’s want to leave the house.
As we get our patios plans sorted out, we have decided to hold a weekly RC game time every Friday after work. This has helped maintain the friendships we have created in the office and give us a little extra something to look forward to at the end of the week.
Other options aside from a weekly Friday game time could include digital coffee clubs, group e-learning classes, or even group virtual yoga. All of these are great ways to stay connected with your team despite not being in the office.
We are stronger as a community and can collectively overcome challenges faster together than apart.
Most likely this is a new experience of a lot of us. Not having that ability to collaborate and discuss your work in person can be difficult. Check-in with your co-workers, even the ones that might not be in your department. The more you stay connected the easier it becomes to collaborate and ask questions.
Everyone copes with stress differently and our team has found that doing something each day that contributes to our well-being, helps alleviate that stress. Whether that is working outside, taking a quick walk, or even making a smoothie, our team takes the necessary breaks they need in order to keep their mental health positive and morale high.
Once we are able to start working back in the office we will definitely be taking the lessons we have learned from working at home and applying them to our daily tasks. At RC Design we pride ourselves on our core values which are incorporated into our daily tasks.
Collaboration & Creativity
A big problem with working from home is not having the same ability to creatively collaborate with others. Not being able to turn your chair over to someone and ask a couple of questions doesn’t seem like a big issue until you are unable to do it. Moving forward we will use our new communication skills in order to better collaborate with each other in a timely manner (and never take chair swivel conversations for granted again)
Working from home it may be easier for some to hide the struggles that they are facing. In an office, you are most likely talking with people regularly and if you are having an off day someone will probably notice and ask if everything is okay. Showing care means being genuinely invested in what you do and the people you are with. Learning how to care for people virtually is a skill that we can definitely use in the office, but instead of checking in on someone virtually, we will do it more often in person.
Staying positive while working at home may be harder than it seems. It is more up to oneself to keep up a positive attitude throughout the day. We will use these new ways of staying positive and share them with each other once our office days are among us again. After all, we produce our best work when we are able to share a few laughs along the way!